Shia killing: If we tolerate this, our children will be next

Published: February 1, 2012

It does not matter that I do not belong to the Shia sect; it does not matter that I may not agree with many of the ideologies that Dr Mohsin had. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Last week, I heard the news of the targeted sectarian killing of Jaffer Mohsin. The name didn’t ring a bell at the time, but later that day, when a friend told me that a fellow schoolmate’s father had been shot dead, it jogged my memory. I then realised that doctor Jaffer Mohsin was our friend’s father. That’s when the memories came flooding back.

Back when I used to live near my school building, Dr Mohsin’s family lived in the lane next to mine. Like regular Pakistani youths who bond over a common love for cricket, his sons and I played the sport we loved in our neighbourhood. They were good cricketers, and the younger son was jovially termed “mirchi” because of his short height and amazing leg break bowling.

Although I didn’t interact much with Dr Mohsin, two incidents are still as fresh in my memory as if they happened yesterday

One day, when we were en route to school, we saw him pushing his car on the road by himself. As kids, we loved to go to school on foot, so when we saw him struggling with the car, we stopped and pushed it with all our might. In the third attempt, the car started and despite the fact that he was in a hurry, he dropped us home.

Another time, when I went out to the neighbourhood shop at the end of our lane to buy bread, I ran into Dr Mohsin. I remember that he was laughing uncontrollably. Then I heard him crack a joke about a comment made about Shias being “bed bugs” and Sunnis being “mosquitoes”:

Aray Khurshid bhai, machhar ho ya khatmal, donon he khoon choostay hain!”

“Oh Khurshid bhai, bed bugs and mosquitoes are the same – they both suck blood!”

Dr Mohsin’s take on the matter reflected his cool-mindedness – he was not one to react aggressively at the mention of anything that is even remotely sectarian.

These memories may be vague, but from the little I knew of him, he was a composed and moderate man.

It’s been almost 13 years since I left that neighbourhood, but Dr Mohsin stayed there – and was shot right in front of his house while reading a newspaper.

Who can justify the killing of any human being?

It does not matter that I do not belong to the Shia sect; it does not matter that I may not agree with many of the ideologies that Dr Mohsin had; it does not matter that he is not my relative or even my neighbour anymore.

What matters is that he was a Pakistani, a Muslim – as Muslim as we all think we are.

Despite the sectarian debate that this might attract, I felt the need to write about Dr Mohsin because of the association that supersedes any difference of sect – it does not matter what sect he belonged to, what matters is that he was a human being.

I am dejected. I am helpless. I am ashamed that I cannot do anything to stop this.

Absar ul Hasan

Absar Ul Hasan

An engineering graduate who works in the telecommunication industry. He tweets @intrepidparadox and blogs at

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Sana Iqbal

    First Ahmedis, then Shias. Here’s my message to all those who consider themselves among the ‘saved ones.’ One of you are going to be the next target. The thirst to hunt for a ‘Kafir’s Blood’ is never going to quench. After every declared and eliminated Kafir, they will look for a new Kafir and who knows it might be one of us. Its our choice whether we want to show solidarity with each other above our religious differences, or remain silent spectators to someone’s tragedy until its our own turn.
    Peace! Recommend

  • abdul jabbar

    both the sunnis and the shias have militant groups killing the ppl of each other’s sects.lawyers and doctors of both sects have been killed by’s incorrect to present it as a one sided onslaught.banned groups like sipah muhammad and sipah sahaba exist on both sides.Recommend

  • Anthony Permal

    I’m sorry but it doesn’t matter that he was a Muslim or a Pakistani or ‘as Muslim as we all are’. It simply matters that he was human.

    That is all that ever matters. Any label of any kind, and we automatically build the walls around us.Recommend

  • bilal siddiqui

    What about the hate and bigotry targetted against atheists,agnostics? all the different sects combine together to spew hate towards atheists,why is that tolerated? why does hate against atheists get no condemnation but hate against different sects has everyone up in arms? why these double standards?Recommend

  • antony

    With this sectarian violence and threat to life for minorities ,pakistanis have the gall to talk about India about issues in orissa and in gujrat (2002) . No sane christian will have trouble in choosing between Hindus vs muslim on who is more tolerant. Recommend

  • Danali Dahraj

    Life is sacred, does not matter what religion, sect, ethnicity or gender it is; If the blogger believes so, and says it does not matter, the then title should have reflected that too.Recommend

  • Shane Hussain Naqvi

    I think he meant it sarcastically. his point is same as yours. Like he said earlier “Who can justify the killing of any human being?”. Nothing justifies killing another human being.Recommend

  • Kafka

    Indeed, we should not tolerate the killing of anybody, for any reason. Killing of professionals is not only a crime against that particular sect but also against the whole nation. I am sure that this good doctor did not only serve the Shias but sunnies and others too. Being a puritan suni, I disassociate myself from all of such killings. Recommend

  • Sana Durvesh

    I agree with Danali.Why do we even talk about shia was killed or sunni?Dont we all know it is not about that.Recommend

  • Danali Dahraj

    @Shane Hussain Naqvi: Nothing justifies killing an ‘innocent’ human being.Recommend

  • Aamir

    Get to the root cause..

    Hate preaching in all sects and religions is reaching to its extreme. These paid clerics brainwash even educated onese to legalize killing of opponents. First we need to eliminate these businessmen who are earning well on our blood be it Shia or Sunni or otherwise.

    Unless we get rid of these culprits, we will keep on killing each other. Divide and rule is their policy, and their bread and butter. Wake up and open your eyes, there is enough in Quran to convince a Muslim. Whoever is directly violating Quran cannot be a true cleric.

