View Full Version : Sunni-Sunni conflict too comes to surface

09 May 06,, 20:00
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SECOND OPINION: Sunni-Sunni conflict too comes to surface — Khaled Ahmed’s TV Review

The Sunni-Sunni war in Bara was finally put down with 8,000 troops. But it was followed by the great Eid Milad un Nabi massacre of Karachi. The sectarian war is here to stay because the state is based on religion and religion is sectarian

Pakistan has a meta-history and that is its sectarian war. Most Pakistanis are in denial and the rest fly into a defensive rage after realising that they did not have a clue about this secret war. It is more convenient to transfer the responsibility for violence to India and also the United States. We have come to accept the reality of Shia-Sunni conflict but the Sunni-Sunni war is something new.

GEO (March 28, 2006) Kamran Khan talked to a reporter in Peshawar about incidents in the Khyber Agency. The violence anticipated in the Khyber Agency for the last year and a half had broken out into a war. Two armies clashed and left 24 dead behind in Bara, while the federal government, who looks after the area, practically looked on to see which brand of Islam wins in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Supporters of one faction have been attacking the supporters of their rival and simply putting everything to sack and killing anyone who resists. Both the armies were led by ‘outsiders’, one from Afghanistan and the other from sectarian Hangu in the NWFP with an unsavoury reputation for savagery. Several Afghans too were killed in the latest upsurge of fighting. There was much hostage-taking in the true Taliban fashion, too.

The two men at the heart of the problem were Pir Saif ur Rehman — who arrived in the area some time ago to set up his ‘mystical’ order among the predominantly Deobandi local population — and Mufti Munir Shakir, a tough Deobandi who hates the Shias and has raised hell in Hangu before he was made to flee from there. Some people say the war in Bara is a Deobandi-Barelvi war. Even if the two orders are not directly involved, it is clearly a conflict between two ways of approaching Islam. That Peshawar and Islamabad took so long in grasping this fact is quite shocking. What did the government do when Mufti Shakir set up his own FM radio and organised his Lashkar-e-Islami? What did the government do when ‘foreigner’ Pir Saif ur Rehman began converting the local population and started becoming rich with the gold ornaments that the believing women of Bara gave to him in return for his “miracles”? Bara got divided between the two warring men of God. They set up their opposed jurisdictions in the area. Mufti Naeem was pursuing a system of punishments on the order of the Taliban under the doctrine of amr and nahi and enjoyed the support of the majority of the local people. The war was finally put down with 8,000 troops but the problem remains unresolved throughout Pakistan. It was followed by the great Edi Milad un Nabi massacre of Karachi. The sectarian war is here to stay because the state is based on religion and the religion is sectarian.

GEO (March 23, 2006) Hamid Mir talked to Justice (r) Javid Iqbal, journalist Nazir Naji, singer Ibrar ul Haq, PPP leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi and MMA leader Farid Paracha on the occasion of Pakistan Day. One questioner asked if religion was not exploited for depriving women of their rights. Justice Javid Iqbal diverted this to the political career of Fatima Jinnah and agreed that if she had won against Ayub Khan Pakistan’s history would have been radically different. Naji said if the people of Pakistan didn’t get to make the important decisions the Muslim League would be helpless to lead the country. Ibrar ul Haq said that he had found the current rule good for his work, which was charity worth Rs 350 million. Farid Paracha said the Prophet (peace be upon him) had founded the state that the Muslims wanted and that Jinnah wanted that kind of state for the Muslims of India. Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that popular institutions had been undermined in the last 58 years. Ibrar said he sang but he also said his namaz. One girl asked if the people could not avoid depression through namaz without music. The audience at this point raised hands to decide overwhelmingly that Pakistan in 2006 had no democracy. The audience said that Jinnah wanted an Islamic state. Naji told the story of how Jinnah was asked if he was going to create a theological state in which non-Muslims would be second-class citizens. Jinnah was greatly put off by the question and said that the questioner had not even understood his political struggle. Farid Paracha at once quoted Jinnah to prove that he indeed wanted shariah. Javid Iqbal said Jinnah wanted a modern Islamic state and not the traditional Islamic state.

Pakistan is like Rumi’s elephant. Everyone has his own diagnosis and is not willing to arrive at a broad, collective understanding even after 60 years. Farid Paracha voiced the cleric’s recruitment of Jinnah into orthodoxy, the PPP leader thought he could reiterate the ARD view of Musharraf, while the common citizen revealed his confusion about what culture meant under religion. Nazir Naji quoted something that negated Paracha. No one realised that the discussion was reductio ad absurdum. Everyone walked away with nothing.

GEO (March 27, 2006) Kamran Khan asked Mufti Munib ur Rehman how would a truly Islamic state treat a Muslim who had abandoned Islam and embraced another religion. Munib ur Rehman replied that such a person would be given death sentence. He said Islam used no coercion in religious matters but it meant that there was no compulsion to embrace Islam, but there was no freedom to exit Islam. Such a man would be murtad and be given death unless he did tauba. A woman did not have to be killed she would be allowed to die in jail.

If you want to judge our extremely imitative orthodoxy go and meet our permanently gloomy-looking Mufti Munib ur Rehman. If he ever came to power he will spread his despotism around because of his narrow steel-trap mind. But there is consolation. Last time he sighted the moon as chairman of our moon-sighting committee he was roughed up by Deobandis. The mosque he built in Karachi was grabbed by Deobandis and he was nearly killed by them on Eid Milad. *

I wonder what Saptrtgen would say of this!

This has happened in the area of the Pushtuns!

09 May 06,, 22:35
Nice article
Hindu-Sunni riots in India , they blame it on hindus
Shia-Sunni riots in Pakistan, they blame it on americans