Can’t Shias and Sunnis co-exist?

Published: November 24, 2012

The reason I decided to write this blog is because I believe, we, the common people, still have the power to unite. Let ‘others’ be different, ‘we’ stand together. DESIGN: ERUM SHAIKH

An eerie feeling of terror began to linger as we observed the changes all around. Containers placed as road blocks, more black and brown uniforms visible and sudden emergence of hatred filled graffiti by banned militant outfits. All of this heralded that the month of Muharram was here.

The moon was sighted, and the congregations began. Check-posts, metal detectors and guns filled the city. An explosion occurred in one of the congregations, and things became even darker. There is fear and anxiety; someone is out there to get us, someone from the ‘others’.

The news coverage talks about more ammunition and suicide attackers being caught everyday and extra security measures being taken. Everything around looks dismal and we all ask ourselves,

Why are ‘they’ after our blood? Are we really that different?

A post on Facebook comes as an answer. It was report of a local broadcast channel, in which an entire family from the Ahle Sunnat sect shared how they commemorate the first ten days of Muharram in almost the same way as their Shia brothers. The soft voice, gentle demeanour and the pure spirit came across as a message of acceptance.

This one ray of light then started pushing away the dark clouds and helped me notice messages of unity being sent out by people in my own life.

A couple of days before Muharram, I had received a text message from a Sunni friend inviting me to a get together at her place on the coming Sunday. I had no balance and no SMS package, so, I could not reply. I am glad I didn’t. Within an hour I received another text from the same girl that said,

“Will you be able to come after Ashura?”

The plan was postponed to the weekend after Ashura and I have to mention here that I am the only Shia in this group. I was so deeply humbled that my Sunni friends changed the entire plan to accommodate just me. It truly proves that there are people out there who do believe that we can co-exist.

Reverting back to social media, with the arrival of Muharram we see a trend of Shias changing their profile pictures to a pitch black frame to signify mourning. This time, however, I saw even my Sunni friends changing their profile pictures to pitch black. One of my Sunni friends put up a cover photo that says “Shia Sunni Bhai Bhai” and another one placed an image in black-and-white with the famous Persian couplet “Shah ast Hussain, Badshah ast Hussain”.

Coincidently, my own cover photo and profile picture for Muharram have been copied from profiles of Sunni friends!

I know that trivial acts of changing a cover photo or even putting up a status update is far from the spirit of Muharram, but the point I want to make here is that more and more people are coming together and performing acts that unify us. This is a very pleasant change from the hatred, division and negativity that usually surrounds out media space. I am so very grateful and pleased by measures taken by our youth to prove that we are all the same.

The reason I decided to write this blog is because I believe, we, the common people, still have the power to unite. The gestures I mentioned above may be small, but are certainly not insignificant.

Let ‘others’ be different; ‘we’ will always stand together.

Read more by Narjis here or follow her on Twitter @Narjis_Fatema


Narjis Fatema

A student of Mass Communication at Karachi University who Tweets @Narjis_Fatema (

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

  • Qaisrani

    It’s not about Shia-Sunni anymore. They can’t even co-exist with any one other than their own religion.hat’s off to the people who have brain washed them up to the level that they have become problem for the whole world as how to tackle them.Recommend


    I feel sorry for the UNLOGICAL killing fof innocent human beings in Pakistan.It is not happening anywhere in the world except Pakistan and Iraq.I dont understand why the GALOSS or processiosins by Shias on Muharams and SUNNI on MILLOD of Prophet Muhammad(S) can be stopped which are giving tension.I think Indian Government in Indian Kashmir is doing logical thing by not allowing procession and stepping down religous hatteredRecommend

  • iLiberal

    Well they can co exist I suppose but not with genuine happiness I suppose. When you look at the two countried which are leading the Shia and Sunni brands of Islam, namely Saudi Arabia and Iran, these two countries do not get along. Apparently, and I could be wrong, there is not a single Imam Barghah in Saudi Arabia and not a single Sunni Mosque in Iran. Religion has always been a destructive force in the world and have always led to wars and miseries. Unless people do not start minding their own business and practice their faiths in the privacy of their homes, I fear the majority will always suppress the minority. I think it is time we teach our children humanity first rather than religion and to be kind, tolerant of their fellow human being. Imagine the agony Ahmedis, Christians and Hindus have to suffer from their fellow country men. I do not foresee tolerant Pakistan in my lifetime atleast. Recommend

  • Aamir

    Tons of hate material exist on social and print media with a large number of clerics on both sides living on the differences between Shia and Sunni. Unless government takes religion related activities in its own hand, nothing is going to change.Recommend