    If we want to save our next generation, we need to get rid or hide all those man made material meant for fueling hate among muslims.Recommend

  • Tribune Reader

    I agree with what Sana Iqbal above has said, our bloodthirst for assigning blame and finding excuses for hatered will never end, we can already see a chain developing, first Ahmedis, then shias, the next will be the non religious Pakistani’s, we the latter already live in the shadow and fear of being labeled Kafirs.Recommend

  • sars

    Ask not for whom the bell tolls for ; it tolls for thee.

    The untimely death of anyone should be an outrage for us all. He was a fellow human, ,pakistani , father, brother, son, neighbour , friend, employee . We all probably have a lot in common with him on all levels. Religion and sect come much behind these basics.

    I hope doctor sahib rests in peace and his family are granted sabr.Recommend

  • Bee

    So how to play our role? Do u think that these peaceful marches and protests would stop these killings?Recommend

  • Multan

    Insha’Allah, Soon these (So-called) Ulema belongs to a specific sect will be shown their end by Allah, May Allah curse those, who goes hard on innocent humanity, Halaako Khan of Pakistan!!!Recommend

  • Abbas, ZA

    Sorry Absar,
    Your country has been tolerating this for looong time!!!!
    What makes you think that if muslims cannot live with hindus and christians, THAT they can live peacefully among themselves? That destiny is already written. Just prepare for it. Is it not hypocrisy to teach kids that WE MUSLIMS on every useless aspect and vilify other religions. Naturally these kids grow up and identify their “version” of religion as the best.
    Now you ask about what can be done with Shias as if it was ok with what was done with Ahmadis, Hindus and Christians. Shame!Recommend

  • MMK

    Yesterday and even today killing of innocent people was continued in Karachi. Now why such killings are not being termed as sectarian??? why there is not a headline ” three sunni muslims killed in karachi” ?? Recommend

  • Danali Dahraj

    ALLAH (SWT) in The Holy Qu’ran (30:31-32) forbids Muslims to divide into sects.Recommend

  • Saima

    I love the line …..a Muslim – as Muslim as we all think we are…. because normally ppl can actually bet their life on shias being kafir!!Recommend

  • Sana Iqbal


    Don’t worry dear. Lets first get rid of the Shias. In few years you will also find headlines that will read ‘Five barailvi muslims killed’, ‘Three deobandi muslims killed’, ‘Seven wahabi muslims’, ‘Four salafi muslims killed.’ But for that day to come, first we need to get rid of all other ‘species of muslims’ (read: Kafirs). Cheers!Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli

    Why no one want to mention the names of recent killed in old city our problem is we condenm
    pakistan Madrassahs but dont wanna say any thing about our pakistanis goes to Qum iran for
    Education and come back with more hate..Recommend

  • aq

    Shias leaders supported muslim extremist in 1974 to declare ahmadis as non muslims and now paying the price. The only solution to this crisis is to follow dictates of Quaid Azam in August 11 speech to the contituent assembly and make pakistan secular.Recommend

  • narayana murthy

    “Dr Mohsin’s take on the matter reflected his cool-mindedness – he was not one to react aggressively at the mention of anything that is even remotely sectarian.”

    Author, are you kidding me? Do you think the minorities in Pakistan have a right to even object, let alone react aggressively?!!! He would have been killed the same day, had he reacted aggressively.

    People like you should read Taslima Nasreen’s Lajja. It will be like looking at your faces in a mirror for the first time in your lives!!!Recommend

  • Milestogo

    Disbelievers are a problem, be of any kind.Recommend

  • Johnny

    Close all madrasas, ban all religious preaching in public places and schools and kick out all mullahs and then wait 5-10 years and enjoy the results of a peaceful society.Recommend

  • Johnny

    @Danali Dahraj:
    Who cares what is written in the book. This is all talk to most.Recommend

  • narayana murthy

    @aq who says “Shias leaders supported muslim extremist in 1974 to declare ahmadis as non muslims and now paying the price.”

    Now that’s a very very interesting and important point.

    All Shia muslims must answer this, before playing the victim card!!!Recommend

  • @Author – I am sure your intentions are good and humane. But you may have got this wrong – “What matters is that he was a Pakistani, a Muslim – as Muslim as we all think we are.”

    Rather what should matter first is that he was a human and deserve to coexist with all other humans irrespective of his religious/political ideology(obviously peaceful) and national affiliationRecommend

  • Parvez

    Sunni’s don’t kill Shia’s nor do Shia’s kill Sunni’s unless there is a motive. In these instances religion is being used as it is the easiest weapon and most effective. To stop this madness you have to find the political will and capacity to disable the motive. Recommend

  • Sajid

    So you say what matters is that he was a Muslim Pakistani? What if he was a Christian Afghani living in Karachi? Would his murder have been “ok”? You see, you too have a subtle bigotry hidden in your beliefs, albeit at another level and of another magnitude. The people you despise look at people in categories of Sunni, Shia etc, and you apparently look at people in categories of Muslim, Pakistani, Non-Muslim etc…..Recommend

  • http://- Abid P. Khan

    Shias leaders supported muslim extremist in 1974 to declare ahmadis as non muslims and now paying the price.

    Very very true. Political opportunism is paying off. Who was the force behind this? Some one who declared, “Thanks God Pakistan is saved” after the eastern wing the country was lost. Even after having secured a comfortable number of seats, the power hungry leader of a supposedly secular party, pushed through the bill that declared Ahmadis as non Muslims. Was he the Mufti of Garhi Khuda Bux?

    These are undeniable facts of history. Complacent politics results in, you reap as you sow. One has to find a way out of this living hell and stop being myopic. Recommend

  • Adnan

    “What matters is that he was a Pakistani, a Muslim – as Muslim as we all think we are.”

