There is a long history of attacks on Sufi shrines in Pakistan, which are equally revered by Sunni and Shia Muslims but are treated as ‘centers of polytheism’ (shirk) and ‘impermissible religious innovation’ (bidah) by ultra-orthodox Takfiri Deobandi and Wahhabi/Salafi militant groups. Similarly, Sunni Barelvi commemoration of Prophet Mohammed’s birthday (Milad-un-Nabi) is constantly under threat.
There are four important implications of such attacks.
First, such attacks expose and falsify the artificial Sunni vs Shia binary created by certain vested interests, the useful proxies of the imperialist forces.
Second, these attacks cannot remain unchecked unless the state continues to allow know terror outfits and Takfiri hate clerics such as Muawiya Azam, Ramzan Mengal, Aurangzeb Farooqi, Muhammad Iqbal Qureshi aka Baba Kodda, Ahmed Ludhyanvi, Molvi Abdul Aziz, Hakim Ibrahim Qasmi with impunity.
It may be noted that the slain founder of banned terror outfit Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (aka ASWJ or LeJ) Haq Nawaz Jhangvi was notorious for hate speech against Sunni Barelvis and Sufis and had lost in a polemic debate (munazira) against a Sunni Barelvi cleric.
Third, for the past two years there has been a systematic hate campaign on social media against Sufi shrines. This hateful campaign is led by Muhammad Iqbal Qureshi aka Baba Kodda( of Lahore), Qari Hanif Dar of UAE and Mulla Zia Nasir of Manchester. These hateful persons must be arrested and prosecuted for the attack on Sufi shrines in Lahore and other areas of Pakistan.
Finally, a camouflaged Wahhabi cleric JavedGhamidi has played a key role in hateful propaganda against Sufi Muslims and Sufi shrines. According to Ghamidi, Sufism has nothing to do with Islam. As per Ghamidi, those who follow the Quranic belief of Intercession and are polytheists.
Here is a list of some of the most heinous attacks on Sufi Sunni shrines and Sunni celebrations of the Holy Prophet’s Birthday
- JhalMagsi in Baluchistan in 2005
- Nishtar Park attack on Eid un Milad un Nabi in 2006 in Karachi, Sindh
- Rahman Baba shrine attack 2009 in Peshawar
- 4. Data Darbar attack in Lahore in 2010
- Sehwan Sharif blast in 2017 in Sindh
These attacks have been devastating and resulted in the loss of hundreds of innocent lives. They are the direct result of Takfiri and Nasibi hate ideology.
Even Pakistan’s Prime Ministers like the current Prime Minister Imran Khan and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto have been viciously attacked for their personal Sufi Sunni beliefs. Those attacking them comes from Takfiri, Nasibi and commercial liberal backgrounds. The last segment is another camouflaged group of sectarian bigots who are soft and deliberately opaque on Takfiri terrorism. But who will go out of their way to viciously attack public acts of Sufi rituals of devotion?
Prominent human rights activist Farhat Taj has clearly identified the culprits as the Takfiri Deobandi Terrorists in this post: