MPAC Condemns Violence Against Shia in Pakistan
The Muslim Public Affairs Council today condemned the gruesome killings of two dozen Shia Muslims in Pakistan, and called for an end to intrafaith violence and minority persecution in Pakistan.
News agencies report at least one Shia Muslim university student was killed today when a bus carrying him and classmates was bombed in Karachi. Yesterday, at least a dozen Taliban militants pulled more than 20 Shia passengers off of three buses traveling from Rawalpindi to Astore in northern Pakistan and shot them at point blank range.
The victims were mostly young men returning to their villages for Eid ul-Fitr, the Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan and 30 days of fasting. Darra Adam Khel, a faction of Pakistan’s Taliban, claimed responsibility for yesterday’s attack saying that it was because Shia are enemies of Sunnis and conspire against them. Mohammed Afridi, a spokesman for the faction, said they will continue such attacks in the future.
Attacks against Shia are on the rise in Pakistan, particularly in the northern regions. MPAC calls on Islamic scholars of all schools of thought to condemn this cancerous practice of attacks against Shia communities. Scholars and activists, especially in regions spreading anti-Shia rhetoric, must make it clear that there is no room in Islam for murder and violence. The Pakistani government should investigate this growing security concern and make the rights and safety of minorities a priority.
MPAC has continually called for intervention in Pakistan by religious, civic and government authorities as violence against minority religious groups continues to grow. MPAC also issued the Intrafaith Code of Honor in 2007, which calls for respect for all schools of thought within Islam and warns against sectarian divisions.
In 2005, Muslim global leaders signed The Amman Initiative to oppose terrorism and sectarian violence. It is now time to move beyond the rhetoric and demand action.
The Quran condemns this type of intrafaith violence in plain terms:
“Who deliberately slays another believer, his requital shall be hell, therein to abide; and God will condemn him, and will reject him, and will prepare for him awesome suffering.” (4:93)
In the final days of this blessed month, let us pray for the souls of the deceased and pledge to work to uphold the Quranic value of the sacredness of human life, for believers in God and all people.
“Pakistani Taliban Kill 22 Shiites in Bus Attack” (New York Times) http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/17/world/asia/pakistani-taliban-kill-22-shiites-in-bus-attack.html?_r=2&hp
“Bomb Hits Bus in Pakistan Carrying Shiite Muslim Students, Killing 1” (Washington Post) http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/taliban-storm-pakistan-air-base-linked-to-nuclear-program-killing-2-in-brazen-assault/2012/08/17/022559b4-e827-11e1-9739-eef99c5fb285_story.html