    Killing is not justifiable even if he’s not a Pakistani, a Muslim or anyone whom we know. To kill a human-being is unjustifiable. That’s all and moreover, who are us to declare who is muslim and who is not. That’s the problem which was started by declaring Ahmadi muslims as Non-muslims by our very own National Assembly. It’s a pity that no one objected to that and now the time has come that every other sect will be declared the same by the Mullahs of the other sects.Recommend

  • Hina Fan

    Discrimination based on religion, caste, race, color, creed, gender, economic strata, nepotism happens everywhere. Even inside of families you have the favorite child and the overlooked child. Sunni Muslims are not the only ones who discriminate.

    Discrimination leading to denial of opportunities, advancements etc etc are painful and unjust but you can live to fight another day / another battle or change the venue.

    Discrimination leading to ‘killing’ – that ends the game.Recommend

  • hadi

    @Sana Durvesh:
    it is about that…saying it isnt is turning a blind eye and running away…its like just saying oh that person is sick…doesnt matter if it is a common cold or cancer…and this is u think these people will be satisfied after shias or ahmedis leave pakistan? NO next they will come after boys who play cricket in their colony telling them thts haram…and women who step outside their house …they will be shot next…then it will be people who listen to music…the article is about shias being killed…because they are being killed..and so are ahmedis and baloch..i agree people in pakistan of all sects are being killed in suicide attacks..but there is a MIGHTY DIFFERENCE HERE shias, ahmedis and even baloch are being TARGETED that means there are people out there who have an agenda to kill them! open ur eyes people! this is no longer a common cold..but a cancer running through the veins of pakistan! Recommend

  • Hamid Siddiqui

    Br.Absar, I find your column very irresponsible, and serving the purpose of those so called religious flag holders or political leaders who care nothing but only to get fame, they look for a topic that can touch the hearts and try to misguide the mass, and most of them are paid radicals , and they are financed by another country, or financed by a looser who do not know the value of an independent country.
    I was born and brought up in Pakistan, I have childhood friends belonging to any and every sect and religion, having different ethnic backgrounds, we respected our elders, and values, we attended each other’s religious or social activities, we shared in good or bad.
    If anything went wrong every one condemned it with one voice, and at the same time appreciated the good deed or act without caring who has done it, as long as he/she was Pakistani.
    I wonder why we are changed so much in such a little time, it is so sad, I read your whole column, I also knew Dr.Mohsin very well, as very gentle and caring person, and I think if we come across we would be knowing each other, as I remember “Mirchi” too.
    It made me sad to see a person writing the word SHIA KILLING, the person who was also brought up on the same land, where there was never a topic like such discussed, where every elder was KHALO, KHALA,, BHAI, or BEHN, a land where everyone has a right to correct any one doing wrong, without fearing to know his cast, religion or language.
    It would have been much better and you could earn more respect if it was against the KILLING only.Recommend

  • khawaja sajjad


    sorry if i luk like a biased SHIA but i want to put few things that we are facing/thinking nowadays……First I want to mention IN BOLD THAT I M A SOCIALIST BY THOUGHT n Prefers a MULTI SECTARIAN SOCIETY….Absar and me are good friends and Dr jaffar mohsin was father of my classmate/gathering mate but it doesn’t matter …matter really is a life…a father/a brother etc….gone gone gone….

    now come to my point please tell me HOW many sects are KAFIRS by FATWA in Pakistan or in world or you can say by killing them you can earn a HAJ????? I think this is the reason for SHIA killing SORRY for being specific but this is reality 2 near 1 die in a span of 4 days in a crowded city like Karachi mean something is wrong with shia cummunity (by friends brother taseer abbas also targeted next day to Dr jaffar mohsin) ……..O’ Moulla’s/religious care takers Please stop giving heaven, hoors , jannat fot such terrorist act….sorry but this is reality….Recommend

  • Humanity

    Pandora’s box was opened in 1974 by the Sunni, Shia alliance when they banded against the Ahmadi Muslims.

    Intolerance is deadlier than a pandemic. It deprives a human of humanity. The peddlers of religion in Pakistan tainted the soul of Islam with the evil of hatred. The Sunnis and Shias jointly promoted and nurtured the ideology of intolerance and violence. They colluded to create a brain washed, blood thirsty, ever burgeoning Frankenstein that is now devouring its creators.

    Today the multitude of Sunni and Shia sects stand dagger drawn at each other’s throats. Deobandis lay claim to the Braveli mosques. Shias get massacred by the Sunnis. Christians are burned alive. Hindus are raped and converted forcibly. Women are paraded naked in the streets and killed in the name of false honor. And yet the self-righteous saviors of Islam stay perpetually bogged down with the Ahmadi issue.

    People who judge others should not be surprised when they themselves are judged. Indeed, such people are deaf, dumb and blind who practice rituals for display while they in reality murder the spirit of Islam.

    The prevalent mindset depraved of humanity seems to be beyond human intervention. The holy scripture teaches us that such a morally depraved society is either utterly destroyed or rehabilitated through divine intervention.

    May God help this unfortunate nation choose salvation and redemption through the practice of love for humanity. Just remember as you sow, so shall you reap. Recommend

  • Baqar

    @Ali Tanoli
    This means you have real problem with QOM than sectarian killings. Atleast call spade a spade, a moderate doctor gets killed coz he belonged to particular sect, condemn his killing rather than divulging in unrelated debate. What you are saying is subjective and based on heresay and stereotypes.