  • Danish Aziz

    Religion has brought us death and destruction.This conflict has been going on for 1400 years.there’s no end in sight.It’s time that we gave atheism a chance.We’ve seen the disastrous effects of too much fixation with religion in our society.Do we need to continue on this violent path? We should focus on rational thought and reason.
    Blindly following religious dogma will bring us only more misery.Recommend

  • danish

    Common people have always co-existed… there has never been such a big problem as far as common people are concerned… it is these militants, a direct result of the emergence of wahabism, who probably not go away because this fight is against an idealogy..Recommend

  • muslim

    Start respecting sahabas for the starters and we can existing peacefully.. unless the.continous.provocation from the Shia side of society doesn’t stop in the matter of sahabas and ummahatul momineen I dont see tolerance or co.existence. Recommend

  • Anonymous

    Narjis Fatema (who keeps blocking my comments)

    You are asking the wrong question.

    The question you should be asking is “why can’t muslims live peacefully with anyone, including themselves?”Recommend

  • mr. righty rightist

    @Dr, Muhammad who writes “It is not happening anywhere in the world except Pakistan and Iraq.”

    Looking at UNLOGICAL spelling mistakes, I ought to ask if you are a real doctor!

    Coming to your point, it is happening only in Iraq and Pakistan because both your country have a history of systematic Sunni oppression on Shia. Saddam Hussain oppressed the majority Shias.

    This hasn’t happened anywhere else, where a government has oppressed a minority (directly or indirectly). Recommend

  • http://lahore aisah azeeem

    They can….But……They won’t….SIMPLERecommend

  • iLiberal

    @muslim: So basically if Shia’s do not respect the Sahabas that you guys do, you’ll keep on killing them? Bravo. Excellent argument. Is it any wonder that Islam is considered a violent religion.Recommend

  • Samm

    Well Shia’s don’t mourn in Sunni’s way. Your way of mourning is very different from us. This is the reason why Sunni’s and Shia’s cant co-exist together. Maybe your way of mourning is right for you but not right for us. its because of you people we have to suffer so many hurdles. Blockage of roads, ban on pavillion riding, mobile services suspended. We people can’t go out on the 9th and 10th Muharram because blockage of roads. We can’t call anyone because of the mobile services suspended. Recommend

  • Pessimist

    Can Shias and Sunnis co-exist?

    Ans: Theoretically they should, practically they can’t. Recommend

  • iLiberal

    @Samm: Is it not the right of Shias to mourn in any way that they want? Maybe the hardliner, living on Saudi Petrodollars, should stop hate speech against the Shias and it would not result in blockades of the roads and the suspension of telecom services. It is really sad and pathetic the way some Salafi minded people here are justifying the violence faced by Shias in Pakistan. And by the way I belong to the a Sunni background but here in Pakistan, it is the bullying of the majority. The Hindus in India do not treat their fellow Muslim citizens the way we do in Pakistan. I find it astonishing that the Taliban frame of mind seems to have found its way into the educated lot. We Pakistanis are probably one of the most bigoted and narrow minded folks on the planet and then harp on about the state of Muslims in Gaza and Burma. Get your own house in order first and then start lecturing the world. Recommend

  • Farwa

    Despite all the negative comments above, I’d say it’s possible, in fact Shias and Sunnis have been co-existing peacefully in the past as well. Whatever differences there are amongst the two sects, respect has always been there. From what we hear, before Zia came into power, Sunni and Shia observed Moharram together with all the respect the month deserves. Even today a common man is willing to live with unity despite all the mayhem caused by the radical Islamists. Nice blog :) Recommend

  • Another North Indian


    The question of ‘Shia-Sunni’ has come to the fore in Pakistan right now, but there is a broader, theoretical question that some of us have been thinking about for a long time:

    “Can good people co-exist under certain ideological frameworks?”

    If they can, Pakistan should be the best possible place for them to do so. In ‘theory’ – as the theory is understood commonly – that is how it should be.

    But the theory, it seems to me, is dramatically wrong. Co-existence is most threatened when it is most easily assumed.Recommend

  • http://- Abid P Khan

    “I feel sorry for the UNLOGICAL killing fof innocent human beings in Pakistan…”
    This killing you find illogical? What is logical killing? Is it not a value system according to which you decide what is logical and what is not. However, the others have other values, by the logic of which killing is the most rational thing to do.
    I feel sorry even for those who according to you are killed logically.Recommend

  • Another North Indian


    When you want to understand why people can or cannot live together, you don’t start by looking at the ‘common man’. All those things that make co-existence difficult exist inside the common man, but they are much harder to observe there.Recommend

