Original Articles

Let’s burn a Shia mosque and desecrate an Ahmadi mosque

Cross-posted from Pakistan Blogzine

Related posts: If they burn a Quran, they’re evil

Attack on Shia mosque in Peshawar kills 7 (Guardian – 2008)

Here is a documentary proof of how Shia Muslims in Pakistan are routinely harassed, persecuted and killed by the Saudi-ISI supported Jihado-sectarian monsters.

In the following exclusive video, dozens of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ aka Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan SSP) extremists are seen attacking a Shia mosque (imambargah), putting the mosque on fire, chanting slogans against Shia Muslims, declaring them kafir, i.e. infidel, and cursing them.

The above desecration of the Shia mosque and black-paint on Imam Hussain’s name by LeJ-SSP terrorists under police protection reminds us of a similar desecration of an Ahmadi mosque in Punjab a few years ago in which the police used black-paint to hide the Kalma Tayyaba (most sacred text in Islam) under the influence of Saudi-Wahhabi-LeJ mullahs.

Here’s a brief context of the LeJ’s attack on Peshawar’s Shia mosque:

Hate speech against Shia Muslims is commonplace in Pakistani society, media, mosques and madrassahs, a project which is amply supported by Saudi Wahhabis and Pakistan’s radicalized Deobandis who consider Shia Muslims as heretics, polytheists, deviants of Islam, and agents of Jews.

Recently (on 6 December 2011), BBC published an article titled ‘A year of suffering for Pakistan’s Shias’ to highlight the ongoing Shia massacres in Pakistan, which are most of the time ignored or misrepresented by Pakistani and international media.

In Pakistan, LeJ is the most violent Deobandi organization against Shia Muslims. Affiliated with the Taliban and Al Qaeda, LeJ (aks SSP) has killed thousands of Shias, Barelvis, Christians and Ahmadis in the last two decades.

In this particular incident in Peshawar, a Shia mosque (Imam Bargah Dar-e-Abbas, situated at Kochi Bazar, Peshawar) was attacked by LeJ-SSP operatives on 21 November 2011. Given the ongoing target killings of Shias by LeJ-Taliban terrorists, Shias at the Peshawar mosque were ready to foil the attack. Two LeJ terrorists namely Ghulam Farooq and Hasan Muavia Raza were killed by the custodians of the Shia mosque.

The aim of the LeJ attackers was to stop Shia Muslims from their annual Ashura rituals (mourning of Imam Hussain) during Muharram. Not unlike Professor Saleem Ali of University of Vermont, LeJ operatives consider Shia rituals of Ashura as a disgusting deviation from the original, pure Islam.

According to daily The News:

A police official said the clash erupted when Ghulam Farooq objected to fixing of a Sabeel (water tank) in front of the main entrance to his house by the members of the Shia community of the nearby Imambargah ahead of Muharram.

Given that LeJ is supported by Pakistan’s military establishment, ISI in particular, the Peshawar police did not use the opportunity to track other LeJ terrorists involved in the attack and arrest the entire racket. If the police would have done that, probably a subsequent, more gruesome attack on Shia Muslims in Afghanistan by the LeJ terrorists could have been thwarted. (On 6 December 2011, two terrorists killed more than 60 Shia Muslims in Kabul and Mazar-e-Sharif who were marking a major Islamic holy day (Ashura). Pakistan-based group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LEJ), claimed responsibility for the attack. LeJ represents a radicalized Deobandi Sunni group which is known to be supported by Saudi Arabia and Pakistan’s spy agency (ISI).)

In Peshawar, the LeJ-SSP affiliates and their Taliban and Wahhabi sympathizers used the opportunity to present and mourn the death of two LeJ terrorists as a matter of great sacrifice in the path of pure, original Islam. Under the protection of the Peshawar Police, LeJ affiliates utilized the incident and assembled near the Shia mosque (Imam Bargah Dar-e-Abbas) after the incident; a crowd of 300 terrorists rushed to the Shia mosque, and torched the Shia holy flag (Alam-e-Hazrat Abbas) and other holy objects and books in the Imam Bargah. The attackers also desecrated the name of Imam Hussain which is equally sacred to Shia Muslims and Sunni Muslims (except the Kharijites).

On the instruction of LeJ/SSP’s head Muhammad Ahmad Ludhianvi, a police report (FIR) was registered against the Shia Muslims who had legitimately defended themselves and acted against the LeJ attackers. The custodian of the Shia mosque Mohammad Hussaini and his two sons Mohammad Askar Hussaini and Mohammad Mohsin Hussaini were arrested by the police and are still in prison.