    @narayana murthy
    You have not been appointed judge by ET so please dont act like one. You wont be the one whom shias answer. Ponder over India’s problems rather than taking interest in Pakistan. Period.Recommend

  • kaalchakra


    Please, let’s not confuse the differences between Shias and Sunnis with the issue of Ahmadis. The matter of Ahmadis concerns not only Muslim ‘extremists’ but anyone who takes time to learn about Islam. Islam is not like Hinduism where practically anyone who claims to be a Hindu can prefectly well assert being a Hindu. In Islam there are some clear dos and don’ts. You simply cant be a Musim if you don’t do certain things or if you do certain other things.

    Ahmadis do certain things and don’t do certain other things that make them non-Muslims in the eyes of a large number of people, not just extremist Muslims.Recommend

  •!/zaeemj1 Lord

    For a shia dying is not the end. Dying is start of eternal life therefore its not an issue for hussainis.We are always oppressed and we are ready to take more.The issue is why innocent shias die like Dr.Jaffer.he didnt had any anti-sunni affiliation,no one can proof that.Another example is blasts at shia processions and masajid like masjid e haidry ,masjid ali raza in which innocent peace loving people die paying the price for the love of household of prophet(PBUH).Even after that if there is any revenge attacks no innocent sunni gets killed.Only those who are involved anti-shia activity are targeted.For those who discriminate thank us that you dont have to go through multiple check points for daily prayers.Thank us we dont hit your religious gathering because we know innocent will be killed.Recommend

  • Mehroz Ali

    very sad.Recommend

  • Mustafa Moiz

    I agree with your main argument. However, I disagree with you when you said that he was a Pakistani, a Muslim – as Muslim as we all think we are. Firstly, there is varying opinion among different people on who is a Muslim and who isn’t, and a person’s religion cannot be the basis to judge him by, for two reasons. Firstly, in that case, you say he was a Muslim, and someone says he wasn’t, then by the argument you give there, he has the right to kill him. And secondly, even if a Shia is accepted as Muslim, does it then justify killing of Christians or Hindus or other minorities, but not any Muslims? So, I strongly disagree with what you have said over there.Recommend

  • http://Rawalpindi Ali-wali

    Shia who follow the concept of Ijtehad should be religiously bound to carry arms to protect themselves, banking on corrupt and coward law enforcers for life protection is biggest ‘self deception’.Recommend

  • http://Rawalpindi Ali-wali

    @Ali Tanoli: How many people who went to Qom and came back filled with ‘hate’, you ever met? Sir Jamati hypocrisy makes one look gullible.Recommend

  • http://Rawalpindi Ali-wali

    @Ali Tanoli: And i can tell you how my school fellow who sadly had impaired vision went to Deobandi madressa, and later on was kicked from a mosque because of alleged pedofilia. Did that guy faced any criminal court! NO. He just moved to a mosque in another village.Recommend

  • Sana Iqbal


    “Disbelievers are a problem, be of any kind.”

    Oh really? FYI, for the muslims in Pakistan, anyone who does not call himself a muslim is a disbeliever, for all Shias and Sunnis combined an Ahmedi is a disbeliever, for many sunnis, shias are disbelievers, for all barailvis deobandis are disbelievers and for deobandis, barailvis are disbelievers. Then how do you plan to deal with that massive problem of disbelievers? Any solution?Recommend

  • http://[email protected] Hassan Shah

    @Ali Tanoli:
    dude if we belame Qum then other argument will be Saudi Arabia funding madrassah’s in Pakistan and also brain-washing Muslims in their own kingdom and the debate will continue forever. Being a Pakistani, I think we should make ourself clear that we should not fight for others cause, but for own country. Either we are propagating stance of Saudia or Iran, we are neglecting our own cause that is Pakistan. we shouldn’t become thaikaidaar of every other country.
    I just want to supplement above article with one quote of Hazrat Ali he stated, If you are not my brother in Islam, then you are my brother in Humanity.
    For instance, we call them Kafir, infidel or what ever word we have in our dictionary, we can not strip away their rights which possess being a Human being.Recommend

  • HK

    I may be disconnected as I have been living out of Pakistan for some time now except for regular visits but isnt this as much an issue of law and order breakdown than a society being divided on sectarian lives. I say this because when i move around and talk to people I dont see shia – sunni – christian being a dividing line in day to day interactions between common persons. Arent the killers any thing more than paid killers working for sectarian (but largely fringe) extremist parties trying to carve out their niche. If the police was independent and the first paid killer was arrested and punished wouldnt that have deterred many more. It is the impunity with which all killers escape whether related to ethnic, sectarian, language etc hatred that seems to give the impression that they are represenative of common man which, I like to think at least, is not the case.Recommend

  • abhi

    Similarly there are many things as per sunni islam which are required for a muslim and shia don’t fulfill all the criteria!Recommend

  • Syed Fahim Hassan

    Nothing justifies killing of Dr Mohsin. But, I will tell you something. Somebody is encouraging the Shia minority youth in Pakistan to make their differences with the Sunni majority prominent at every opportunity possible. I do not understand the reason behind it !

    Recently, while traveling on a flight from Karachi to Bahrain, I suddenly heard loud slogans from the back of the plane. When I checked, it was a group of shia going to Iraq or Syria for holy pilgrimage. I was not sure it was such a wise idea since most of the passengers looked perplexed.

    Last month, arriving on a flight from Bahrain to Karachi, a group of young Shia males started raising loud slogans within the baggage claim area , followed by the same outside the gates. I had never seen anything like this ! They were surrounded by a shocked Sunni majority at 5 am in the morning. I have yet to understand the wisdom of such an act ! Is it mere exercise of their religious freedom, or an assertion to push their differences into the faces of the majority?

