In his most recent piece in what he calls “Healing our sectarian divide” (Dawn, 20 Feb 2014), the respected educator and political commentator Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy has obfuscated the Shia genocide and, thus probably unwittingly lent great support to the likes of Deobandi hate cleric Ahmed Ludhianvi who claim that there has been a Shia-Sunni sectarian war going on in Pakistan in which both parties are equally involved. In his opinion piece in Dawn, Dr Hoodbhoy gives the following background to the alleged Shia-Sunni divide,
“At the core of a rapidly increasingly globalised conflict is the relatively recent insistence, equally by Shias and Sunnis, that religion must fuse with political power. Shia Muslims were led towards political Islam by Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. Sunni Muslims, on the other hand, were inspired by Egypt’s Syed Qutb and Pakistan’s Syed Abul Ala Maudoodi. . . . Pakistan’s early years were largely peaceful, except for occasional flare-ups around Ashura time. Intermarriages were fairly common, and Shias had joined orthodox Sunnis into enthusiastically supporting Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s 1974 decision to declare Ahmadis as non-Muslim.”
This is patently wrong. The likes of Syed Qutb and Maudoodi were not inspired by Sunni ideology, but by the one preached and practiced by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahab and Ibn Taimiyya. In other words, it was Wahhabism and Taimiyyaism which inspired Syed Qutb and Maudoodi in their violent interpretation of Islam (This point needs to be elaborated in a separate article.).
In Pakistan’s context, Maudoodi is revered and followed, in various measures, by Wahhabis and Deobandis. The majority of Pakistani Muslims are Sunni Sufi/ Brelvi who find no attraction in Maudoodi’s theology. In fact, Sunni Sufis/Brelvis consider Maudoodi’s theology an anathema because it is opposed to Sufism to which Brelvis subscribe.
Dr Hoodbhoy further says,
“In 2015, the Shias of Pakistan, though better off than Ahmadis of Pakistan, must contend with three principal threats to their physical security. These are similar, but also different, from those faced by most Pakistanis who also feel embattled.”
Again, this is wrong. While every single death is mourned, in terms of intensity and scale, 22,000 Shia Muslims have been killed by Deobandi terorrorists in contrast with less than 300 Ahmadis. Of coursr, far more Shias have been killed in recent times than Ahmadis or any other faith group in Pakistan. Here is a list of recourses that gives details about Shia killing which outnumbers any other community in Pakistan: https://lubpak.com/?s=shia+genocide
Dr Hoodbhoy concludes his article with a ludicrous observation: “Whether Sunni, Shia, Christian, Hindu, or Ahmadi, they all live in fear.”
The question is: If every community lives I fear, who is culprit, then?
In his article, Dr Hoodbhoy does not use the word “Deobandi” even once. His claim that every community lives in fear is the same claim being made by the Deobandi killers too.
By calling the violence in Pakistan a “Shia-Sunni sectarian divide,” Dr Hoodbhoy has served only the Deobandis, the terrrorists who have killed thousands of Shias, Sunni Sufis/Barelvis and hundreds of Ahmadis and Christians. He needs to think: Who has killed tends of thousands of Shias and Sunni Sufis/Barelvis and hundreds of Ahmadis, Christians, Hindus and Zikris? If, given Hoodbhoy’s formula, the Sunnis live in fear, who is killing them? Of course, Sunnis cannot kill Sunnis. It is the Deobandi cult, a semi-Wahhabi mutation, that has been killing Sunni Sufis/Brelvis, both being two opposing Sunni sects. If the “Shia-Sunni divide” is the result of Iran-Arab conflict, then why are Ahmadis, Hindus, and Christians being killed? And why, again, Sunnis?
Only two days ago, Deobandi assassins gunned down a Sunni-Brelvi scholar (Mahmood Shah Razvi) in Mansehra. This scholar had defeated the Deobandis in theological debates for which he had to pay with his life. The Pakistan media completely blacked it out. His murder was reported only by a couple of local newspapers (see, https://lubpak.com/archives/332049).
Dr Hoodhoy is a good anti-nukes campaigner. He should do what he does best, and not write to hurt the people of Pakistan. It is hoped that next time, he will speak the truth and not create a false Shia-Sunni binary.