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Brothers at war


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FOR two sects united by their belief in one Maker, one Book and one Prophet, the amount of blood spilt in the name of their respective faiths by Shias and Sunnis is truly staggering. This is specially so when one considers the tiny differences that define and divide them.

Since the earliest days of Islam in the 7th century when the schism first tore the young Muslim community apart, the two sects have been warring incessantly. Untold thousands have been killed over the years, and this internecine war continues to devastate communities and nations.

I am not qualified to go into the rights and wrongs of this old conflict. However, as a student of history, I can think of no other single cause of disunity among Muslims as this corrosive, centuries-old struggle. Other religions have gone through periods of sectarian violence: witness the bloody religious wars that Catholics and Protestants fought in Europe.

But while these tensions have mostly died down with the slaking of religious passions among most Christians, Muslims continue to fight over whose version is the true Islam. Indeed, much of Islamic history is written in the bloodshed either over succession, or in sectarian wars.

First, Ottoman rule across large parts of the Arab world held Shia-Sunni violence in check, even though in many provinces, Shias were subjected to discrimination. But as this vast area was controlled from Constantinople, open warfare was rare. Then, in the post-Ottoman, colonial era in the last century, European powers largely prevented Shia-Sunni tensions from breaking into hostility.

In the last half of the 20th century, after the departure of colonial forces, many Muslim countries were ruled by secular dictators who, for all their many faults, kept the lid on these ancient sectarian tensions. From Saddam Hussein of Iraq, to Muammar Qadhafi of Libya, to the Assads of Syria, and to Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, violence between the sects was kept at a minimum.

Nevertheless, the ruling sect did marginalise the other: thus, the majority Shias under the Sunni Saddam fared badly. Now the shoe is on the other foot, and it is the minority Sunnis under the Shia heel. In Syria, the minority Alewites have ruled since the Seventies. In Sunni Saudi Arabia, the Shias are marginalised.

The list goes on, but one thing is clear: both sects harbour deep distrust of each other. Indeed, in a recent Pew Institute survey on attitudes in the Muslim world, only 53 per cent of those surveyed in Pakistan considered Shias to be Muslims. This figure is even lower in several other Muslim countries.

There is similar doubt on the other side, with many Shias casting doubt on Sunni beliefs. So clearly, time has only sharpened this schism, rather than healing old wounds. But while more often than not, these tensions are limited to neighbourhoods and nations, the emergence of a Shia theocracy in Iran has taken these differences to a new level.

Although mediaeval Islam saw states engaging in sectarian warfare, this tendency was later suppressed in modern times, as we have just discussed. However, although the Iran-Iraq war was fought over territorial claims and counter-claims, overtly sectarian symbolism was deployed by both sides.

And when the Americans invaded Iraq in 2003, the ruling Baath Party was ousted, and the minority Sunnis displaced from power. This led to a Shia revival, and a major gain in Iranian influence. Indeed, the US-led campaign was widely viewed in the Middle East as having enhanced Iranian power across the region.With friendly Shia governments in Iraq and Syria, Iran could easily send arms to Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. Together with its nuclear aspirations, the Iran of the ayatollahs sent alarm bells ringing in Sunni capitals in the region.

Thus, when the Arab Spring reached Syria a couple of years ago, protestors were supported by Sunni Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. And seeing an opportunity to cut a hostile Iran down to size, western powers have now thrown their weight behind the anti-Assad forces.

But supporting Sunni fighters is proving tricky, given the penetration of the Syrian opposition by Salafi groups that have flooded into the country. Indeed, they are proving to be the most effective and organised among all those currently trying to overthrow their Alewite rulers. The presence of these extremists has made western powers wary of supplying them with lethal anti-aircraft missiles. The fear is that these weapons could be turned against Israeli and western aircraft.

Both Iran and Hezbollah are doing their best to keep the tottering Assad regime in power. They know that a hostile, Sunni-dominated government in Damascus would make life difficult for both of them. Increasingly, the secular Syrian resistance is being sidelined by extremist forces.

The real danger is that Syria will fragment along sectarian and ethnic lines. This would cause chaos in the region, with the spill-over being specially lethal for Lebanon, a country delicately poised over several religious and sectarian fault-lines. Although the great sectarian divide is now playing out in the geopolitical arena, violence between Shias and Sunnis is becoming increasingly bloody in countries like Pakistan. In the subcontinent, the two communities have lived peacefully side by side for centuries. Even though there were occasional clashes at Ashura, there was little of the organised killings that are taking place with sickening regularity in Pakistan today.

As a child growing up in Karachi, I recall being taken by my mother to majalis at the homes of Shia neighbours. I was happy to go and gobble up the snacks on offer. At school, we simply did not know who was Sunni and who was Shia. It just did not matter. Similarly, Christian and Parsi friends would come and go all the time.

Sadly, grown-ups can’t seem to learn the lessons children absorb automatically if they are not brainwashed: the beliefs others hold are none of our business if they don’t affect us. This is something many in the West have internalised as they have put sectarian conflict behind them. Unless we can do the same, we are destined to tear our societies apart over tiny doctrinal differences.

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (97) Closed

umesh bhagwat Mar 05, 2013 02:06am
in my opinion,it is politics and not religion which is pitting brother against brother!
Naseer Mar 05, 2013 01:18am
@ Fuzail - Agree 100%. Shias and sunnis are mourning together. It is some extremists / terrorists who do these kind of things.
SKChadha Mar 05, 2013 01:34am
Probably ..... forgotten the true meaning of universal brotherhood .... ?
Akil Akhtar Mar 04, 2013 11:39pm
Every muslim country that US has interests in controlling or changing govt in the last ten years is now suffering shia sunni divide and violence even where it did not exist before, be it Libya, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan....Wonder why? but divide and rule policy of the Anglo Saxons comes to mind....
Ahmed j Mar 05, 2013 06:58pm
I don't know why this surah Imran (3:151) is quoted here. The revelation time was when muslims were defeated in the Battle of Uhad. You should have explained in what context this verse is used here. There is a meaning and reason for the surah and addresses a particular community at that time. The problem with us Muslims is that verses are quoted in parts, only where it suits our ideas without knowing the full real reason and background. Please even now you can explain with what meaning you have taken the verse.
Ahmed Mar 04, 2013 11:44pm
You certainly dont believe in even the slightest of intelligence.
IndiaUSA Mar 04, 2013 11:47pm
Pakistan should elect Sir Rehman Malik as next Prime Minister...that will solve all it's problems.
Ahmed Mar 04, 2013 11:50pm
God can take care of Himself. Worry about the mischief done in Pakistan by "pious men" who think killing innocent people will get them a place in heaven.
Affaf Zahid Mar 05, 2013 12:43am
Your ignorance saddens me to no extent. 'tis a shame.
Leo Mar 04, 2013 09:51am
Religion is the worst thing invented by man; for spirituality needs no book or religion!
Ahmed Mar 04, 2013 11:47pm
shia-sunni is about power too. there is no theological difference between the two sects.
Waqas Mar 04, 2013 10:41pm
True, there is no evidence to suggest that God exists. However, if he does, he must be pretty sad to see how humans are hating and killing in each other in his name.
PN Mar 04, 2013 10:47pm
Yes, it's that sordid peace after mayhem.
PN Mar 04, 2013 10:43pm
Your concept seems weird. Are you implying that the sectarian Islamic wars, non-stop, since the 7th century, as the author so rightly states, were the product of perpetual hunger? What a load of rubbish!
Sohrab Mar 04, 2013 11:00pm
A country created in the name of religion is doomed from the word go. Unfortunately until we throw the two nation theory in the Arabian sea as we did not sink it in the bay of Bengal (how as kids we hated this statement by Indira Gandhi on the partition of Pakistan), nothing will improve. Unfortunately the wrongs of history have to be righted by its own people. Being a minority we were told by our parents not to discuss Islam and Kashmir growing up in Pakistan. I think that was not correct either. If nobody is going to speak up, this is the hell the rest will be doomed to live in. I lost a dear Shia friend and his son in Lahore, just because they were Shia. I refuse to stand by and not let my feelings known. Let us learn from history and put a lid to religion in the business of the state, as was suggested by Jinnah.