    Can someone help me understand ?Recommend

  • Baqar

    Similarly there are many things as per shia islam which are required for a muslim and sunni don’t fulfill all the criteria!….

    diversity is no excuse to cause anarchyRecommend

  • Hussain Najam

    Very nicely written ! U opposed the oppressor and supported the oppressed, u did your bit by spreading your word. May Allah bless u !Recommend

  • Humayun

    Again we are taking this in Shia Sunni paradigm which leads to escape from our responsibilities as citizen . If one is not responsible human being/citizen it does not matter from which sect he/she belongs to. In our culture education almost kill youth’s responsibility for nation/country and lead us focus on our personal living needs ,our shining careers and other personal living attribute which has nothing to give for nations wealth , which should not be the case ,actually it should have counter effects ,make more responsible citizen for nation /country It is right ,we and our children may be next if educated peoples still tolerate this.Recommend

  • random

    @Ali Tanoli:
    You are totally dellusional – completely.Recommend

  • Kazmis

    No one is looking for justification for killing. The banner STOP SHIA KILLING is for whom? who is to stop just by reading a banner. In fact it is an unwise approach to highlight the matter. The actual cause is known to every one that one country is paying one sect and other country is paying the other sect to kill each other. We are less civilized people and believe in fighting rather than dialogue.Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli

    @Ali Wali, Random, Baqar bhais logow.
    I have met many Qom Returns by the way my next door neighbur is from Persian i am not shooting in the air and there grand maa died few months ago and we burried her in our own
    cemetery i been to persia dont tell me whats going on in pakistan sunnis only are not responosibles for all this bloodshed what is ISO and what for Millat e Jafferia they are firqa
    based parties and getting all the support from iran finanacially and morally,… talking ….Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli

    Millate jafferia not islamia????Recommend

  • bigsaf

    @Syed Fahim Hassan:

    Is it mere exercise of their religious freedom, or an assertion to push their differences into the faces of the majority? Can someone help me understand ?

    Now you know how some feel when Tablighi dudes decide to do a group Naray Takbir in the middle of a paranoid Western airport! lol.

    It’s religious freedom and apparent bold assertion, which is annoying. However, this differences, if they do happen, does not justify murders and massacres and to claim that these outbursts being the root of ideological hate and bigotry is ridiculous, as it was happening even before the existence of these group flash mob slogans. Recommend

  • bigsaf

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there was the ‘I’m uncomfortable because it may implicate me sharing their Sunni identity, hush-hush, unity now’ denial comment that comes out complaining “but, but, why your headline say ‘Shia killing’, it should say ‘human killing'”. Sad.Recommend

  • bigsaf

    @Ali Tanoli:
    Difference between our local Madressahs and the Qum ideologues, is that the former were churning out brainwashed militants that joined whole sale terrorist militant groups. Not so much the latter who at worst formed a revengeful reactionary militia which didn’t commit open Jihad against the state or go around employing Takfir against other communities. False equivalence. Again…Recommend

  • bigsaf

    @narayana murthy:

    It’s not playing the victim card. There’s brutal history and reality of sectarian violence, mostly the minority Shia Muslim community being at the receiving end of an anti-Shia cleansing agenda by Wahhabi/Salafi/Deoband/Taliban/Sunni extremists in Pak. Lost thousands of lives. It picked up steam in the 80’s/90’s with the former decade noted as the Sunnification or Wahhabification of Pakistan.

    Yes, the Shia clergy, despite reservations among their practitioners, contributed to state religious intolerance in the 70’s and onwards when they ganged up with religious Sunni groups (I have a dream…that Mullahs of different sects flock together in angry protests!), even with anti-Shia Deobandis, against Ahmadis out of shared religious principle (or spite) i.e. declaring and marginalizing ‘heretics’. If only they learned from Niemoller’s poem. ‘First they came for…’. Sadly, they didn’t just remain silent, they helped make it so.

    It needs to be fixed. All of it.Recommend

  • Anzar Ul HASAN

    Right use of pen shown in this piece of art
    Good job mate Recommend

  • faraz

    Well judged !!Recommend

  • bigsaf

    @Mustafa Moiz:
    While its true that it shoudnt matter whether or not a person is Muslim, the author is making a point. Usually those who consider Shia Muslims as non-Muslim or Kafir are those of the Wahhabi/Salafi/Deoband/Sunni extreme persuasion who besides being bigoted thanks to their Takfir ideology, may turn a blind, or endorse, a Qatl-i-Wajib mentality.

    It partly explains why some twist religious facts, including historic facts such as remaining in denial not recognizing Jinnah as a Shia because their prejudice and cognitive bias can’t compromise their revisionist religious nationalist narrative and identity by admitting that it could be thanks to a non-Sunni, hence non-Muslim, according to their thinking.

    Its this specific sort of illogical thinking and prejudiced regressive conservative views who are ignorant of moderate and liberal Sunni jurisprudence who accept Shias as Muslims and brothers, the author is dismissing and declaring this to.Recommend

  • Hassan

    Thought provoking… excellent article… Recommend

  • http://Rawalpindi Ali-wali

    @Syed Fahim Hassan: were those guys chanting profanities? which offended the majority. To your knowledge Brelvi Sunni are majority in Pakistan and they have no issue with Shia, it is tiny Deobandi minority which has problems with everyone. Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli

    Jinnah created pakistan for financial well of indian muslim it was a fear that in united india muslims gonna be in minority and gonna be hard to combete with mejority hindus and also specially after long muslim rules biggest fear was reverse discrimination (u know what i mean)
    and he was not a QOM return thankfully and by the way did u know ISO imamia student org
    what they does in karachi and who leads them Hazrat they are QUM returns open your eyes.

