Original Articles

A Pashtun scholar recycles the Saudi-Iran proxy war theory to obfuscate Deobandi terrorism


These days, a Pshtun scholar is busy in painting the Shia genocide as an outcome of the Arab-Ajam or Arab-Iran war, ignoring the fact that Shia sect is essentially an Arab-origin sect with its roots in Makkah, Madinah, Najaf and Karbala. Iran (an Ajami or non-Arab state) converted to Shia Islam only 500 years ago.

The Umayyad army that massacred Imam Hussain (a.s.) and other members of the Prophet’s family (pbuhp) in 61 A.H. in Karabla was Arab as were the innocent people slain by that army.

The secular Pashtun scholar is also ignoring that the Arab-Ajam or Arab-Iran proxy war theory does not explain the massacres of Sunni Sufis/Barelvis and Christians in Pakistan, Syria and Iraq by the same group of Salafi or/and Deobandi (semi-Salafi) terrorists who are responsible for Shia genocide.

It seems that there is a systematic attempt by Deobandi Islamists (rightwingers) and also certain “liberals” to hide or obfuscate the common Deobandi identity of TTP-ASWJ terrorists, the inherent violent nature of the Deobandi and Salafi ideologies and the fact that Pashtun society today is plagued by Deobandi and Salafi ideologies which must be bluntly named and rooted out to reform the Pashtun and other (Punjabi, Baloch etc) cultures in Pakistan.


About the author



Click here to post a comment
  • I want to say to Farhat Taj and Khadim Hussain that Deobandi Pashtuns and before them Salafi Pashtun have been killing Pashtun Shias, Hazara Shias, Hindkowan Shias much before the Strategic Depth Jihad sponsored by the CIA-Saudi-Pakistan. To what extent will you go to hid the atrocities of Ahmad Shah Abdali in the past and Deobandi terrorists today who are killing Shias, Sunni Barelvis and Christians due to their faith.

    When Deobandi terrorists kill ANP leaders or a few moderate Deobandi clerics, they do not kill them due to their faith, they kill them because of their political (anti-Taliban) stance.

  • https://www.facebook.com/AbdulNishapuri/posts/824289247587911

    Jim Pivonka I respectfully demur, but only in part, from Abdul Nishapuri’s analysis here. The Pashtun scholar’s analysis is justified, by the fact that the current extreme degree of Shia genocide is precipitated in part by the activities of some Shia clerics acting as agents of Iran in a play for regional power, and has resulted in overt action by Pakistan’s deep state and security apparatus to encourage the genocide.
    That does not change, or argue against the violence implicit in takfiri/Kharijite elements who take inspiration from Deoband and Salafism. It does force attention to the way in which those elements are used by state actors in their efforts to control and disorient the people of their own and other nations.

    It also may inform us as to a possible motivation for a scholar’s efforts to understand the genocide which does not regard it, in an essentialist manner, as an automatic and inevitable action of Deoband and Salafi believers, per se.

    I, myself, find the protestations of Salafi and Deobandi believers that not every one of their belief is takfiri/Kharijite to be understandable and sympathetic. These believers attribute the formation of jihaddi violence by people in their midst to be in conflict with their own understanding of their faith, and attempt to attribute that formation to influences they regard as heretical and unacceptable.

    Typically these are characterized as Qutbist, takfiri/Kharijite, and other schools of thought which specifically justify violence against Muslims and non Muslims alike, simply for not adhering and conforming to these extremist schools and their leaders. For example, an anti takfiri/Kharijite site, which is itself Salafist, has this to say: (While pretending to be Salfi, and stealing from Salafi writings, in fact “They are the greatest of haters of Salafis and their da’wah and it is from their hypocrisy (in deed) to behave like this.” (Takfiris.com).

    As “understandable and sympathetic” as I may find the protestations of Deoband and Salafi believers who object to the violence and the genocide to be, I do not find them fully credible. They seem to be based on an inadequate understanding of the role their schools have played in the development and encouragement of the very violence they object to, and which they do not see as a part of the belief they identify with.

    In effect we see a divide of these schools of thought, both originating in a historical intellectual tradition and both historically congenial to takfiri jihaddism and violence – but both now including large communities of believers who reject that violent tradition.
    The Pashtun scholar sees that division between violent and non violent traditions in Pashtun culture and social organization, and insists on recognizing it, focusing on the redeemed thread of Deobandi belief and practice as it has separated itself from the takfiri/Kharijite thread.