The entire incident is an evidence of the following:

1. Stereotyping, cursing, harassing of Shia Muslims is a common feature of Pakistani society, where the majority of moderate Sunni Muslims (Sufis-Barelvis) seem to be hostage to a powerful Deobandi-Wahhabi minority;
2. Shia Muslims are routinely attacked and killed, their Shia Islamic rituals are subject to hate speech and violence;
3. Pakistani State has failed to protect Shia Muslims as equal citizens of the country;
4. Pakistani Sate, ISI, judiciary and police, appear to be favouring and supporting the LeJ terrorists instead of helping and protecting the target killed groups (Shias, Ahamdis, Christians etc).

Update: On 12 December 2011, LeJ terrorists in Peshawar gunned down a Shia Muslim, Syed Mehmood Jaffari. Syed Mehmood-ul-Hassan Jaffari, son of Syed Mir Hassan Shah, was gunned down by the terrorists outside his shop situated at Tauheedabad Wazir Bagh Road, Peshawar. Of course, there was no chanting of Kafir Kafir, Deobandi Kafir, Kafir Kafir Wahhabi Kafir at his funeral, nor a Deobandi or Wahhabi mosque was attacked by mourning Shias. And of course, no LeJ terrorist has been arrested by the police.

To the media persons and social activists currently masking or misrepresenting Shia target killings in Pakistan, we have this to say:

There is no equation of violence between a target killed community and its State-backed killers.

False neutrality does not help the cause of reconciliation when a community (Shia Muslims) is subject to an ongoing and systematioc stereotyping, othering, harassment and target killing!

Further readings:
Intellectual dishonesty in misrepresenting Shia massacres in Pakistan

You don’t have the right to keep misrepresenting Shia massacres in Pakistan: A comment on HRCP 2010 Report

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  • Comments from PB:

    12 Comments to “Let’s burn a Shia mosque!”

    December 14, 2011 at 7:56 am
    HRW calls upon Pakistan to protect Shia Muslims
    * Tells them to hold accountable extremist groups responsible for killings
    NEW YORK: The Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Sunday that the Pakistani government should urgently act to protect Shia Muslims in Pakistan from sectarian attacks during the holy month of Muharram. In recent years, Sunni extremist groups in Pakistan have been implicated in a number of deadly attacks on Shias during Muharram, which in 2011 began on November 26.
    Concerns are greatest for possible attacks on Shia processions marking Ashura, the tenth day of Muharram, which this year is on December 6. Ashura processions have been attacked each of the past two years. In December 2010, a grenade attack on a Muharram procession in the city of Peshawar killed one person, a child, and wounded 28. In December 2009, a suicide bomber killed 30 and wounded dozens of mourners at a Muharram procession in Karachi. On February 5, 2010, a double-bombing of a follow-up Shia procession killed 25 and wounded over 50.
    “Shias in Pakistan should be able to participate in Ashura processions without fear of attack,” said HRW Asia Director Brad Adams. “Pakistani authorities need to address the severe danger faced by the Shia population with all necessary security measures. They can start by arresting extremist group members responsible for past attacks.”
    Human Rights Watch has recorded at least 18 sectarian attacks on Shia in 2011. Since Pakistan’s return to constitutional rule in 2008, hundreds of Shia have been killed across Pakistan by alleged Sunni extremists. HRW research indicates that at least 275 Shias, mostly of Hazara ethnicity, have been killed in sectarian attacks in the southwestern province of Balochistan alone since 2008.
    On November 29, Muhammad Danish Alam, a Shia teacher at Balochistan University, became the latest victim of an apparent sectarian killing when he was gunned down by unidentified men in the Zarghoonabad suburb of Quetta. Local police reported that Alam, a science and information technology lecturer, was on his way to the university on his motorcycle when gunmen opened fire and killed him. On October 4, gunmen on motorbikes stopped a bus carrying mostly Hazara Shia who were headed to work at a vegetable market on the outskirts of Quetta. The attackers forced the passengers off the bus, made them stand in a row, and then opened fire, killing 13 and wounding 6 others.
    On September 19, near the town of Mastung in Balochistan, gunmen forced about 40 Hazara who had been traveling to Iran to visit Shia holy sites to disembark from their bus. They shot 26 dead and wounded 6. Although some of the Hazara escaped, gunmen killed another three as they tried to bring the wounded to a hospital in Quetta. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a Sunni militant group, claimed responsibility for this attack. Pakistani and international human rights organisations, including HRW, have made numerous calls to Pakistan’s authorities to hold those responsible for the attacks to account. While authorities claim to have arrested dozens of suspects, no one has been charged in these attacks. “The ongoing targeted killings of Shias send a chilling message to all Pakistanis that their government won’t necessarily act to protect them,” Adams said. “The government’s failure to break up the extremist groups that carry out these attacks calls into question its commitment to protect all of its citizens.” Some Sunni extremist groups are known to have links to the Pakistani military and its intelligence agencies. Groups such as the banned Lashkar-e Jhangvi operate with impunity even in areas where state authority is well established, such as Punjab province and the port city of Karachi. In Balochistan, where local militants challenge government authority, and elsewhere across Pakistan, law enforcement officials have failed to intervene or prevent attacks on Shias and other vulnerable groups.
    HRW called on Pakistan’s federal government and the respective provincial governments to apprehend quickly and appropriately prosecute those responsible for Alam’s killing, the September 19 and October 4 attacks, and other crimes targeting the Shia population.
    “Pakistan’s civilian and military leaders should recognise that their tolerance for extremist groups is killing their own citizens,” Adams said. ”They need to stop appeasing extremists and start holding them accountable.”