    @Ali Wali
    Deoband Maktabah fiqar is largest in pakistan.Recommend

  • jssidhoo

    @kaalchakra: They may not be Muslims by your yardstick but continue to human beings by every yardstick Recommend

  • kaalchakra


    That’s not quite the same thing. If you are a non-Muslim, we should probably form a separate forum of our own where we can discuss and understand Islam – its nature, its conflicts both within and with outsiders, its group dynamics and its goals, in depth. Best.Recommend

  • kaalchakra


    Reading some of your posts, I wish to express genuine admiration for your thoughts. So I am writing the following in a healthy constructive spirit.

    Bro, Shias joining hands with Sunnis against Ahmadis is and was never a matter of ‘unfortunate myopia’ or blindness or bigotry that they might ‘regret’ now. That may be case with ordinary people who simply wear Islam as useful identities without knowing anything much about it, but most definitely not with Shia scholars/Imams/alims etc. They did what was natural and the only available course to them, if they were to remain true to Islam. Even now, I very strongly doubt that even now, with all the hindsight, you will find FIVE Shia scholars/alims who will be willing to accept Ahmadis as Muslims. At most they might accept Lahoris as Muslims, hardly ever the Qadianis.

    However, if I am empirically wrong, I would very very much appreciate if you would let me know. I will gladly change my views. Thanks.Recommend

  • ayesha

    @Sana Iqbal: “First Ahmedis, then Shias. ”

    Agree with the overall direction of your message. But would propose slight correction. First Hindus and Sikhs then Ahmadis then Shias.Recommend

  • RAW is WAR

    And I was told Islam is a religion of “Peace”. Killing a single human is like killing a mankind, right? If a muslim life has no value in Pakistan, what is the status of minorities? Oh, start ranting about Gujarat riots now…Recommend

  • ayesha

    @Ali-wali: “it is tiny Deobandi minority which has problems with everyone.”

    Deobandis and salafis are no longer minorities after hundreds of thousands of Saudi funded Madrassas have opened in the last 30 years.Recommend

  • Ziber

    @Nuryana Murthy

    Shias do beleive that Ahmedi’s are non-muslims (Lound and Clear), but we, not at any level and stage declared them “wajib-ul-qatl. They have equal rights as any Mulism practicing Mullah in Pakistan and this should be well re-instated.

    In Medina, there lived alot of non-muslims and even non-beleivers, they were charged of special taxes and nothing much. We need to re-produce that era of harmony and tolerance.

    Thoughts can be altered using linguistic ticts, not the wagging words to hurt ones beleif and turn him/her revengous and rebelious. Recommend

  • Ziber

    @Ali tanoli

    Hatred From Qoum? lol

    Iranis from qoum were the ones who brought blood less revolution in Iran, by putting rosses in the gun barrells and chanting Ahlubait sologans, guided by the man of immense morality, who did not take support of the guns and grenades to topple down the shah’s Regime, but did it with his intellectual political might and sanity.

    How many cases did pakistan registered of capturing students graduated from qoum in bomb making and suicide vests tailoring?

    We owe a reasonable answer from you brother! kindly dont compare militant mullah training centers in Pakistan with modern, high tech education system in Qoum.

    I am the witness of the system there and would want to research into the topic before you let is slip your fingers in keyboard!

    show responsibility, if not in the name of Allah, then be it in the name of humanityRecommend

  • Ayaz Munir

    Such things have become inevitable, just because we have created this much intolerance in the minds of our people, I am sorry to say but I hate going to the Mosques now. It is just because when I go there, I just hear Maulvis criticising the other religions or other sects of Islam, I still remember, I heard an Imam calling the Shias,

    “Worshipers of 12 Imams”

    When are we going to talk about the very important similarities amongst our sects & forget the few differences. When are we going to keep in mind the fact that;

    Imam Malik & Imam Abu Hanifa(the two famous Sunni school of thoughts out of 4) were actually the students of Imam Jaffer Sadiq, whom the Shias follow

    We say that Pakistan is the Backbone of Islamic world & we forget that;

    Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah himself was a Shia
    Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, probably the most famous leader in Pakistan after Quaid-e-Azam was a Shia

    I have performed Namaz(Prayers) behind imams of nearly all Sects & what I find out amongst their views about Islam & Muslim problems are almost the same, why to fight then.

    May God take us to the right path, & we may undertand that we all are Humans & killing humans is Prohibited whether you talk in a religious sense or otherwise.

    Pakistan ZIndabadRecommend

  • Manish

    If believing in the prophet makes one a Muslim, then all the shias are Muslims. You should stop this sectarian differences and follow your faith being a Muslim and only a Muslim. I know that I am a Hindu from India preaching, when we Hindus ourselves have so much sectarian differences on different caste, but killing just being from different caste or sect is ridiculous. Common guys grow up. The Shias are your brothers only as other Sunni Muslims are.Recommend

  • MK

    Welcome to the Pakistan of the 1990s, where Shia-Sunni fights were the talk of the town. Welcome to Pakistan of the 2000s where Ahmedis were targeted and killed.
    Welcome to the Pakistan of the 2010s where anyone and everyone is likely to be a target.
    Hah: Next we’ll hear: Pakistan 2020: Everyone’s gone. NO more Sunni, Shia, Ahmadi, Wahabi etc fights. Country’s empty. Recommend

  • Sumeet

    this condition is very sad and depressing for our country where the importance of live is equal to zero. Purpose of writing this article is to bring in notice what’s going on in this country and how SHIA community are being treating like this. Lots of Doctors and Lawyer have been killed but people here just don’t realize and don’t want to know what is going on. I know, nobody safe here in Pakistan but the just realize the serial killing of shia community. Govt will not do any thing and will not do to stop this, i request all people whether they are shia, sunni or belong to any other sect… just realize this happening and condemn that..

    Sumeet from IndiaRecommend

  • Farhan

    Enough is enough. We all need to voice our concerns on every killing of a human being in Pakistan. I have no doubts that we tend to ignore whenever we come across such incidences by terming them sensitive matters.