Waqas Mar 04, 2013 10:35pm
Its important to keep an eye (and to help the neighbor) if his house is burning, lest the fire might spread to my house.
Bakhtawer BIlal Mar 04, 2013 01:31pm
May be true, but certainly painful to read the comment. I consider myself news junky. Yet, hardly find time for newspaper of the place I live or was grown up, that is Pakistan. I am so curious, people find so much time and dedication to come over the neighbors paper with this regularity. Well if you do live in Pakistan, you have all the right to write and I will take my comments back.
P Mar 04, 2013 10:27pm
This is a response to Ranjit, Kumar and all other indians who now have a negative view of PAK. IF history serves these guys anything, Pak didn't have violence and killing problem 10 years ago. This instability is coming from Failed adventure of American led war in Afghanistan. Indian politician think that they've greater role to play in afghanistan and now they're gettnig dictation from Washington and some meddling in the internal situation in Pak too. They're dumb not to have improved relation with PAK and try to help each other acheive stability and economic vitalitly for their people. So America is winning by continually creating animosity between two nations. India certainly has become economic power in the region. However; if she wants to become World power, it'll need to reassess it's politics and first thing comes to mind is how we can acheive peace in the region and develop our people regardless of their faith because IF Pak is going through rough time, India too can have similar issues in the future. Just like in the past, Sikh's wanted their own state and Tamil Nadu conflict.
Jim Mar 05, 2013 07:19pm
If you call for secularism then you agree that the country's name shouldn't be "The Islamic Republic of Pakistan" or "The Islamic Republic of Iran" etc. but just Republic of Pakistan?
khatun Mar 04, 2013 09:28pm
Whenever a muslim iskilled in India, all mullahs are up in arms. When hundreds die in Pakistan, nobody bats an eyelid. Hypocrites of the highest order.
sana husain Mar 04, 2013 08:56pm
sunnis ar e just as sympathetic about whats happening as shias are about felllow shias being killed. this is the doing of militant groups who have no faith. while i agree they have differences they dont believe in killing each other. i request the author to not mislead the readers with this shia sunni rhetoric. all the sunnis i know condemn the attacks on shias.
Arun Mar 04, 2013 07:03pm
Bilal... I find it intiguing, Did the killing part pain you or the matter of neighbour made a comment in your national newspaper pained you ? Enlighten please...
Harinder Mar 04, 2013 07:46pm
Muslims need to learn the art of "TOLERANCE"
Vittal Pyati Mar 04, 2013 07:33pm
Karl Marx seem to have said, "Religion is opiate of humanity". How true..If the suicide bombers had been a Hindu or a Christian instead of Sunni blowing up Shiaa assembled in their mosque, the entire Muslim world would have blamed the West or India.
Razzaq Mar 04, 2013 07:30pm
Religion is opium of masses. This has been proved right in the case of Pakistan.
Latif Khan Mar 04, 2013 07:11am
The rule of the game shall be in Pakistan to live together and keep your religion to yourselves. One shall be free to go to his/her place of worship without fears and restrictions.Let Allah will decide one's faith and beliefs at the Day of Judgement. Whole Muslim Umma has not produced a single Alam with divine wisdom to resolve Muslims' differences. Therefore we have to wait for Allah's justice.
Fuzail Z. Ahmad Mar 05, 2013 12:58pm
Whats wrong with you BRR? Be a sport, dude.
Vijay Mar 04, 2013 01:30pm
Beautifully said!
Raj Mar 04, 2013 06:42pm
To add if somebody kills you don't blame that as you deserve that.
Shubs Mar 05, 2013 03:42pm
But of course...!
Shubs Mar 05, 2013 03:36pm