    December 14, 2011 at 7:59 am
    EDITORIAL: Muharram security and sectarian attacks
    Human Rights Watch (HRW) has demanded that “the Pakistani government should urgently act to protect Shia Muslims in Pakistan from sectarian attacks during the Muslim holy month of Muharram”. In the ‘Islamic Republic of Pakistan’, not many people feel safe due to the rise in terrorism, but if you are an ethnic or religious minority, your life is even more at risk. Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar and also the month when Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) and his family were martyred by Yazid and his forces. Muslims all over the world observe the month of Muharram to commemorate the supreme sacrifice of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA), the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). Shia Muslims in particular pay special homage to Imam Hussain (RA). Majaalis, processions and other such activities are held all across Pakistan during this month; the first 10 days of Muharram are observed with great reverence. The Wahabi school of thought in Islam is intolerant towards the Shias due to theological differences. In Pakistan, the Shias and Sunnis lived in peace and harmony for decades but ever since the days of General Ziaul Haq, sectarian violence and religious intolerance has deeply penetrated our society.
    This year, Muharram started on a sad note with an attack on Shias in Karachi. Two scouts on Muharram duty lost their lives while 11 people were injured. Then on Thursday, the police in Karachi foiled a terrorist attack on Shia Imambargahs. The vigilance of the security forces is a welcome development but despite security measures, Muharram processions were attacked in the last two years. In view of this, the security forces must take stringent steps to ensure that nothing untoward takes place this time around. It is a tough task but must be undertaken in order to protect the lives of innocent citizens.
    Sunni extremist groups like the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) operate freely on Pakistani soil despite being banned organisations. Due to their activities, sectarian conflict has now transmogrified into a concentrated anti-Shia campaign. According to HRW, there were at least 18 attacks on Shias this year and “at least 275 Shias, mostly of Hazara ethnicity, have been killed in sectarian attacks in the southwestern province of Balochistan alone since 2008”. This is serious. So far the authorities have not taken sufficient steps to curb Shia massacres being carried out in Balochistan and Parachinar. Both these areas are manned heavily by the military. When banned outfits like the LeJ and SSP get away scot-free after targeted killings of Shia citizens under the military’s watch in Balochistan and Parachinar, it means these terrorist organisations either have the support of our security establishment and/or the law enforcement agencies do not value the lives of Shias. The government must launch a nationwide crackdown on all sectarian outfits and bring an end to Shia massacre.
    It is a shame that ours is a country where even the dead are not allowed to rest in peace. The recent incident of an attack on an Ahmedi graveyard by unknown people who demolished 29 graves is despicable to say the least. These are crimes against humanity and must be condemned in the strongest possible words. But condemnation is not enough. The authorities must take action against those responsible for such vile acts. It is the responsibility of the government to protect the lives of all Pakistanis, no matter which sect, religion, ethnicity they belong to