    No, nothing is a sensitive matter, a killer is killer whether he is sunni or shia. Lets discourage people around us who justify killings on the basis of religion, sect or ethnicity by raising our voice powerfully. We cannot afford to remain silent anymore!

    Extremists are killings innocent pakistanis everyday and our ruling has done nothing to improve legal system that facilitates these killers.Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli

    @ ZIber,
    When ever some one like to mention others wrong doing why its becomes hate and u guys r
    allowed to talk any thing against us what a hypocracy sir any way Revolution in iran all most
    broke the riegen before Imam Khomaini sahab inqilab iran relation with its neighburs were great
    Raza shah never bothers with Iraq sunnis Govt on Shet el Arab or straight of Hermuz & this
    Blood less revolution brought biggest disaster on the peoples of iran/iraq over two millions innocent humans died and millions more lost there limbs please mr/miss ziber dont say it was
    good inqilab and then this revolution bring another disaster too in pakistan there was no shia/sunni tension like that my father tells me how we go to the Bunder Road to see Muharam
    al Haram procession on 9th and 10th of the month but then money start coming in and Students start going to iran Qum for Fiqah Jafferia education and student wings staiblished in
    colleges and universities and Scholar ships for Gilgit shia community and by force admission
    in KU and NED with terror and guns and before never haerd of these names of parties like Millat e Jafferia not Muhammadia or islamia ………………….Recommend

  • bigsaf

    @Ali Tanoli:
    I’m aware of Jinnah’s actions, and his promotion of Muslim unity by downplaying his own sect as private beliefs from the state. But a good number of Pakistani Sunnis are uncomfortable in acknowledging Jinnah’s Shia Twelver background. They’ll revise it as him born Ismaili only to convert to Sunnism when the evidence concludes he didn’t. I’m pointing out how even prejudice and dishonesty plays in our historic narrative and a sign of intolerance in itself.

    I’m aware of violent student organizations of various stripes. STILL the level of violence and culpability for intolerance and anarchy is not equal nor at the level as the sizable Wahhabi/Salafi/Deoband/Taliban/Sunni extremists. It’s like claiming Black Panthers, which are a militia, are as bad as the KKK. No, not exactly. No true academic expert will conclude Qom (and I am anti-clergy when it comes to matters of the state) as being a ‘hate factory’ considering the numbers, ideological influence and the clearly lesser impact of supposed agitators.Recommend

  • bigsaf


    While I agree with you on the point of Qom, I can’t share the same views on the revolution being awesome, considering secularists and liberals would be bloodily crushed later on.

    @Ali Tanoli:
    The paranoid Iran prejudice which makes you fumble facts as you’ve shown before has kicked in.

    The Shah himself was a dictator. A Sunni government with a tyrant in Saddam Hussein, who used to oppress his own people including Sunnis, but particularly the Shias, and terrorized Kurds too, was the one who psychotically launched the war with Iran backed by other Gulf Arabs and the US, not the other way round.

    The fact that Gilgit is run by an administration of Deoband anti-Shia ideologues over a majority Shia Muslim population should tell you the level of institutionalized sectarian intolerance and discrimination in Pakistan from the past. The reason there wasn’t any tension is because the majority overlooked it, and the minority used to ‘take it’, as in accept being oppressed and not fight for their rights.

    While violent activists emerged at the Shia student organizational level, emboldened by an Iranian revolution, it was and is not at any level at the wholesale discrimination by privileged Pakistani majority Sunnis, that even existed pre-80’s and worsened after, with sectarian cleansing program imported from Arabia against the minority Shia population as a more brutal ideological reaction from local Sunni sub-sects and extremists, who seem to have appeal mainstream. Recommend

  • http://- Abid P. Khan

    Who would not agree with Farhan? A dead person is a dead person, who once had a mother, who brought her/him to this world. She gave him the greatest love anyone can give. In the name of a “cause”, some evil-doer takes away that precious life probably deriving some primitive “satisfaction”, while the reason for conflict still persists.

    Can one honestly decide the right or wrong of a feud which took place, between two Arab clans some 1400 hundred years ago? The animosity between the two had gone on for ages even before those events. The manner in which one version is taught to Group A, differs radically from what is taught to Group B, as result there are people full of hate who will continue to fight for another 1400 hundred years. If the society is mature enough and willing, one can walk away from this vicious circle. Time to realise that taking away some ones’ life is not a solution.

    As some one rightfully said,”Let us not drag religion into everything.Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli

    Yes i agreed and this is true too in pakistan History twisted since 1947 and some time i think
    pakistan was created by and for Rich fuedals and Nawabs whom had lands given by English
    for there true NAMAK HALALI.
    But i am will say shia minority in pakistan is much better than black community in america
    and Shia black panther getting all the support from neghbouring country unlike black panther
    of U.S.A…Recommend

  • bigsaf

    There are some Shia clerics who do declare Ahmadis ‘wajib-ul-qatl’, and one even notoriously did so on Aalim Online with his Sunni counterpart. True, they don’t indulge in chasing after them, but certainly have maintained the status quo.


    Thanks, appreciate it.

    We may believe Ahmadis to be non-Muslims, and that belief alone, without sacrificing any principle, is and should be sufficient which already carries inherent prejudice in itself.

    It is unnecessary to enforce fake charged religious superstitious labels through state leading to full justified discrimination and zulm (oppression) against other Pakistani citizens. Why is the state asking me a ridiculous religious question of whether or not Ahmadis are Muslims on my passport, like as if it’s my Qalimah? It’s none of their damn business!