  • nadi

    If to be Sunni is to follow Sunna of Prophet, there is no greater Sunni than Ali (A.S). If to be Shia is to love Ali (A.S), there is no greater Shia than Prophet..Recommend

  • paki

    i think they can. you see them co existing in countries such as america and uk where they have migrated. whats important is that the government should be pluralistic. it should be bound by any religion or sect. laws controversial to any sect should never be passed and if they are then they should be immedietly reviewed after an outcry. once we have those bases covered we will be a short wway of taking care of extermist organizations such as ttp or sipah e sahiba etc. i believe that religion should be private and confined to homes and prayer places. as soon as we try to force someone to act according to our own mindset, problems will ariseRecommend

  • Insaan

    @Samm: “Maybe your way of mourning is right for you but not right for us. its because of you people we have to suffer so many hurdles. Blockage of roads, ban on pavillion riding, mobile services suspended.”

    Are Shias forcing Sunnis to mourn their ways? Blame Sunni terrorist attacks for Government’s blocking roads, ban on pavilion riding, suspension of mobile services. Learn to “live and let live”. Cam Ahmadi and non-Ahmadi Muslims coexist? I am not a Muslim.Recommend

  • Singh

    In most of comments, every body say nice thing about co-existence of common people. But it is common people who fight on street & start fire. If common people are intelligent then they can boycott all crazy Mullah.Recommend

  • mr. righty rightist

    @Paki who writes “i think they can. you see them co existing in countries such as america and uk where they have migrated.”

    Did you deliberately miss India in your comment? Because for any type of co-existence, India is THE supreme example in the world. However, being a Pakistani and having believed in two-nation theory, you cannot digest that.

    And FYI : Pakistanis do not co-exist peacefully with each other even in USA.

    Check the video :

    This is Pakistanis fighting Pakistanis in NY on Pakistan day parade.

    There are more videos available on Utube. Hail Jinnah!Recommend

  • Irfan

    The right question would be – can the Taliban and their apologists co-exist with any body?Also, I find it quite amusing to read the comments of our friends from India, even after Gujrat and Sachar Committee report – how oblivious can one be to the bigotry so close to home? Recommend

  • Kanwal

    We have co existed for centuries in the subcontinent. The month of moharram used to be the common rallying point for not only all muslims, but hindus and other religions too. Its the politicians and the ruling elite of this country that can not see any unity and is constantly letting the hate preachers keep working, the war mongers keep killing. With the security budget of this country, we could actually defend our country against not only all odds but also make it developed within decades. But they dont want us united. so they put people inside both sects who spread hate towards the other. And thats the main reason. Recommend

  • Ovais

    Really is that true .. apparantly more julooss .. 10 days of no works . helps no one .. but obv u wont understandRecommend

  • Taha

    The bigger question is tolereance. We need to develop a system where we can appreciate a constructive dialouge with out killing any one. We need to end our own anarchy first, the rest will followRecommend

  • mr. righty rightist

    @Irfan who writes “Also, I find it quite amusing to read the comments of our friends from India, even after Gujrat and Sachar Committee report ”

    Perhaps you do not read news papers. Gujrat was a result of terrorism by Muslims when they burned down a train of innocent Hindu men women and children.

    Muslims are themselves responsible for their utter state in India, as explained by Sachar commiitee report. By the way, have you read it or just commenting?

    You see, muslims are the poorest even in USA only slightly better than another ethnic minority. Even mexican americans are better off in USA than muslims.Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Irfan: even after Gujrat and Sachar Committee report – how oblivious can one be to the bigotry so close to home?

    Pakistanis have created 100s of Gujrat’s in Bangladesh (3 million killed), Afghanistan (millions killed) and Pakistan itself in the last 45 years

    Why do you think ten Pakistani (Kasab et al) terrorists pretended to be Hindus when they killed 40 Indian Muslims and 121 non-Muslims from 12 different countries on 26/11?

    One reason among many was to create another Gujarat style riot between Indian Muslims and non-Muslims. Thank God we caught Kasab, other wise Pakistan would have blamed this attack on Indian Government. Indian Muslims refused to bury dead terrorists on Indian soil.

    It is quiet possible Pakistan played a big role in Gujrat riots too.

