Zahir Ebrahim | Project Humanbeingsfirst.org
Sunday, February 24, 2013 11:02 pm | Last Updated February 27, 2013 01:00 pm
In reaction to the ongoing targeted Shia killings in Pakistan as the new “kafirs” (see Some Context for Shia Killings in Pakistan and The New SAVAK in Pakistan), while researching the role of fanatical Sunni sects in condemning the Qadianis previously as the original “kafir” in 1973-74 under ZA Bhutto’s Islamization drive to neutralize the American sponsored religious right, I stumbled upon the following gem. Watch this video clip, at time 1m 55 sec:
Chicken coming home to roost for the Shias of Pakistan?
Caption Quoting the late Pakistani Shia scholar, Allama Irfan Haider Abidi, (translation is mine): “All the Muslims in the world would not have been able to declare Qadianis kafir if ‘Ali Waale’ were not present!” (Allama Irfan Haider Abidi, Qadiyani Aur Sunni Main Farq?, 1990s, time 1m 55s, translated by Zahir Ebrahim)
Caption Quoting the late Pakistani Shia scholar, Allama Irfan Haider Abidi, why the Shia pulpit is protected from officially being declared ‘kafir’ in Pakistan; which perhaps explains the psychology behind why it was easy for the ‘Ali Waale’ (video above) to team up with the fanatic Sunni pulpits against the Qadianis’ political disenfranchisement orchestrated by ZA Bhutto in 1974 –– when they could have just as easily recused themselves from the political charade even if no one rationally dare declare Shias ‘kafir’ (translation is mine):
“I am speaking from both Shia and Sunni point of view. In Islam, there is no concept of majority and minority. In Islam only non-Muslims are called minority. (Some instructions to the listeners to pay close attention and to stop sloganeering) In Islam the Muslims are always in the majority (by definition); even if among 200 non-Muslims there are only 2 homes (that are Muslim). And minority is ‘scheduled caste'; the non-Muslims are called the minorities. And responsible citizens are sitting here. Our Mr. Shah sahib participated in the formation of the 1973 Constitution, and he knows better; he is also an advocate, and he is very experienced; he has studied constitutional law. Our Mr. Qizalbash sahib is also sitting here; and he also knows. And other law experts must also be present here.
The 1973 Constitution had clearly written the words “non-Muslim minorities” in reference to Personal Law. Meaning, those minority communities which are not Muslim. Personal Law was only for them. We don’t except the Western terminology of Personal Law and Public Law.
The 1973 Constitution made it clear-cut that Personal Law will only be for minorities. After that, during the military dictatorship rule when the 1973 Constitution was disfigured, this clause was removed. And then every (Muslim) sect was given freedom to do whatever they want under Personal Law. Every sect does not need freedom in Personal Law to do whatever they want. I am not going to bury my dead by asking the government first. It is my right.
Pakistan’s 1973 Constitution was subverted and disfigured through amendments during the military era. Go pick up copies of the Constitution and examine it. This reference to Section 227 that is often made; it was subverted, disfigured. Where other aspects of the Constitution have been disfigured, this has also been disfigured.
Personal Law is only for minorities. And the term “minorities” in Islam is exclusively reserved for kafirs. Until such time that someone does not declare us (shias) kafirs, we don’t accept any Personal Law. And there is no such brave person, ‘mai ka lal’, born to any mother, who can dare declare those who follow Ali as ‘kafir’. I swear by God. (cheering).
Writing on doors and walls nothing happens; just writing “kafir kafir”, dear listeners, nothing can happen. Because, and this is our only main advantage (or superiority), that no one can ever declare those who say “ya Ali” to be ‘kafir’.
And the reason no one can declare that, is because we also say “la illaha illallah”, we also say “Muhammad-un rasool ullah”, and immediately after that we say “Ali-un vali ullah”. And after saying “Ali-un vali ullah”, it becomes an automatic announcement (a declaration of faith) that now no more messengers will come, because now Ali’s Imammate has commenced! (cheering) Are you paying attention? Reflect again.
As for declaring the Shia-an-e-haidar-e-karar ‘kafir’, friends, if you ask me my personal opinion, I pray to Allah, someone should really declare us ‘kafir’, just one time. By just someone’s proclamation one of course does not become ‘kafir’. And a kafir declaring someone else ‘kafir’ cannot make the momin (Shia) ‘kafir’, obviously. (laughter, sloganeering).
But I would like to say at least this little thing, that God willing, it should come into someone’s mind to declare Shia-an-e-haidar-e-karar ‘kafir’.
Remember, it is from our beliefs that the existence of Pakistan is intimately associated (or dependent). Pay attention, I am stating a very important sentence. And this voice should be spread if the news media representatives whom I had especially invited are present here. My message should be spread, and very responsible citizens are present here.
In all their presence I am stating: it is with our beliefs and (our) Islam that the future of the entire country is intertwined. I am saying just try it – if we are declared ‘kafir’, constitutionally, Pakistan’s Resolution, the 1940 Resolution, the 1945 Convention, the 1930 Allahabad Convention (Sir Muhammad Iqbal’s 1930 Presidential Address, Allahabad, 29 December 1930), all these will automatically become null and void!
The entire conception of Pakistan will become null and void. Because, if we are declared ‘kafir’, then the founder of Pakistan also becomes ‘kafir’!”
(Allama Irfan Haider Abidi, 8th Muharram 1990 at Karachi, time 43m 55s to 49m 18s, translated by Zahir Ebrahim)
When a people are not very principled, when their rulers’ and leaders’ politics is based on expeditious reasoning, and political expediency is the foundation of rule of law, as it has been for the entire 65 year history of Pakistan, what goes around comes around. The fact, according to the Shia scholar in the first video above, that the “Ali Waale”, meaning the Shia scholars, participated in conferring that epithet of official kafirdom upon another peoples, the Qadianis, leaves the ongoing Shia killings today in the name of their own kafirdom, with the tail wagging the dog. The logical invincibility proclaimed in the second video not being all that effective in protecting the ordinary Shia peoples from the daily targeted wrath of the barbarians. Someone evidently forgot to inform the murderous barbarians and their manufacturers and handlers that the Shias are invincible!
If there is substantive truth to this matter of the Shia pulpit being instrumental in clinching the theological argument for condemning another people to political disenfranchisement, I hasten to reason with all fairness that before the Shias (and the Sunnis who also will not escape being made victims in similar numbers) can claim any sanctuary from these manufactured barbarians, they must first apologize to the Qadianis. All Muslim peoples of Pakistan must together endeavor to collectively end this long beleaguered minority’s political dispossession in order to save their own respective skin. So long as the Qadianis remain “kafir” — that precedent-setting fault-line among Islam’s followers will eventually be made to devour all Muslims.
For each one of you, well, except for the few who are converts to Islam, your religion is your inheritance, just as it is for me. There is absolutely no merit in you being born a Shia, or Sunni, or demerit in being born a Qadiani, and for that matter a Dalit or any other. We were all born in our respective homes and socialized into our worldviews, our faith, our beliefs, our loves, and also our hates (see Islam and Knowledge vs. Socialization). Being condemned and dispossessed of political rights, marginalized and killed, because of one’s beliefs – that used to happen in the Dark Ages in most parts of the world, and still happens in Palestine today for the Palestinians under occupation. But why does that still happen in Pakistan? It is easy to point to effects and think them to be the cause. Cause and effect are two different things. Blood-drenched sectarianism is the symptom, like the ugly boil on the syphilis ridden new bride’s lip. What is the cause? The principal first cause is the directionless-ness of the nation; carved from blood and dispossession, never forging an independent national destiny, and preferring to continue as the newly freed but still emotionally dependent slave of the massa.
We don’t even have a sensible understanding of what is likely obvious to even intelligent first graders in the West. One is criminalized in a civilized society only for one’s acts of crime – and beliefs are not a crime in a civilized society. Except, when it becomes Orwellian; when even thought-crimes can be defined by the fiat of law to carry the death penalty. In such a dystopian society, no one is immune from being made kafir, terrorist, or even classified as suffering from a psychiatric illness such as the newly coined “oppositional defiant disorder” and locked away for life — once that cat of marginalizing a people based on their beliefs is let out of the bag!
So why were the Shia and Sunni Muslim public in Pakistan silent in 1974 when their respective scholars were condemning another minority to kafirdom? When many good people remain silent to the travails of others, the few bad people take over and screw each good people in turn. Duh! It is for this reason that Solon, the ancient Athenian law-giver, advocated for social responsibility as not just a moral requirement, but a legal requirement. When asked which city he thought was well-governed, Solon said: “That city where those who have not been injured take up the cause of one who has, and prosecute the case as earnestly as if the wrong had been done to themselves.”
To overcome that banality of evil has been the principal teaching of all religions, but specifically Islam (see Islam: Surah Al-Asr of the Holy Qur’an and Path Forward: Impacting Muslim Existence). We turned that lofty religion into a bunch of rituals, and my sect’s is bigger than your sect’s childish rivalry among the few which continued to spread by way of socialization into self-righteousness. Its natural culmination is the barbarianism now being visited upon those previously silent and too busy pursuing their own “Pakistani Dream” – both in and out of the mosques – to give a fck about anyone else’s blood being shed. It isn’t my blood, my child, my wife, my brothers and sisters, my parents – phew. Let’s move on to the next channel see what’s playing.
What share should we apportion to ourselves for our public apathy and silence for this carnage that is now Pakistan? We hasten to blame our national misery on the rampages of the pirates, on the greed of the politicians, and on the emperor’s armies and think-tanks playing the new great game on the grand chessboard. What has been our tacit role in rubber-stamping their rampages with our indifference, with our abiding signatures, and with our quiet compliance?
Just because you are a Shia, or a Sunni, or a Christian, or whatever other minority peoples exist in Pakistan, and your erudite turban or shalwar-kameez excretes poison for others, especially when you are a majority, you don’t have to go along with your tribe “United We Stand”. Have the courage to instead “United We Stand” with moral decency, with civic mindedness, with fairness, with justice, diligently applying the Golden Rule “do unto others as you have others do unto you” to adjudicate upon any and all matters; and today the Shia ass would not be in the line of fire of these antediluvian manufactured barbarians – because the Qadiani ass would also never have been in that line of fire.
To be effective in stopping this carnage for any one sect, the carnage must stop for all citizens regardless of their sect and religion. Given the state of narrow parochialism the mass Pakistani mind has been reduced to today, only a firm separation of religion and state with all citizens accorded the same rights and privileges irrespective of religion; the adoption of the principle of amicable co-existence derived from verse 5:48 of the Holy Qur’an as mandatory for all sects and religions accorded recognition by the state (see Path Forward: Impacting Muslim Existence); and the elimination of religion identification from the Pakistani national identity card and passport; remain the core national first course of action before the country disintegrates completely. Many people all across Pakistan have reached this conclusion of separation of state and religion which all the political founders of Pakistan, without exception, advocated, and the Muslim public who supported them with their own blood, expected. If a referendum is taken today, it should not surprise anyone that the overwhelming majority of the ordinary Pakistani public even three generations later, despite the national dysfunction, will also still agree with it.
The problem is not [the lack of] abstract theory. It is the intertwining of political will and the power nexus in Pakistan that is still entirely beholden to the same white man’s burden now merely wearing the indirect “liberal” garb of democracy instead of the iron fisted one of direct colonial occupation. Here is the pertinent text of the founder of beleaguered Pakistan, Mr. Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s first Presidential Address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, August 11, 1947. Excerpted from G. Allana, Pakistan Movement Historical Documents, University of Karachi, 1969, pp. 407-411 (via source):
“[] I cannot emphasize it too much. We should begin to work in that spirit, and in course of time all these angularities of the majority and minority communities, the Hindu community and the Muslim community — because even as regards Muslims you have Pathans, Punjabis, Shias, Sunnis and so on, and among the Hindus you have Brahmins, Vashnavas, Khatris, also Bengalees, Madrasis and so on — will vanish. Indeed if you ask me, this has been the biggest hindrance in the way of India to attain the freedom and independence, and but for this we would have been free people long long ago. No power can hold another nation, and specially a nation of 400 million souls, in subjection; nobody could have conquered you, and even if it had happened, nobody could have continued its hold on you for any length of time, but for this. Therefore, we must learn a lesson from this. You are free; you are free to go to your temples, you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place or worship in this State of Pakistan. You may belong to any religion or caste or creed — that has nothing to do with the business of the State. As you know, history shows that in England conditions, some time ago, were much worse than those prevailing in India today. The Roman Catholics and the Protestants persecuted each other. Even now there are some States in existence where there are discriminations made and bars imposed against a particular class. Thank God, we are not starting in those days. We are starting in the days where there is no discrimination, no distinction between one community and another, no discrimination between one caste or creed and another. We are starting with this fundamental principle: that we are all citizens, and equal citizens, of one State. The people of England in [the] course of time had to face the realities of the situation, and had to discharge the responsibilities and burdens placed upon them by the government of their country; and they went through that fire step by step. Today, you might say with justice that Roman Catholics and Protestants do not exist; what exists now is that every man is a citizen, an equal citizen of Great Britain, and they are all members of the Nation.
[] Now I think we should keep that in front of us as our ideal, and you will find that in course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus, and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State.
[] Well, gentlemen, I do not wish to take up any more of your time; and thank you again for the honour you have done to me. I shall always be guided by the principles of justice and fair play without any, as is put in the political language, prejudice or ill-will; in other words, partiality or favouritism. My guiding principle will be justice and complete impartiality, and I am sure that with your support and co-operation, I can look forward to Pakistan becoming one of the greatest Nations of the world.” — Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s first Presidential Address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, August 11, 1947.
Unfortunately, to undo the Gordian knot of provincialism tied on Pakistani politics since its very inception is gonna take more than a few wise men, regurgitation of theory, and referendum; and isn’t that the truth!
There are many lessons to be learnt from history, but the one that continues to impress me is the fact that once a Gordian knot is tied upon any matter, or any nation, a thousand wise men may not be able to untie it. When Imam Ali “inherited” the caliphate due to the people finally pleading with him to take up the reigns of the Muslim nation after the third Muslim Caliph’s assassination when a Gordian knot had already been tied upon the rapidly emerging new ruling-state that was reaching the shores of the Roman Empire, Persia and India, even the singular “gate to the city of knowledge” was unable to undo the civil wars that besieged his 4-1/2 years in power.
Perhaps the lack of the many wise men in Pakistan who can even begin to tackle the Gordian knot tied upon the nation can be made up by every ordinary man woman and child in Pakistan screaming NO to their own banality of evil; they can stop being silent bystanders while waiting for their turn to become the next victim of the barbarians – both the pirate and the emperor; and stand up to have their presence felt in society. What that means for the upcoming 2013 elections can be read in Some Context for Shia Killings in Pakistan.
What Role did Shias Play in Condemning Qadianis to Kafirdom in Cahoots with Sunni Scholars in 1974?