    Clearly Ahmadis, who are citizens of Pakistan, think they are. It bothers me little if they do. A good government doesn’t mess with people’s beliefs, and yes, I do believe secularism that allows for religious pluralism is the way to go. Pakistan did so and messed here. To the point that they would disrespect the grave of it’s greatest scholar Abdus Salam, removing any Islamic words on his gravestone. Disrespectful. It should be decided between him and Allah (swt). Not us mere hypocritical mortals.

    Unfortunately this law only justifies discrimination, not positive religious principle, and opens the door to might is right. You take away one group’s rights, you open the door to a deterioration of rule of law and other possible groups being targeted through law. It is no mistake that Pakistan’s dwindling minority populations is a reality. It is an intolerant mindset that even government adopted. Recommend

  • http://- Abid P. Khan

    You advised others to
    ‘show responsibility, if not in the name of Allah, then be it in the name of humanity
    Does this recommendation apply to yourself too? Either you are not in the habit of reading newspapers or you purposely put blinkers on when facing facts. While propagating a warped view, you may be able to fool a few with similar blinkers as you use, but finally it will turn out to be a challenge to your own intellect.
    link to the original text below
    After the truce in 1988, Khomeini issued a secret fatwa ordering that all MEK supporters in Iranian prisons should be killed. In a bloodbath that ranks as the worst prisoner-of-war atrocity since the Japanese death marches at the end of World War II, thousands were summarily executed, under the orders of Ali Khamenei, then Iran’s president and now its supreme leader, and Hashemi Rafsanjani
    You can read about similar incidents of mayhem committed by the Revolutionary Guards on the orders of Khomeini the Supreme Imam. MEK (Mujahedin Khalq) were the original force who revolted against the Shah. MEK thought they could introduce some serious reforms based on the ideas of Ali Shariati, once the Shah was overthrown. However, Khomeini to keep his “friends” in the West happy, ordered the Mujahedin eliminated. There is plenty to read in Paki newspapers about the horrendous crime against the opposition in the name of Islam.
    A N D
    Link regarding treatment of minorities in IranRecommend

  • Ali Tanoli

    then by your means small ISo or any other shia party small terror is ok wow…Recommend

  • kaalchakra


    Of course, Ahmadis are humans, and that is what ultimately has to become paramount among humans, if we are to ever come out of this vicious cycle of discrimination and violence. So long as being Hindu, Muslim, Christian etc counts for more than being a human, so long as we love Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, etc more than we love humanism, so long as we are willing to discriminate against and kill other humans to protect the names of our gods and prophets, we would be merely traveling in circles, blaming each other for discrimination and violence, and crying alone when discrimination and violence hits us, or our group – as it inevitably will. Recommend

  • tribune reader

    very aptly put!!Recommend

  • tribune reader

    i wonder how such a neutral blog can attract such biased commentsRecommend

  • amna

    I belong to shia sect but for me all human beings are equal, may be because I am educated but NO, its not about education, its about the up bringing which help us grow as a good/bad person.
    If all our lives parents, peers fed us about how other sects, religion etc is doing shirk, biddat, or if they declare xyz is not a good Muslim, xyz is not a Muslim (according to their facts).

    How could we grow as a good person?

    All I want to say is people should stop judging others. leave it on Allah whose right whose wrong, you never know if Allah likes a hindus good deed he might find his way to Jannat as well.

    Lets stop this khatmal and pissu debate, lets grow up and don’t be a part of any hatred debate or conversations with our social circle, peers etc WE ARE NO ONE TO JUDGE IF AHMADIS ARE MUSLIM OR NON MUSLIM, WE ARE NO ONE TO JUDGE ANY ONE, LETS MIND OUR OWN BUSINESSES and be nice to everyone.Recommend

  • Mustafa Moiz

    Its interesting to see that when I agreed with this article then my comment was published but as soon as I presented a different viewpoint the Tribune saw fit not to post my comments.Recommend

  • Mustafa Moiz

    Well, I’d like to disagree with you on two points. The first is that, you are calling Wahabis extremists, which they are not, note Saudi Arabia, which is not an extremist country in spite of being a Wahabi country. You are also attacking others on the basis of their religious beliefs and talking about takfir and whatnot. The second point I disagree with you on is Quaid-e-Azam’s religion. I am also of the view that, although born into a Shia family, Quaid-e-Azam became a Sunni.Recommend

  • RAW is WAR

    killing , genocide and conversion seems to have become national passtime of pakistan.Recommend

  • Salwa

    I personally think that readers must read b/w the lines. Its quite readable there that writer is taking a humanity side regardless of sect religion and ethnicity. There are words like Pakistani muslims shia sunni in this piece but one word supersedes them all in the same i-e HUMANITY!
    I’ll go with the line NOTHING JUSTIFY KILLING Recommend

  • http://- Abid P. Khan

    @Mustafa Moiz:
    I am also of the view that, although born into a Shia family, Quaid-e-Azam became a Sunni.

    Can you convince us by quoting the source of your information, on which you base your denial?

    It may be of interest to you to look at this clip:

    Pakistan ka matlab kyaRecommend

  • sid

    @Mustafa Moiz:
    Saudia is not an extremist country. I think you live in some isolated island with no newspapers ,.last year the saudi govt has to revert many of its decision coz of protest from the rest of the world due to the fact they are extremist in nature.
    Quadi-e-Azam becomes a Sunni , thats another thing that i read for the first time. Till the death of her wife Rati Jinnah , its a fact that was shia till that time as he carried the burial of his wife in the Shia cemetary. The grave of his wife is still there and one can verify that .
    just a little advice , dont beleive on gossips , do some research. Recommend

  • tribune reader

    whether he was a shia or sunni..pakistan was created for muslimsRecommend

  • Saima

    i salute the writer for this piece… no matter wat his reason of writing the blog was….Recommend