abbastoronto, you would do yourself some good if you would leave your alternate universe and step into the real world. In the land of "Venerable Mao", the Chinese are hurtling towards western civilization like nobody's business. I don't know when was the last time you visited China, but I'm here now, in the middle of one of their giant, bustling cities. And all one can see around is the unending race to be more American than the Americans, more European than the Europeans themselves, not only in terms of material trappings, but lifestyle, culture, food, clothes, consumerism. And you know what, they have got it right. Because at heart, they are still Chinese. They may be nationalistic, but their lives are not driven by some dogmatic interpretation of some ancient book. They know how to take the best of both worlds. They know that it is a global world. The only one still dreaming about a "clash of civilizations", my friend, is you.
rahim Mar 04, 2013 05:51pm
This is how you doom yourself, family, neighbors and our country with hatred born out of ignorance. May peace be with you
Akram Mar 04, 2013 05:44pm
The roots of the Shia Sunni conflict can also be traced to political power struggle bewteen the descendants of the Holy Prophet. Its always about political power, seldom anything else.
Rajeev Mar 05, 2013 01:21pm
How can you teach secularism to the people of a country formed on the basis of religious prejudice.
KKRoberts Mar 04, 2013 04:10pm
"FOR two sects united by their belief in one Maker, one Book and one Prophet, the amount of blood spilt in the name of their respective faiths by Shias and Sunnis is truly staggering." Why there isn't a student movement against this division in the islamic world ? Why young people in Islamic world is so dull and lethargic when it comes to religion?Hopeful or Hopeless ??
ZS Mar 04, 2013 05:42pm
Not very recently but some years ago Lucknow did see sectarian clashes, though not of this scale as you point out. For the rest, plenty of 'conservative' Muslims go to Parsi and Christian schools in Pakistan as well where they are welcomed with open arms.
pk surendran Mar 04, 2013 05:43pm
intolerence has unwittingly become hallmark of Islam. you must admit it. One reason for this sort of conflict is the systemetic removal of non-islamic faith which proves a buffer. stop madrassa and start modern education is the remedy. teach children that if there were different gods for human beings the fundmantal pricinples would not have been same. It's one creator and once science for all. stop bloodshedding in the name of creator
abbastoronto Mar 04, 2013 05:27pm
Brother do not fight. Irfan Hussain has spent too much time in the West to have adopted their prejudices. Here, they speak of the "Clash of Civilizations" while in any sensible mind the civilized do not clash, but cooperate. Venerable Mao, when asked about civilization in the West deadpanned - "It will be a good idea". Mr Hussain is talking about "Western" brotherhood I suppose.
Rajeev Mar 05, 2013 01:27pm
The name you are using is that of a radical muslim politician from Hyderabad which shows that you are an Indian enjoying "pouring ghee on the fire". Grow up man!
RFAK Mar 04, 2013 05:37pm
Hindu religion/culture of peaceful co-existence had a moderating affect on all religions in India.
fitnfun007 Mar 04, 2013 04:33pm
Very well put. Have been to Bukhara and other cities. The soviets really did a lot of development there. You had the first ballerina (Local girl) in Tashkent within 16 years of the Russians taking over. This was remarkable considering how economically backward and conservative the society was, specially when it came to women.
Diz Mar 04, 2013 02:15pm
I pray to allah....for your hidayat.
Agha Ata (USA) Mar 04, 2013 02:18pm
Secularism is the answer, ONLY, if mullahs let it be understood by the masses. It is not a case of Secularism and religions, it is a case of Secularism, and mullahs. They lose their power when we have secularism as our guide. I very sincerely hope generalists start educating people what Secularism is. It is not against any religion. It is not even against mullahs, it is mullahs who are against it. Trust me. I hope generalists take up the issue now. It is too late, already.
P N Eswaran Mar 04, 2013 02:21pm
That is possible because the Muslims are living in the overall matrix of Hindus not that they are made of different material.
Kanwaljeet Mar 04, 2013 07:32am
Muslims deserves it. Let them fight and perish. Otherwise they will continue to wage meaningless jehads against other religion.
p r sharma Mar 04, 2013 04:06pm
Mr. Bilal though your comment is meant for Mr. Kanwaljeet but i felt the urge to put my views as under . The moment a news paper/ information surfaces on the internet it becomes global and not limited to a country it originated . I hope you understand it. Incidentally don't you think that your comment displays intolerance with imprudent reasoning (your logic that someone who is residing in Pakistan only has/ should have the right to comment or probably because it is not related to you / your faith.) But you will appreciate that any incident happening in your neighborhood does effect you .and it does not remain a close door activity.
