Monday, January 4, 2010


The evil of sectarianism

The massacres occurred on the 10th day of Muharram, 28 December 2009, while the ‘shia’ processions were in full swing in Karachi and Muzaffarabad. The Muzaffarabad killings were, it seems, the first of their kind in that relatively quiet and tolerant place. The Karachi outrage was followed by widespread rioting and acts of arson in commercial areas. 

These two events appear to be quite distinct from the traditional sectarian violence that has blighted Pakistan for much of its existence. The widespread killings witnessed in 2009 appeared to have reduced human life to the status of a cheap tradable commodity, which various players on the Pakistani stage found very useful in implementing their dark designs. Inquiries into the massacres are taking place and these may reveal the extent to which certain foreign powers are hell bent on destabilising Pakistan by spreading fear and insecurity. I have no wish to add my paisa’s worth of speculation to the theories doing the rounds. I am more concerned with the evil of sectarianism itself, which provides an open invitation to the enemies of Pakistan to foment trouble in the country.

All Muslims accept a single version of the Qur’an as Allah’s Guidance to mankind. This Guidance forbids creation of sects – see the very first post in this blog - but the sects abound. A Muslim should be just that, a Muslim, but people have categorised themselves as sunnis (with a multitude of sub-sects), as shias (with just as bewildering an array of sub-sects), etc. Few people take the trouble to understand what exactly is written in the Qur’an, or to think for themselves about the traditions and historical events that are presented to them by their respective leaders of religion. To a typical muslim, it would appear, the ramblings of the leader of his/her sect are more important than Allah’s Guidance that came to mankind through Muhammad Rasul-Allah, Rehmatul-lil-aalameen.

The Muslims today seem to be living in an age of Jahiliyyah, to rival the one that existed in Arabia at the time of Rasul-e-Kareem’s nabuvat. So many people are either blinded by the glitter of the West and swallow all the muck that is swept towards them or they are enslaved by the mullahs sitting atop their particular sect. Since this post is about the Muharram massacres I’ll try to limit my comments to the events that are recalled with such ferocity in this month.

All that we know about the events of Karbala comes from a single source: the Persian Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari, who wrote his books over 250 years after Rasul-Allah’s death! One of my favourite books is “Karbala ki haqeeqat’ by Dr Shabbir Ahmed. In this remarkable book he shows, by making use of historical documents, that Tabari’s father was probably a Zoroastrian named Rustam, which would give him the name Tabari bin Rustam. Moreover, the events of Karbala, as related in Tabari’s books, may have been little more than the figment of his colourful imagination because the “martyrdom” of Hussein (r.a.) is contradicted by historical manuscripts pre-dating Tabari’s books.

The real fun of reading Dr Shabbir Ahmed’s book is in its original Urdu version. However, an English translation can be read online at his website,, or it can be downloaded free. Shabbir Sahib has also incorporated this English version into his more comprehensive book, “History of Islam” – that book, too, can be read and downloaded free or you can place an order for the printed version.

In a nutshell, Dr Shabbir Ahmed’s research shows that the events of Karbala that Tabari recounts with such blood thirsty abandon never happened! The mullahs who continue to propagate the myth of Karbala so diligently should study the sources that Dr Shabbir Ahmed has and search their consciences thoroughly. What we need is more original research and honest discussion, not infantile emotionalism or senseless religious dogmatism.

TAILPIECE (5 Jan 2010)

In the post itself I avoided expressing my own views on the Karachi bombing and the ensuing acts of destruction. However, I have left comments on another website, where people suspected India's involvement in the atrocity:

"The facts, as people have pointed out, are that there was a massive police and para military presence when the bomb went off but that presence mysteriously dissolved afterwards. Apparently, TV pictures showed our policemen rooted to the spot while the indiscriminate destruction and arson went on right under their noses. Since the Interior Ministry controls the police, the question that naturally arises is: did Malik or one of his minions order the policemen and the Rangers not to intervene? Surely, the Indians could not have ordered our policemen to neglect their duties in the face of widespread destruction stretching over several hours! If India is involved then the only logical conclusion is that we have traitors in the Interior Ministry who have sold their souls to the Indians". 

In the light of subsequent "targeted killings" in Karachi, the political commentators appear to be converging towards the view that the principal underlying cause of the bloodshed may be the struggle for supremacy in certain areas of Karachi where criminal gangs, with political backing, are pitted against the MQM.


Pakistan's Nemesis said...
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Pakistan's Nemesis said...

There goes the anti-India, anti-West Blogger again. After several months of silence on his favourite topics, the Blogger has gone back to his favourite sport of US bashing and India bashing.

What can be expected from Pakis anyway? Indulging in violence and blaming India, US, Zionist Israel and the West is the most popular occupation as well as the favourite hobby of a majority of the Pakis. A few days back, the governor of Pakistan Punjab Salman Taseer was assassinated by his own body guard only because he held liberal views and condemned the Blasphemy Law as a black law. This act has been lauded by the mullahs (the ones who sport long beards and keep giving inflammatory speeches inciting violence against infidels) This is the so-called religion of peace and submission.

This country called Pakistan was a historical accident, not an incident. Having coming into existence, what has been the contribution of the Pakis to the world? They have the dubious distinction of being the most dangerous place in the world for scribes and for exporting fanatic Islamic elements to all corners of the world. No wonder the Pak govt. banned export of onions to India, because that is not a product to be exported. The land border with India is meant for infiltration of criminals to wage jihad against India. (jihad is a bullshit term for violence perpetrated in the name of religion)

The comment “If India is involved then the only logical conclusion is that we have traitors in the Interior Ministry who have sold their souls to the Indians” is laughable because Pakis have neither soul nor conscience to sell to anybody, much less to India.

Pakistan's Nemesis said...

Some saner Pakistanis have aired their views on the assassination of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer. Readers can read the views at

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