    For your kind information Indian Muslims live in peace among themselves (various sects).
    Shia, Sunnis, Ahmadis all co-existRecommend

  • Ahsan Raza Firdousi

    Let ‘others’ be different; ‘we’ will always stand together. :)

    God Bless you Narjis :)Recommend

  • Vishnu Dutta

    Yes, but only in non-islamic or secular country.Recommend

  • Umair Ahmed Abbasi

    I won’t even admit its Shia and Sunni. they have fighting for such long that they realized by now that there is no benefit to this Fighting. But our Sheep Skinned Wolf friend (USA & INDIA) are pretty much practicing these controversies to blaze Shia And Sunni Riots. I am a living example of Shia Sunni Unity. as my Father is Sunni and My Mom Is Shia so my whole families from mom and dad are co-existing.Recommend

  • Something Clever

    As long as one side has it in their head that they believe they’re right and treat killing people who disagree as if it’s common sense they can’t co-exist with anyone. Especially when they also believe their own death is a glorious thing in the attempt to carry out that judgment.
    They win, they can be happy
    They lose, they can be happy
    There is no foundation that can be set to deter them. I could offer a solution, but I’m 100% certain it wouldn’t make it passed a moderator.

    @Umair Ahmed Abbasi:
    People like you are the root cause of your countryman’s misery and the them receiving the laughter of most of the planet. You’re also the cause of most of the disrespect. Few people can read your little theory and not write you off as hopeless.Recommend

  • Historian 1

    When they believe that the people they are mourning for are living happily in heavens! i do not understand what is this mourning for? Recommend

  • Khan Sahab

    We can only dream …Recommend

  • Muslim

    For the one who is telling the others to read history before respecting sahabas (RA) :_

    Your history is lopsided. You don’t have weight of the majority. The song of whining and cursing is becoming obsolete now. Try some other techniques. You can’t change history at this stage. So therefore learn to respect others. The exaggerated “fairy-tales” based on conjecture lead to nothing but hatred.

    Whatever your beliefs are and whatever you wish to demonstrate during the holy month of Ramadan, do so, but not at the expense of other great personalities of Islam. Recommend

  • http://google adnan

    shia and sunni can not be same because of their conflicting religous worship toward god but on the other side people who had brain washed to took the responsibility of eliminate the other sect.its all about education to understand the root cause of problems.its up to god who is right or wrong and gave them hidayaRecommend

  • MSS

    In demanding Pakistan, Jinnah should have considered sunni-shia factor as well. But may be his understanding of this S-S divide was inadequate. A lot depends on leaders of the day. How many shia ministers are there in the union cabinet? Killing someone because he belongs to a different sect is total hatred in a person, demanding a separate nation for the same reason is ‘madness unlimited’.Recommend

  • http://gujrat Zalim singh

    what answer do you want? Yes or no.Recommend

  • Super Star

    Co existence comes when the basic ideology followed is that of “acceptance of the other “with different views on culture, religious beliefs and every other aspect of life. Acceptance here does not mean simply “tolerating” a different view.When a society is founded on the basic ideology that ” we are different, we cannot be friends with non believers, the other person is not following a book correctly , so is a “kuffar”, My view and path to god is the only true way and you are wrong and will go to hell” then co existence and tolerance cannot be expected. The society will and is bound to remain in a constant state of conflict. There will always have to be some person, group or ideology to take the place of the “other” so as to provide a means to express the hate, intolerance and bigotry. Recommend

  • Saba Fatima ALi

    Lol we are being killed in numbers each day and you care about the fact that you cant go out anywhere on 9th and 10th muharram? Thats where acceptance and tolerance should come into play,Recommend

  • Saba Fatima ALi

    @Historian 1:
    To take a lesson from their supreme sacrifice which they made for the baqa of Islam. Had the mourning not been practiced this event would have vanished in the pages of history like many others and the message lost. And we cant be that thankless to forego the great sacrifice of Imam Hussain(A.S.)….Every year in this name of mourning we go to majalis , we learn so much in the name of this mourning so it shall continue.Recommend

  • waqas

    Bhai Bhai thingy is good to write, but actually they r not. This is fact whether we deny it or not.
    This is not just a difference of opinion, figures who are sacred for Sunnis, are curable for shia…Such a big “Conflict”.
    And if still some1 feels that there is no difference, so ask any Shia or Sunni if they will easily marry their daughters in cross sects?? everyone has an answer, and this is because they are not same or BHAI BHAI”
    so we just need tolerance by accepting the differences of each others and stop provoking each others emotions by publicly not cursing sacred figures of each other sects.

