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Op-Ed: The Massacre of Shias in Shia founder Jinnah's Pakistan

By Manzer Munir     Mar 4, 2013 in World
Karachi - Another day brings news of a yet a new massacre on the Shia community in Pakistan. By last count, scores are injured, and at least 47 people have been killed in a bomb attack in the Shia enclave in Karachi Pakistan by the name of Abbas Town.
I'm ashamed of this brutality and for the 3rd consecutive large scale attack on the Shia people in Pakistan. It is ironic that this is happening to the Shias in Pakistan as the founder of the nation, Jinnah´╗┐ and his sister Fatima Jinnah´╗┐ were Shia Pakistanis as are a large minority in Pakistan as in many Muslim countries. As for me, on a personal note, my wife's family is Shia. So now for the first time, today I am also a Shia Pakistani.
I feel for the fear that the Shia community across Pakistan must be feeling for the last several weeks. Earlier this year, nearly 200 people had been killed in two separate attacks targeting the Shia community in the south-western city of Quetta in January and then in February. Now these attacks continue into March. And all for what? Simply for having a different view on certain events in Islam's history? Is this what these murderous 'purists' would want us to believe? That there is a justification for any of this? Are they not Muslim? And if you answered no to that, then are they not at least human?
These are your fellow Pakistanis who cheer for the same cricket team, sing the same anthem, love the same green and white crescent star flag, they read the same history books, and eat the same chaat. Do do they not also face Mecca when praying? Did Allah not also create them? Stop killing everyone that does not see the Qu'ran with your Salafist and Wahaabi eyes. No matter what Islamic school of thought you may follow, one thing is certain, bombing and killing scores of innocent women and children is not something God, any God would ever condone, certainly not in his name. This is definitely not Prophet Muhammad's Islam.
Oh how I wish the people of Pakistan would somehow rise up and put a stop to this weekly targeting of this community throughout Pakistan. Obviously this is the job of a competent government to arrest and dismantle the network throughout the country so that there are no more perpetrators left. In a functioning democracy and a half way decently governed nation would certainly be the case as this is not the job of the populace. Sadly, one of the the most inept and corrupt administration in Pakistan's long checkered history is still in power. Zardari's government has proved to be highly incompetent in running a country effectively. With elections a few weeks away, the desperate general population of the country is hopeful for a good change.
The current sad and alarming state in the country is not what the father of the nation, Mohammed Ali Jinnah envisioned. Jinnah, who was a "was an Ismaili by birth and according to Vali Nasr, a noted expert on Shia Islam, believed that Jinnah was a Twelver Shia by confession, although not a religiously observant man. He wanted a tolerant and secular Pakistan, a nation of majority Muslims, but one that respected all religions and their right to exist freely within its borders.
What we have now in Pakistan is the opposite of that and not the Islam nor the country that neither the prophet of the religion nor the leader of the nation had preached about. Pakistan needs to stop this insanity. Stop killing Shias, stop imprisoning Christians for allegedly 'blaspheming', stop desecrating the graves of Ismailis and most of all I want these criminals to stop destroying this already fractured country by carrying attacks on its helpless citizens.
A nation unable to protect its minorities is in the end not much different than Germany during the Holocaust. The standing by silently of the majority Sunni population will mean that they have blood on their hands also. This time its Shia blood. Tomorrow it will be Christian or Sufi blood, or perhaps that of a soldier or policeman targeted by these militants and terror groups. Arrest and grant death penalty to those who are responsible immediately before there is more blood shed of the innocents.
To rid itself of the menace of militant extremist groups, Pakistan needs to get rid of all the terror factions for the safety of the common citizen and make peace with its neighbor India instead of cultivating many of these groups over the years for the proxy wars in Kashmir. This same dog is now biting you back and is not controllable. It should have never been raised for attacking others with hate and vengeance being all it knows. Best to put it to sleep, make peace with India, resolve the many problems of its own people and develop the economy and provide safety and security for a hungry and growing population.
Of course for this to all happen, Pakistan needs to have a fair and free election later this year where the best person should win, one who is a patriot and wants to better the nation and not enrich their pockets from it. I am not sure there is anyone in the bunch running that qualifies. Imran Khan comes pretty close, although not a candidate without his own fallacies. All I can say week after week after hearing the news that comes from Pakistan is that may God help this nation, the most precarious country in the world.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Shia, shiite muslims, Pakistan, Karachi, Religious extremism
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