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Non-Muslims Raise Voice Against Shia Killings in Pakistan

While the Muslim world remains silent, there are non-Muslims from across the world who want a stop to Shia genocide in Pakistan

Raziqueh Hussain for BeyondHeadlines
It started when a Bob Quisedella Rodrigues posted his picture on Facebook holding a placard saying, “In the West if people protest for their rights with dead bodies of their loved ones by their side, immediate action is taken by the authorities. Meanwhile, in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan the show goes on uninterrupted.” Below this there were more than 650 likes and it became viral on most Shia pages on Facebook. It made me realize that Shia genocide is now getting a lot of non-Muslim attention too.
People from across the world staged protests in their respective cities against the targeted killings of Shias in several attacks, including two blasts in Quetta in January and in Abbas Town in Karachi on March 3 that left over 50 dead.
Non-Muslims Raise Voice Against Shia Killings in Pakistan
US envoy Richard Olson, issued a statement at the United States Embassy in Islamabad strongly condemning the March 3 bombing in a residential neighbourhood of Karachi. “Intolerance and indiscriminate violence against innocent civilians is an assault on the values of the people of Pakistan and a threat to a prosperous future for all citizens,” Olson said.
Shiela Musaji, founding editor of the influential ‘The American Muslim’ says, “It is heartbreaking that there are still individuals calling themselves Muslims who can believe that there is any possible justification for such acts at any time (but even more particularly during the month of Ramadan).  Our prayers are with the victims and their families.  Those who carried out these acts bring shame on the entire Ummah.  Somehow we have to find a way to stop this senseless violence,” says the revert, adding, “I am grateful that MPAC (Muslim Public Affairs Council in North America) immediately issued a condemnation of these despicable acts.  Such condemnations are not new, they have been made many times in the past, but somehow there are some Muslims who either are unaware of or ignoring actual Islamic teachings.”
For a non-Muslim the whole issue seems an absurd cause for anyone’s death. In Ken Brown, a school teacher from UK’s case, “Someone once told me, ‘The Shia believe in 10,000 false hadith.’ It made me ponder, if true, so what? If not true, so what? Why would anyone kill a “believer in a false hadith?”And anyway, who can say with confidence that what you believe is a “true hadith?” It’s really impossible for me (from outside the faith) to see anything but silliness on either side of this argument,” he says, perturbed.
Arjun Shukla, a doctor from Lucknow, India, feels disheartened that Pakistan has failed to take care of its citizens and finds no logic behind these killings. “If Shias are being targeted in Pakistan based on their ideology, then it seems particularly vacuous. The issue is not one of land (which is tangible), or wealth (which is tangible), or treatment of women (which has real-life consequences). The entire clean-out of one community is abominable.”
And for shias, of course, it’s a question of universal brotherhood. Talib Rizvi, a jeweler from Mumbai, India, strongly condemns Shia genocide because it is against the principles of Prophet Mohammad (saww) or the Prophet and Leader of any humanitarian state to kill innocent men, women and children. “The vilest and most dangerous animals also never go on killing rampages – butchering and annihilating, like these terrorists do. Their activities are abominable, abnormal and perverted, in short, unnatural and inhuman,” he says.
The way Pakistani army is giving a free run to the radical groups like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi who regard every other person not prescribing to their rabid ideology as some sort of kafir, heretic or wajib ul qatl (eliminated immediately) is something very apparent. According  to Hassan Kazim, a New-Delhi based journalist, the current politicians under Zardari and Gilani are against these radical groups which target Shias but in reality they are not in a position to put a noose around the neck of the ones who are on a spree to kill the s Shia. “Pakistan which we are seeing today is not the Pakistan of Jinnah’s dream but it has been taken over by the Pakistan of Zia Ul Haq’s dream,” he analyses.
“If Israel bulldozes the house of a Palestinian, we raise a hue and cry and demonstrate big time everywhere, and that is the right thing to do, but when it comes to people in our own backyard, we are totally silent. Either we are scared, or simply don’t care beyond our own disgusting self. Imagine how the Shia, Ahmadiyya, Hindu and Christian minorities feel in Pakistan now,” says Suleman M, a Pakistani American academician from Austin, Texas. “I thank Allah for making me a minority throughout my life, so I can feel the anxieties and pain of the fellow beings. The least we can do is to do the thu-thu (spit; an act of condemnation in Pakistan) at the government of Zardari, they have failed to protect the citizens.  The least we can do is to lend support to Shia Muslims, so they can feel a bit secure that the ordinary Sunnis are with them,” he says pointing to a photograph of a lady wailing near the body of her dead 14-year-old son.
The solution to the problem lies in creating awareness worldwide as there is no point reasoning with the perpetrators of these henious crimes that involve blowing up women and children to pieces, points out Talib Rizvi. “That can only be done by first accepting the fact that Shia Genocide is a serious and major issue in various countries. It looks like the world media and the governments concerned don’t care much about it as the massacres and target killings are carried out openly and regularly,” he says, adding, “For instance, the Malala shooting was covered for almost a month but the bombings of Quetta only got flashed as tag lines. Quetta did end up becoming international news but that credit goes to the will of the Shias and their peaceful three day sit-in protest.”
With the daily hunting down of Shias in Pakistan and the world’s deafening silence, some solace comes by from non-Muslims like Bob who stand in solidarity with the Shias.
(Author is associated with a Sweden-based digital paper as a editor.)

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