  • http://- Abid P Khan


    “…so we just need tolerance by accepting the differences of each others ….”
    Arabs (for that matter any grouping) were fighting each other even before the advent of Islam. Major reason for conflicts is that the word different is taken to mean wrong.
    It is always us who are the chosen ones, others are nothing but misled kachra. Recommend

  • sars

    Yes they can easily co -exist like they have done for ages.
    for this to happen again we need to re learn tolerance, respect others point of view and practices and not judge them based on religion but on other human values.
    If we learn this then everyone belong to different sects and religions (or lack therof) can easily get along.
    If we dont learn then we will further classify ourselves and breed more (petro funded) violence.Recommend

  • muhammad yasin

    There is no difference betwen shia and sunni, both are muslims believing in one God, One Kalma and the ‘Last Prophet’. Islam is the religion of tolerence and we need tolerence for each other to co -exist. When there is religious in tolerence and bidgetory, then rises the problem. Iran and Saudi Arabia both practice bidgeotry in their relgious thoughts, which created gulf not only between the two countries but also an indirect reason of disharmony amongst the two sects of islam throughout the world. I recall in Pakistan about two decades ago, there was worst religious bidegtory amongst the two sects, which thanks God, no more exists to that extent today. My tenants belong to shia sect but we live with them in complete religious annd social harmoney to the extent that I gladly offered them to arrange majlis, if they so desire and since last 4 years, they are doing so with least hinderance or anoyance from us or our other neigbours. What is the need of hour is to inculcate great tolerance and harmoney and our media, the educated relgiious scholars and intellectuals are promoting inter faith harmoney and tolerance and the common citizens of both sects are whole heardtdly ready to live in co existance with each other.Recommend

  • nighat

    first of all i would like to comment that this stupid behaviour only demonstrates among uneducated class and a BIG majority is jaahil anyway ( jaahilmeans people with closed minds, degree doenst make much difference), therefore such crimes will occur again and again . to combat this problem we need to change our education policy and teach relegeous tolerance both to the child and Parents( through parents day) from day one. Positive images from both ( and many other faiths) should be displayed and discussed and no single faith should be rediculed. WE ARE THE BEST thinking should be abolished as no one is superior to any other ( last sermon of our beloved prophet). A shia child should be sitting next to sunni and a sunni to a shia. This will take 16 years to change the thinking.
    This diversity policy should be for all races and religions.
    All the best to PakistanRecommend

  • Another North Indian

    Abid P Khan

    No, my brother, Kachra is what other great civilizations thought of ‘outsiders’ in ancient times – the Chinese, the Indians, and so forth. Islam brought a radical new dimension to this world – the other became purely evil. Following the ways of the other would lead you to eternal hell in the other world and was so PERSONALLY offensive and distasteful to believers in this one that it had to be subordinated, controlled.

    I do not know if the moderators will publish this, but this is the heart of the matter and the challenge for Pakistan. Thanks to Mr Jinnah’s foresight, in Muslims there do not have the luxury of hating the ‘non-Muslim’ other any more. So now they must confront the problem, and address it if they can.

    The most insane part of it all is that Jinnah’s own family followed a religion which believed in the ten incarnations of Vishnu – if that makes any sense of most readers of Express Tribune at all. Probably most of you don’t even know what those ten incarnations are. In the mad rush to turn everything perfectly Islamic, Pakistanis have turned Jinnah into a perfect Muslim who died a Sunni.Recommend

  • Historian 1

    @ Saba Fatima ALi :
    If in your belief the supreme sacrifice is justified and it was really for the baqa of Islam! Than why to mourn about it?? Try to understand my question. Martyred should not be mourned rather praised. By mourning imam Hussain and his family is represented as victims and not victorious. Hope you understand the point.Recommend

  • Ahsen Tanoli

    Yes Surely we can live together and were living happily before the Zia Ul Haq brand of Islam is introduced in the region. This nothing but again a Proxy play on our Homeland by so called custodians of True Islam.Recommend

  • Muslim

    @ Saba Fatima Ali

    The Shiites of Pakistan are entitled to their beliefs and practices. However the Sunni majority of Pakistan should not be made hostage in their houses during the month of Muharram. You see the life for other people ( other than Shiites ) becomes hell as they can’t get out of their houses. A common man having a bike can’t drive on the road. Sick people can’t visit hospitals and clinics for treatment. Roads are sealed off. Shop owners are told forcibly to shut down their shops. Sounds like curfew like situation. Do you think all this a fair treatment with majority that they become prisoners in their houses because Shiites have to come on the roads and practice their beliefs. Can’t all this be done in a walled perimeter or Imam Bargahs, while allowing others to lead their normal lives. I mean, is there a pressing requirement for Shiites to come on the roads and do certain things which otherwise can’t be performed inside their prescribed places of worship?

