Violent Salafis-Wahhabis and Deobandis do not represent Sunni Muslims
Despite the propagation of urban legend in ill-informed, ill-advised Western media, the attack on a Shia Muslim mosque in Burssels, in which a prayer leader (Imam) Sheikh Abdallah Dadou was killed and various copies of the holy Quran burnt, was not carried out by a Sunni Muslim.
It is a much ignored fact that despite some minor ideological and historical differences, Sunni and Shia Muslims in Europe, Asia and elsewhere have peacefully coexisted together for many centuries. (We should not be blinded by the so called “sectarian violence” narrative in Iraq and Pakistan because it is artificially manufactured and implemented by Saudi Arabia and its Jihadi-Salafi proxies, i.e., Al Qaeda and affiliates).
The attacker in Brussels did not belong to Sunni Islam. He was a Salafi Muslim, a Sunni sub-sect which represents less than one per cent of World’s Sunni Muslim population, and is extremely noisy and influential because of Saudi petro-dollars and a very well organized Jihadi-Salafi propaganda network.
World’s Muslim population can be approximately divided into the following main sects:
Hanafi Sunni Muslims: 35%
Shafei Sunni Muslim: 25%
Shia Muslims: 20%
Maliki Sunni Muslims: 15%
Hambali Sunni Muslims: 4%
Salafi Muslims: 1%
Hanafis and Shafeis constitute the biggest proportion of the Muslim world, a major chunk of their population is situated in non-Arab countries (e.g., Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc), many of these populations were not a part of the Islamic world during the Prophet’s (pbuh) or the Rashidun Caliphs’ (r.a.) era.
The overall population of Shia Muslims is relatively small on a global scale (20%), they, however, comprise a majority or significant minority in several countries in the core Middle East (e.g., Iraq 65%, Yemen 45%, Bahrain 75%, Iran 95%, Saudi Arabia 25%, Lebanon 40%, Syria 20% etc), a bitter fact which is hard to digest by Saudi Salafis due to not only ideological but also geopolitical reasons.
Salafis, a tiny puritanical minority of Sunnis, are found only in Saudi Arabia and a few Gulf statlets where they are the ruling elites. Hambali Sunni Muslims constitute the majority of population in Saudi Arabia followed by Shias and Hanafis.
Thanks to Saudi petro-dollars and mushrooming madrassas, an increasing number of otherwise moderate Sunnis (Hanafis, Shafeis, Malikis, Hambalis etc) in Pakistan, Indonesia, Nigeria, Morocco, Turkey, US, Canada, UK, Belgium and other countries are being radicalised and Salafi-ized (Wahhabi-ized). For example, the current wave of Shia and Sufi Sunni killing in Pakistan and Iraq is being carried out by those very few Sunnis (Deobandis) who have been radicalized by the Salafi-Wahhabi violent ideology. It is pertinent to recall that the Al Qaeda, its leadership and affiliates (e.g., Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Hamas in Palestine, Zakir Naik in India, Farhat Hashmi in Canada, Taliban in Afghanistan, Sipah-e-Sahaba (ASWJ) in Pakistan, and Jamaa Islamia in Indonesia etc) represent the same fringe, Salafi-ized groups which do not represent the majority of moderate Sunni Muslims.
Therefore, it is not only inaccurate but also counter-productive to attribute the Brussels mosque attack to Sunni Muslims. What we have seen in Burssels is not a Sunni vs Shia sectarian attack, it is an example of a terrorist attack on civilized world, it is Al Qaeda versus peace, Salafis vs Europe, terrorists vs Islam. In other words, the attack was carried out by the Jihadi-Salafis and the victims were not only Shia Muslims but also Sunni Muslims, Christians, Jews and all other communities.
It is time that all communities in Belgium, and also in wider Europe, step forward to express solidarity with Belgium’s Shia Muslims. It is time for Shias, Sunnis, Jews, Christians, Atheists, peace activists to unite against the violent Salafi-Ikhwan ideology which is the biggest threat to peace and security anywhere in the world.