    There are problems with this approach, as I see it. For many, it will appear inappropriately ahistorical; that is it will deny the influence of history on the present, in the actual behavior of individuals and institutions. It may potentially “fuzzify” or cloud the actual source of great social evils, in the process. At the same time, courtesy to our fellow humans, respect for the sincerity of the beliefs of people who bear us no ill will, demands that we find ways to address the historical problem without condemning that part of the present which rejects the features that are problematic.
    18 hours ago · Unlike · 1

    Abdul Nishapuri Jim: Thanks for the feedback which I really value and respect.

    Let’s discuss it point by point.

    I agree with your reference to courtesy. But the courtesy also demands that Pashtun nationalists clearly condemn the takfiri Deobandi terrorists who are killing not only Shias but also Sunni Barelvis, Christians etc due to their faith. Given that we continue to collect deadbodies on a daily basis, we really need clear identification of our killers so that a collective action against them could be possible on a societal level.
    17 hours ago · Edited · Like · 3

    Jim Pivonka As a member of European Atlantic civilization I face a similar problem in my own intellectual historical background. Two examples:
    A favorite, essential philosopher to me, a man who made a great contribution to the creation of an enlightened and free Euro-Atlantic civilization, Immanuel Kant, was a racist. He held racist social attitudes which he justified at the same time that he was making great contributions to philosophy and thought. He failed to see a distinction, and there is some evidence that his reputation and credibility as a philosopher were, for a time, used to justify European colonial attitudes, racism, and racist policies.

    Were his racism and his other philosophical ideas integral and inseparable? Does the racism invalidate his other ideas and contributions? Of course not.

    Voltaire, a great philosopher of the Euro-Atlantic Enlightenment spent his life advocating tolerance and pluralism as the basis for a civilized society. He is one of my greatest intellectual influences and heroes. Yet, unfortunately, and to his own shame, he was an anti-Semite. It was a gut response, a failure in his character. And he recognized that it was, and in some places in his writings point out how inappropriate it is. In others, he expresses his gut feelings about Jews with reprehensible frankness and vigor. Does this invalidate his contribution to our ideas favoring tolerance and pluralism today. Of course not.

    Both examples, though, point up the need to understand our “heroes”, in their weaknesses and failings as well as in their strengths and contributions, and to consciously, conscientiously, reject and purge the unworthy, backward, and inhumane character of their thought and expression, when it is found.

    It seems reasonable, and necessary, that our contemporary Deobandi and Salafi believers and their teachers should do the same for the founders and heroes of their traditions. They must be asked and expected to examine their history and their heroes and remove, root, trunk, and branch, all elements which support and justify Kharijite/takfiri thought, word, and action from their schools, and their teachings.
    17 hours ago · Unlike · 2

    Jim Pivonka Abdul Nishapuri, the need for clear condemnation of the genocide and of the ideologies that make it possible seems inescapable to me.

    Recognition of the possibility that weaknesses in our own beloved traditions and societies, and in the characters and teachings of our leaders, can lead to consequences which are unacceptable to us, in conflict with our values, and reprehensible in their effects on other people and communities is essential to our growth as moral beings. Just as essential as self examination, and the recognition of our own weaknesses, errors, and failings in our behavior and relationships are.

    It’s not enough to improve our own character; we must also demand that the social groups and institutions we are a part of are also performing as they should.
    17 hours ago · Unlike · 2

    Abdul Nishapuri For example, in the last few years, we have used all possible ways of polite engagement, education, conversation and advocacy to convince our Pashtun friends (most, not all, of them are Deobandis) to raise clear voice against Deobandi terrorists and the underlying intolerant ideologies which are responsible not only for massacres of Shias, Sunni Barelvis, Christians etc but also have inflicted heavy losses on secular Pashtuns and ordinary Deobandi folks. To no avail. ————– Recently, when we started probing the historical and contextual reasons of the Nazi style silence on or obfuscation of takfiri Deobandi terrorism, we were called names, such as Punjabi racists, Shia Taliban, trolls etc. This, however, doesn’t deter us from doing what we all should be dong, i.e., resisting the genocide through all lawful means.
    17 hours ago · Like · 2

    Abdul Nishapuri There is value when you say that (some) Shia clerics acting as agents of Iran resulted in overt action by Pakistan’s deep state and security apparatus to encourage the genocide. However, that is only one part of the story, which does not explain why Deobandi TTP-ASWJ terrorists are killing Sunni Barelvis, Christians etc. This then points towards the takfiri mutation (or takfiri enhancement) of the Deobandi ideology which is, by its very design and nature, intolerant and violent. All it needs is an enabling environment which was provided by the Pakistani agencies and Saudi Arabia.
    17 hours ago · Like · 3

    Jim Pivonka I think that you have, very accurately and concisely, stated my understanding of the situation as it stands, an as it must be addressed.
    17 hours ago · Unlike · 2