    Don’t you think that better security arrangements can be made for the Shiites, if they remain in limited places and don’t come open on the roads in the form of processions, which at times turns into tragedy and gives the terrorists free hands to play with the lives of the people.Recommend

  • Historian 1

    Torturous mourning processions on the roads do not portray Imam Hussain as a victorious. These are carried out to portray him as a victim.Recommend

  • Akhter

    @Historian 1: Why is is so important for you to decide how?/Whom? Shia’s mourn, why can you not simply respect someones personal desire to follow a particular religion?
    You should change your ID from Historian as it means over the decades you have yet to learn that the mourning is for the atrocities committed against the women and children who were marched to Damascus and presented in the court of Yazid as rebels!. Hussain (AS) was/is too great a figure in Islam to require our mourning he is Shaheed and as such does not require mourning. Of course if any one wants to shed tears over the treatment he received in Karbala they are welcome to. I am not a Shia in the strictest sense of the word but have spent past few days attending Majlis and in fact have just returned from one with my family who are all sunni. I hope this offers an insight to all that it is not as bad as so highly publicized by negative media. Recommend

  • http://- Abid P Khan

    @Another North Indian:
    Till 1930s it was legal for the Australian settlers “to clear the land” that was made available for their possession. “To clear” was euphemism for shooting dead the Aborigines.
    Have you ever heard of battles between the Ummayads and Abbasides? English football fans were beaten up by Italians last week. I am not too sure you will even attempt to grasp my point.
    Was Jinnah around when the Mongols invaded China? Recommend

  • Historian 1

    @ Akhter:

    If you believe that the treatment Hussain and his followers received in Karbala was a “Test from Allah” and they stood firm in this test ( against the suppressor) and this is why they have been raised to the highest levels of heavens, then this sacrifice should be glorified and not mourned upon. Regards.Recommend

  • Ijaaz

    Well they always can unless their overlords from the Saudi and Iran are kept under check. And as for Indians lecturing people on co-existence, it is always on the brim and on the edge. This is not co-existence but people are putting up with each other.

    Remember when Thackeray was swinging between life and death, Mumbai was almost at a standstill because people had no faith whatsoever over the police who would let the shiv sainiks burn down and destroy at will

    Two girls were arrested over a harmless post. And time and again, the hindu right always aches to start a riot..most recently a few months ago there were a few hindus who purposely threw beef into the temples in hyderabad and were later caught. If they wud not have been caught it would have started another riot in india’s history of many many communal riots. The hindu right is very sure the police won’t bother them much after all most of them are their brothers in religion.

    Even as we speak, there are many Muslim ghettos in most Indian cities and most muslims feel safe living in a ghetto rather than risk life and limb by living in a mixed place because if something happens, they know the police won’t help them for sure..this is surely not real secularism. its give an example to desi americans.. u have to live in the south side of chicago when u can live in dekalb or devon or naperville..despite having the money to live in those neighborhoods…or like living in the old city in Lahore despite having the money to live in model town (wikipedia helped me with this one)

    Actually modi is right..what we have here is pseudo-secularism and he is most praise worthy for calling a spade a spade…India cannot see itself in the same club as the US or other developed countries..there is rampant communalism in the police…many muslims are caught and then acquitted after many many years and a small section then comes up in some non major paper left leaning papers like the Hindu or the Indian express..whereas there is hardly news of it in hindustan times or the times of india…

    India may be better than pakistan but it is not some paradise of secularism or peaceful is a good example of how to put up with one another with some minor cuts and bruises every now and then (a few hundred or a thousand people getting killed in a few riots here and there every decade or so are fine with a nation of a billion…Recommend

  • Another North Indian

    Abid P Khan

    Are you saying that Islam simply turned the tribal ideology of Australian settlers toward natives and of violent football fans toward others which have always existed among humans into the perfect final and religion revealed by God Himself to be followed by human beings for all time?

    That seems too summary a judgement. At least it creates a faux feeling of brotherhood and equality, although your point is well taken – such feeling exist among members of violent football teams and predatory settlers too, and in practice, doesn’t mean anything.

    Abid P. Khan, why don’t you fill us in on the details about Jinnah’s role in Mongol invasion of China – which given his exceptional other achievements on behalf of his fellow humans would be hardly surprising!Recommend

  • http://- Abid P Khan

    @Another North Indian:
    Sui atak gai.hae
    One more case, beyond redemption.Recommend

  • Akhter

    @Historian 1: I really can’t understand why its so difficult for you to read my earlier post? But i will try again:
    the mourning is for the atrocities committed against the women and children who were marched to Damascus and presented in the court of Yazid as rebels!
    To Mourn or not to Mourn is a personal choice, why does it need your or anyone else’s approval? The topic of conversation was can “Sunni and Shia co-exist?” Well Yes they can as long as they respect each others right to practice there religion as they see fit. Just the same as i celebrate Diwali/Christmas/Vasaki with my friends. It’s really not too difficult you just need to show respect.Recommend

  • Sarah Haider

    According to my own analysis, the difference/hatred is induced in a person’s mind since childhood. I still see how so many moms, educated ones, tell their kids not to drink water at a Shia’s house. As we grew up, sane, mature people asked me absurd and unfounded questions related to shia faith that have been rumored since ages but no one ever investigated the authenticity of.such baseless allegations, and relied on word of mouth proliferated by shar-pasand. On the other hand, shia kids are taught that anyone else who is not shia is an enemy of the sect, has hatred in their hearts, are not on the right path etc.
    Parents themselves teach kids how ‘they’ are right, and ‘others’ are wrong. As we grow up, the clergy further brainwashes the common man through their hate speech to widen the gap between sects. When it comes to marriages, two people from different sects are not allowed to marry each other, because each side is ‘scared’ of the future that the children born to such couples would face.
    Even when most of us tend to act tolerant and peaceful towards each other, we tend to show hatred and disapproval behind people’s back primarily because we are brought up in such a way.
    I think that if parents start teaching kids that their own school of thought is just one perspective and not THE perspective, and teach their kids to respect others’ beliefs -whether its another sect, or another religion- some tolerance can be spread in the society. Sunnis, shias and people from any other sect or religion or belief can only co-exist if respect for others is indoctrinated since childhood, because family is the first social institution and the foremost in defining the entire upbringing of a child.Recommend

  • Historian 1

    Every revolution (against suppressors) demands sacrifice. Sacrifice of old, young and children. History is full of such events. Recent ones are arab spring events. Freedom struggle for indo/pak from british is one such example where millions of innocent lost their lives. Once the purpose of struggle is achieved, people would glorify this success rather than mourning the deaths. In contrast, even though many lost their lives including Hussain himself, the struggle of Hussain and his companions and their shahadat could not bring the desired change in the status quo, and, this is unfortunate and tragic. If Hussain had been successful, history would have been different. Recommend

  • Sarah Haider

    @adnan: Conflicting styles of worship towards God?? Now that’s what I call “phoot daalna”. Recommend

  • Mustafa Moiz

    That’s not true. Its happening far more in other places, but in Pakistan we publicize it far more.Recommend

  • Mustafa Moiz

    I think there is in the east of Saudi Arabia, and I don’t know if there’s not a single Sunni mosque in Iran. There must be. But there isn’t one in Tehran.Recommend

  • Mustafa Moiz

    @mr. righty rightist:
    That’s not true. Saddam oppressed anyone who opposed him, he was blind to religion.
    And Pakistan has had many Shia leaders, many prominent Shias in every area of our society. You’re lying.Recommend

  • Mustafa Moiz

    @mr. righty rightist:
    I’m not surprised such hate-filled Indians are allowed to comment here.Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Ijaaz: And as for Indians lecturing people on co-existence, it is always on the brim and on the edge. This is not co-existence but people are putting up with each other.

    Shias are being killed every day in Pakistan. Ahmadis will be hit hard in future.
    Pakistanis have killed 3 million people in Bangladesh and millions in Afghanistan playing taliban.

    Pakistan has been trying very hard to create religious problems in India. Do you know Indian Muslims refused to bury 9 Pakistani terrorists who attacked Bombay on 26/11 and pretended to be Hindus. Pakistani terrorists killed 40 INDIAN MUSLIMS and 121 non-Muslims. Why do you think Paki terrorists pretended to be Hindus and killed 40 Indian Muslims? Pakis tried to divide Indian Muslims and non-Muslims.

    Watch this video and learn more about Indian Muslims.

  • Ayesha Pervez

    I had Shia friends, my dad had manyyyyy Shia friends… we all got along :) I wish we could at the national level too :(Recommend

  • Gratgy

    @Ayesha Pervez
    I had Shia friends, my dad had manyyyyy Shia friends… we all got along :)

    Had??? Are they all dead now?Recommend

  • Mustafa Moiz

    As usual, Indians take any issue in Pakistan and, completely ignoring the reality, use it to highlight how superior they think their country is and attack the very creation of Pakistan. As usual, the Tribune allows this.Recommend

  • Mustafa Moiz

    As usual, Indians take any issue in Pakistan and, completely ignoring the reality, use it to highlight how superior they think their country is and attack the very creation of Pakistan. As usual, the Tribune allows and encourages this.Recommend

  • http://India Feroz

    @Umair Ahmed Abbasi:
    So Sunnis and Shias are fighting and killing each other because of USA and India.
    No need of asking where you were educated or where you live.
    Any idea why Sunnis and Shias are not killing themselves in non Islamic countries ? Recommend

  • Sarah Mehdi

    @Historian 1: Let me narrate an incident when a man asked Imam Zain-ul-Abideen(as), Imam Hussain’s sole surviving male son just such a question. The man asked, that why even after so much time had passed and still Iman zain-ul-abiideen’s mourning has not lessened? Shahadat is an honour given by Allah, and surely the shaheed is alive and blessed by Him. Imam zain-ul-abideen replied that yes, shahadat is an honour bestowed by Allah to our family, we strive to die in the way of Allah. However, it is not honour when the women and children are paraded in the bazaar and streets, and what of the women and children of the prophet’s household?