Akbar ud-din Owaisi Mar 04, 2013 11:09am
Shias and Sunnis are different sects and must fight for what they believe is right. If we cannot fight for what we believe in, what kind of people are we? There is only one God- Allah, and anyone else who believes otherwise must be slaughtered. All this west-inspired english media can cry until the doomsday when Allah will descend to punish these kafirs.
Allaisa Mar 04, 2013 04:05pm
It does not matter where one lives to comment on what is happening in Pakistan. People like me who live in US have certain interests in the happenings in Pakistan. When my company's executives want to travel to India or Pakistan (where we have certain business interests) their first question is 'Will we come back in one piece?' And the Indians have a right to know too because when your neighbor's house is on fire you will be affected too.
Allaisa Mar 04, 2013 04:00pm
You are right, But just not Allah. Allah along with his brothers/sisters (the Buddha, Vishnu, Jesus and many others) will descend on this world and destroy it. It many not happen now but surely will happen.
BRR Mar 04, 2013 03:40pm
Promoting a false narrative is called propaganda.
malik Mar 04, 2013 06:36am
Whoever is spilling this blood cannot be our brother.
Muslim Mar 05, 2013 02:00pm
We surely should defend for our faith and religion. But defending never means slaughtering and killing innocents. If you think your religion or believe is right educate the people around you by words not by guns. Holy Prophet(pbuh) educated people about Islam. He never picked up a sword against any disbeliever though he faced extreme opposition and persecution. But he forgave all of his enemies and prayed for them. This is what Islam is. Islam is the religion of peace where even the rights of animals are respected. May Allah guides you to the right path Ameen.
Sue Sturgess Mar 04, 2013 06:25am
The christian / protestant wars were not about religion, but political power.
BRR Mar 04, 2013 03:46pm
And kill each other waiting for that to happen?
gee Mar 04, 2013 06:08am
Sir it?s funny you missed naming India?s Muslim sects which are getting along with one another so well.
Cyrus Howell Mar 04, 2013 10:33am
"The history of the world is a history of the brutal struggle of races to exist." Adolph Hitler
Fuzail Z. Ahmad Mar 04, 2013 08:33am
Brothers are not at war, Mr. Irfan Hussain. Brothers are mourning together.
Hassan wazir Mar 04, 2013 05:59am
government Of Pakistan and our both religious scholar Sunni and shias are not playing their role ,,,
Mansoor Mar 04, 2013 05:46am
Religion is a personal matter and it is nobody's business to tell one to the other that they are wrong as long their practice does not cause no harm to the other group. Unless we learn from the West this concept of religion, we will stay mired up in this foolish and deadly conflict of medieval mentality. Alas this conflict has taken a new dimension with Saudi Arabia and Iran leading the fight as representative of Sunni and Shias communities. Mansoor Khan USA
dudenator Mar 04, 2013 08:38am
The author is talking about how in school he didn't know who was Sunni or who was Shia. In Bombay when I was in school, we didn't know who was Hindu or Muslim, Christian, Parsi or any other religion. We were all Indians and brothers in arms. And similarly my daughter doesn't know who is Hindu or Muslim.
RealReligion Mar 04, 2013 05:43am
What a timing! More than 47 people have died in bomb blasts in Shia neighborhood. Islamic leaders/intellectuals need to emphasize that first step of religion is humanity. If you can?t even follow that and treat other humans with respect and dignity then there is no use of any religion to you. Religion helps humans to advance to the higher levels of spirituality. But if you can?t follow humanity, then you are worst than animals (as they don?t attack others without reason) and hence religion is not for you. First become a human being and then follow religion of your choice.
MKB Mar 04, 2013 03:52pm
Mr.Jatar, India is also not free from shia -suni feuds. It may be not that serious as it is in Pakistan. There were regular fight between shia and sunk in lacknow. Particularly in the time of muharm. In my office there are 4 Muslims,3 sunni and one shia. And they do not talk each other. It is very surprising that this phenomenon of different sects in same religion is persists in all other religion , but they do not kill each other.