    Fahim Siddiqui
    December 14, 2011 at 8:04 am
    Ties to extremism
    More troubling are the links between the PTI and other extremist organizations in Pakistan. Over the summer, Imran Khan personally visited the Darul-Uloom Haqqania in Akora Khattak en route to a dharna (sit in) in Peshawar. The Darul-Uloom, an extremist seminary popularly known as “the University of Jihad,” is accused by the Federal Investigation Agency of being the launching pad for former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s assassination. One of its more famous graduates is the Afghan warlord Jalaluddin Haqqani, who derives his name from his proud affiliation with his alma mater.
    Moreover, in May this year Ejaz Chaudhury also attended a rally with Hafiz Saeed, the head of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the political arm of the banned terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Tayyaba. The rally condemned the killing of Osama bin Laden, and declared him a “Martyr of Islam.” Funeral prayers were duly offered.
    The flags of the Sipah-e-SahabaPakistan (SSP) have also become a sight seen at PTI rallies, some even featuring SSP-affiliated speakers. The SSP, a violently sectarian anti-Shia and anti-Christian organization, was banned as a terrorist group in 2002. SSP supporters are evidently folding into the PTI while carrying their own hateful agendas, as indicated by the presence of their distinct flags.
    In the English press, Imran Khan condemns religious parties as “bigots completely lacking in compassion and tolerance,” as he states in his autobiography. However, the PTI’s cooperation with religious parties and extremist groups continues to proliferate, with press releases usually put out only in Urdu. Ejaz Chaudhury is reportedly a scheduled speaker at an upcoming SSP conference at the Lahore Press Club on November 15, 2011. Remember, the SSP is a banned terrorist organization. This is not out of character for the party. The PTI is frequently present at the events of extremist organizations such as the Aalmi Majlis Tahaffuz Khatm-e-Nubuwwat that hounds Ahmadis and celebrated Salman Taseer’s killer. This is hardly “enlightened Islam,” much less any kind of progressive politics.

    Rahat Ali Changezi
    December 14, 2011 at 8:12 am
    This is not acceptable. This is not Jinnah’s Pakistan.
    Shameful to say the least

    December 14, 2011 at 8:31 am

    Tahir Jadoon
    December 14, 2011 at 9:14 am
    1. Do you know the difference between hate speech and free speech?.
    2. Do you know that Saleem Ali used offensive words for Shia Muslims which are also used by LeJ. He later retracted some of those words and apologized.
    Is it true that many urban elites are apologists of ISI and LeJ?

    December 14, 2011 at 9:18 am
    Shias are a later deviation in Islam. I think Saleem Ali is right.

    December 14, 2011 at 12:18 pm
    Deobandi & Ahle Hadith and its affiliated gps are deviation in Islam, these ppl are dis-obedient of Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) instructions, and authenticated Hadiths. Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) called Imam Hassan(AS) & Imam Hussain(AS) leaders of youth in Paradise(Janath) and asked Allah to love those who love Imam Hassan(AS) & Imam Hussain(AS). Islamic calender year end on the sacrifice of Hazrat Ismail(AS) and start with Shahadat of Imam Hussain(AS).Honour of the Khabba is restored by the greatest sacrifice(Shahadat) of Imam Hussain(AS).

    Ashutosh Pandey
    December 14, 2011 at 1:15 pm
    Pakistan was never safe for religious minorities like Hindus, Chrsitians, Ahmedias. Now, it is not even safe for Muslims.

    Hafiz Saleem
    December 14, 2011 at 1:50 pm
    Pakistan should be declared a Wahhabi-Deobandi Republic. All others are Kafir.

    December 14, 2011 at 5:13 pm
    When Shia’s were supporting violence against Ahmadis in 50s and 70s, they never knew they will face the same. So lesson learned for other communities who support persecution.

    Wajid Kazmi
    December 14, 2011 at 5:18 pm
    Any evidence that Shias supported violence against Ahamids in 50 and 70s?
    Yes, in 50s and 70s Shias considered Ahmadis as deviants of Islam as Ahmadis considered Shias and other sects as deviants or lesser Muslims.
    Thus, please don’t open the chapter which is counter-productive.
    The most important thing to do today is to recognize that Shias, Ahmadis, Christians and to some extent Barelvis are a victim of violence by Saudi-Salafi-Deobandi ideology. It’s time to unite against killers instead of blaming each other.

  • As usual, there was a complete blackout in Pakistani media.

    ISI’s favourite foreign jouranlists too, e.g. Omar Waraich, Declan Walsh etc, refrained from reporting this incident to the international media.

  • Jews do it out of a sense of nationalistic preservation, while anti-Shi’a extremist (should read anti-Minority extremist) due it out of religious conviction, with the added belief that it carries redemptive and salvific value

    This is not say that while Jews are numerically small, they are as a group more diverse in their views and associations. So just by throwing around the label “Jews” doesnt mean anything. Hence I used the term “nationalistic” and not religious