    What you are saying is true, but let me clarify that when we mourn for Imam Hussain and his followers and family, we do so because of the cruelty that was shown towards them, and the barbaric way in which they were slaughtered. The zulm does not end with Imam Hussain however. If it did, then the mourning period would have been confined till the first 10 days only I am sure. However, after Imam Hussain the opposition forces burned down the tents of imam hussain’s caravan, took the women and children and Imam zainul abideen who was sick at the time; captive and paraded them to the darbar, bazaars and streets of kufa and damascus. And that is why we mourn imam hussain, we mourn the trials and tribulations encountered by the prophet’s grand-son and his family. Recommend

  • Sarah Mehdi


    Huh. You are saying as if we want this to happen, as if we want the phone networks to be blocked, for roads to be blocked, for extra security outside of our imam bargahs, because that just makes us feel special. Do you think we want to be in constant fear for our loved ones, and not to be in contact with them. Do you think we feel flattered that the government is paying this much attention to a minority, so that we can observe our beliefs and faith in peace and relative safety. The answer is No, NO, and No!!

    Perhaps, you should put your blame to the terrorists who are spreading this fear, and fuelling the hatred that was perhaps always in your heart. Recommend

  • Sarah Haider

    It’s a never-ending debate. I think comments should be closed now!Recommend

  • ashu

    When Mr Jinnah said, “You are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your churches”, he should’ve added, “at your own risk”……...every pakistani is a pseudo minorityRecommend

  • Danali

    ALLAH (SWT) forbids Muslims to divide into sects. Refer the the following verses of the Holy Qu’ran: (6:159) and (30:31-32)!Recommend

  • Divine-Wisdom

    @Sarah Mehdi , oh please , these half-truth ‘legendary ” RAWAITS are all MADE UP .

    We can co-exist with Shiites , provided they stop calling names to Sahabas and Ummehatul Mumeneen .

    Sunnis who are dying to prove Shitte and Suunis have no difference are just ignorant fools .

    All they need to do is just “google ” their queries and that would be enough for their nirvana .Recommend

  • Virkaul

    @Anonymous: It may sound communal but think about it with a cool mind. Why has Islam of today become so intolerant with everyone and itself.Recommend

  • Muslim

    @ Sarah Mehdi

    My comments were directly in relation to the inconvenience faced by the people during Muharram with one point agenda that majority should not suffer because of minority. The minority shia are directly responsible for creating curfew like environment in the country. If they stop coming on the roads and remain confined to designated places, the chances of terrorist activities against them could be minimized. In addition the resources held with law enforcement agencies could be utilized in a better manner with regard to the safety of human lives. I don’t know why its becoming so hard for you to understand a simple point based on logic. Recommend

  • Ijaaz

    someone tell Mr. righty rightist what ethnicity means…he says Muslim americans are the poorest of all ethnicities in the USA

    As far as I the US of A when they say ethnicity they mean indian americans, japanese americans, korean americans etc…this guy spurts half truths like theres no tomorrow..has hardly any knowledge of context or history or anything of any kindRecommend

  • Sarah Mehdi

    @Divine-Wisdom: what you are saying goes both ways. Of course some stories, narrations and even Hadith have been passed down to us which have been tampered with. We got Islam by word of mouth, we don’t read ourselves to try and find out the history of events, of people past. We listen to the religious leaders and follow them blindly, never asking or wondering why.
    As to having and giving respect to the sahaba-e-rasool. I am sorry to say, I can’t respect all of them just on the basis of that they were the sahaba of our prophet. I do respect the first three khalifas regardless of what they did or didn’t do and it is the same with the majority of Shias.Recommend

  • Virkaul

    @Pessimist: Will Shias demand a separate nation as they and Sunnis cannot live together? Then there will be Ahmedis, Ismailis and others.Recommend

  • islooboy

    they do still do my uncle is a shia my other uncle a tablighi jamaati wahabi and my 3 uncle and my father a brealvi we live peacefully Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Umair Ahmed Abbasi: “But our Sheep Skinned Wolf friend (USA & INDIA) are pretty much practicing these controversies to blaze Shia And Sunni Riots”

    In other words you mean Sunnis and Shias kill each other because Indians and Americans tell them to do it. Recommend