Awais Khan Mar 04, 2013 01:01pm
Kill a human is not acceptable. But don't tell us heavens exists or not. If no one reported back from Heaven then no one also reported back from Hell. And according to your theory existance of God can be rejected as we haven't seen but we believe.
BRR Mar 04, 2013 03:49pm
You can also believe in green people on a distant solar system - which can neither be denied nor confirmed, and therefore according to you, ok to believe in.
MKB Mar 04, 2013 09:36am
Mr. Chawla, nobody born even as Hindu & Muslms.these are all after schock to the new born.
B R Chawla Mar 04, 2013 03:59am
Ask the Shias or Sunnies were they Shias or Sunnies at Birth. They were indeed made like what they think themselves by programming. If it is so why fight for super imposed faiths. Use the prudence that both have the same God. Leave the book or the Prophet behind. They have ruined the human race in all religions by promising heavens that no body has seen or reported back. There is nothing like that. Why fight for notional things. Chawla
Fazil K. Mar 04, 2013 03:02pm
Mahatma Gandhi said: "Whoever thinks religion is not about politics, does not know anything about religions."
Ranjit Jatar Mar 04, 2013 12:44pm
I am from India . In my company, my personal driver is someone named Taufik. I have a servant named Shaheen. Both do not know whether they are Shia or Sunni. And they are loyal, punctual and very nice people. And then my business partner is Huzefa Bala who knows he is a Shia. I have never heard of a Shia-Sunni fight in India in recent times. I am wondering --why would a Pakistan formed to ensure protection to Muslims have so much Shia-Sunni tension when India has none with 150 million muslims living here? Can someone educate me? Incidentally, Huzefas daughter Omama has just today got selected after a rigourous test in a Zoroastrian (Parsi) school in Mumbai which is 150 years old and very prestigious. And I know from experience that Huzefa is a devout Muslim but still wanted his daughter in this school since it is convenient from his house. The Principal it seems told Huzefa that she would love it if he can educate their other students who are mostly Parsis, on Islam -- and he , being a trainer by profession, is going to take a session or two. . So I am really perplexed as to why all the Hazaras, Shias etc keep getting killed in Pakistan. My heart bleeds for so many innocents. .
Desi Mar 04, 2013 08:27am
come on .....why try to use your head.... just blame on the west or conspiracy theory of USA,INDIA and Jewish State against the land and people of pure nation ?????
Ram Krishan Sharma Mar 04, 2013 08:52am
It is very unfortunate that so many innocent people have been killed . The cause of this problem is very old and only God knows which sect of Islam or which religion is following Him correctly . Does it really matter which way or direction ( East or West) you worship God?
Kumar Mar 04, 2013 12:33pm
Writer should have given example of India where there are many variation of Hinduism along with Jainism and Buddhism, but never a violence on philosophy until Islam was established in India.
Romika Mar 04, 2013 11:59am
"I am not qualified to go into the rights and wrongs of this old conflict." My friend, you're as qualified as anybody else in the world to go into this conflict. That is what your country needs to learn.
haroon omar Mar 04, 2013 12:32pm
Brothers at war or the face of abject poverty. A hungary man is an angry man. What we see today is an old battle for the equitable distribution of resources coupled with ignorance.
Fazil K. Mar 04, 2013 02:58pm
You are right. The followers of all other religions have largely internalized tolerance for other religions, except Muslims.
andy Mar 04, 2013 03:30pm
There is no god, and no one is anyone's prophet. Now go home, and turn off the light.
anonymous Mar 04, 2013 08:09am
If muslims cannot live in peace with each other, there is no point thinking that they would live in peace with other religions. Ironically, all muslims call Islam to be the religion of peace.
Fuzail Z. Ahmad Mar 04, 2013 08:00am
While this is a great article, I disagree with the author when he alludes to shia-sunni rift behind the turmoils in Libya, Iraq, Bahrain, KSA, Syria and now Pakistan. To me, a great majority of Shias and Sunnis know that while there may be irreconcilable differences between these two sects, they still want to live peacefully with each other. In Syria, Iraq, KSA, etc. the minorities only want their rights to be protected and their grudges are not against the government dominated sect. Maybe it was the same case centuries ago in the Muslim governed areas. We need to protect and strengthen this narrative that sunnis and shias want to live with each other peacefully. In Pakistan, LJ and their supporting groups are trying to ignite shia-sunni civil war, but as everybody can see, it is not working. The sunnis must show their shia brothern in Pakistan that we are every bit with them in these harrowing times.
Sajjad Khan Mar 04, 2013 07:56am
This is not a religious war , but a war between have and have noit , between educated elite and the masses left to look after their own plight. As far as Pakistan is concerned this government has done nothing either to prevent such attacks aginst the Shias, bring the culprits of bombing terror to justice or hold those accountable preaching hatred from the loudspeakers of mosques built at every corner, as if that is the only place to get a ticket to heavens, later on. This situation is comparable to pre -Soviet era in Bokhara where there were hardly any schools, but about two thousand mosques and religious seminaries, which were removed by the communists. This does not happen in India notably, that counzry has functioning policing and judicial system. Literacy is the key to ending sectarian violence anywhere, as we see in Europe today, where religion hardly plays any role in everyday life.
BRR Mar 04, 2013 03:38pm
May your tribe increase for the good of the rest of mankind.
Ajaya K Dutt Mar 05, 2013 02:36am
I do not believe in God, whatever kind. If somebody believes, as Mr Akbar ud-din Owaisi said in his comments today, that I should be slaughtered then I know where the evil is. I am not blaming Mr Owaisi, or millions other like him. I curse the root cause. When I sit in meditation, to cope with my own trials and tribulations, I see all those, who perceive me evil because I do not believe in their brand of God; are truly evil.
AHA Mar 05, 2013 02:43am
Quran (3:151) - "Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority."
AHA Mar 05, 2013 02:48am
Excellent comment. Hats off.
AHA Mar 05, 2013 02:54am
Our existence is the proof that God exists. There is no proof for anything else. It is just your belief versus mine.
sam Mar 05, 2013 02:59am
Why there are no Shia mosques allowed in Saudi Arabia ? Knowledgeable people please write more details.
Raj Mar 05, 2013 02:59am
Um! What a pearl of wisdom!
NASAH (USA) Mar 05, 2013 04:30pm
What is a "Shia mosque"?
Shruti Mar 05, 2013 04:06am
That's not true. These people are not killing out of poverty (though I don't see why poor people would murder others). They are killing because they are intolerant. And that is just downright horrible!!
ronak Mar 05, 2013 04:46am
muslims killing muslims, way to go man.
AKN Mar 05, 2013 05:42pm
One should not allow themselves to be DIVIDED and RULED.
excalibur Mar 05, 2013 05:24pm
I Challenge any fair minded Muslim to hear what Javed Ahmad Ghamidi has to say on the issue of Shia/Sunni in response to a Shia Alims claims incorrectly citing the Quran. Make an honest judgement and see for yourself what is the truth of the matter
Leo Mar 05, 2013 07:14am
More harm is done by not raising your voice where it is actually required. Very good point!
Kafir Jahaz Mar 05, 2013 09:56am
Dude! Shame on you.
K.Rashid Mar 05, 2013 09:59pm
Yes, and God created all men equal. God does not ask for man to kill his fellow human beings- rather to serve each other with humility and kindness irrespective of race, religion and color. If we do not or cannot understand this, then shame on us. At least I hang my head in shame and despair. May God show us the straight path.
Parvez Mar 05, 2013 12:03pm
Religion by itself is a good thing. The misuse of religion for political, personal and criminal reasons is decidedly not a good thing.............everyone knows this but no one implements it and the blame falls on religion or politics where as the blame lies solidly on human failings.
AHA Mar 05, 2013 07:38pm
With your line of reasoning, we will never be able to address our problems. The problems lies with us and within us, squarely.
AHA Mar 05, 2013 07:41pm
Intolerance is the only thing we have been preaching for the last as many years a I can remember. And now we are being rewarded for our hard work.
Sonu Mar 05, 2013 09:38pm
Stop blaming others. No wonder you guys are regressing !!!