How Trolls are confounding the Shia Rights Discourse

by Abdul Majeed

An article recently published in a notorious blog went on to criticize The Friday Times, Raza Rumi, Saleem Javed, Khaled Ahmad and Ali Chishti,because they dared to use the word “sectarian killings” instead of “Shia genocide” which is the term favored by the author of that post. The article also posited that there is a systemic genocide committed against Shias and that the #DeepState is somehow promoting it. The author did not specify exactly what benefit the #DeepState gets if they are actually complicit, when all it does is to actually compromise and damage its own writ and control. The article wanted us to believe that “Sectarian Violence/Genocide” is being “mis-represented” as a Proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The article mentioned the plight of the Hazara Shias and that they are not the only people to be targeted by the state-sponsored elements, rather it is a wide-spread national issue.

1. First of all, let me admit that I think Shias have been mercilessly killed in Pakistan over the last 26 years, this killing has been supported by the Saudis and the sectarian groups were formed, if not at least facilitated, by the #DeepState

2. Selective Amnesia
There is a lot of flip-flopping and incessant nit-picking in the article. The issue of Genocide/Sectarian Killing is mostly a matter of Semantics. These people can claim that Genocide of Shias and Balcohs is being carried out while mostly ignoring the Genocide of settlers in Balochistan. They highlight it on rare occasions but ignore the 2000+ dead and 100,000 fleeing settlers from Balochistan just because of their ethnicity and THAT is an actual genocide!
Genocide is a very strong word to be thrown around to win cheap publicity and points. Who will take up the case of 35 thousand Non-Shia Non-Hazara innocent people killed by the same Takfiris? Should we call that a genocide as well.?

3. The Saudi-Iran Question
Then there is the Saudi Arabia-Iran proxy war issue. The author does not provide us any argument “against” the proxy war apart from his/her own views and admits to a proxy war by mentioning Saudi-ISI-ASWJ Nexus. Much more can be read about this issue in the book “Sectarian War” by Khaled Ahmad. The post mentions a singular attack on Shias in 1963 and basis a whole argument on its basis.!!??  The current wave of violence against Shias in Pakistan has been traced by various authors to 1986 when a large number of innocent Turi Shias were slaughtered in Parachinar and the Anti-Shia fatwas compiled by Manzur Numani.
Unlike Khaled Ahmed, who does a systemic review of Shia-Sunni Problems(starting from the start of this conflict and with special mention of anti-Shia attitudes of Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi and Shah Waliullah), the author hops from one conclusion to another in the space of one paragraph. Interestingly, Khaled Ahmad himself mentions Gregory H.Stanton’s book “The 8 stages of Genocide” in which Stanton enumerates eight stages out of which classification, organization, polarization and denial presage the act of extermination. Under the organization, he mentions the creation of militias as instruments of extermination since they assist in the creation of deniability. Khaled Ahmed wrote in the Introduction with reference to this, “States that embark upon genocide also rely on the institution of militias. The Takfir of the Shias was this indirectly mandated by the state.”

4. Takfir(Exclusion) by the State
The article criticized Raza Rumi because he wrote, “The (second)amendment did not explicitly mention the Ahmadi community and has been used by hardliner Sunni clerics to also target the Shia community in Pakistan.”
Raza Rumi later changed that statement. I want to know how the author will describe the following information, in regards to the above-mentioned statement.
“The Shia clerical establishment compiled a volume proving that Muslims could not be declared Non-Muslims and presented it to the members of the Senate and the National Assembly in 1993, ‘Firqa-Wariyat aur Uss Ka Sadd-e-Baad’.”
Why did the Shia Clerics had to do that? Pre-emptive Measure?
Long before that, Khalifa Abdul Hakim in his book, “Iqbal and Mullah” mentioned with reference to a religious leader[after the 1953 Anti-Ahmedi Riots], “We have taken care of one sect right now, we will take care of the others afterwards.”

5. The #DeepState Question/Proposition
Regarding the fact that Establishment(#DeepState) provided tacit support to sectarian groups such as Sipah Sahaba(ASWJ) and the likes of it(as part of the flawed Strategic Depth policy), these groups are no longer in control of the Deep State.
These groups have outgrown their previous state backers and now openly declare them as enemies and facilitate some brutal attacks on the very #Deep State today. If the author got a chance to look at the newspapers in the last 3 years, there are numerous incidents where the Army even ISI and Commandos were attacked by the same groups due to their collaboration with the Takfiri Al Qaeda and TTP.
If the State’s role has to be questioned, then a better argument would be that the State has failed to ensure rule of law across the land, rather than conveniently blame it for all our collective ills.

6. Quoting out of context
I would like to quote two examples of quoting out of context and twisting of statements by the same author and leave it upon the readers to decide for themselves.

1. In the post titled, “Is Tarek Fatah really a friend of the Jews”, the author has written,
“This is what Tarek Fatah wrote in 2005 by equating evil Ahmadinejad with the State of Israel and also by indirectly supporting Saddam Hussain, killer of millions of Shia Muslims:

While we unreservedly condemn the Iranian president, we cannot remain silent about Israel’s continued occupation of Palestinian territories. We also condemn Bush for posturing as a deliverer of freedom while occupying Iraq.”


Tarek Fatah could not hide his anti-Israel nature in his book “The Jew is not my enemy” when he blamed the victim by blaming Israel for anti-Semitism. Fatah wrote:

Is Israel fueling anti-Semitism? “Yes,” he writes. Israel must end its “illegal” and “immoral” occupation of Palestinian territory and push for a Palestinian state alongside Israel.”

While Tarek Fatah has changed his opinions on certain topics through the years but this is simply ridiculous. The author is criticizing Mr. Fatah because he is being “honest” and having a “balanced approach”.!!

2. In the post titled “Shias = Iranian agents”: Ahmed Rashid’s dangerous stereotypes may enable further Shia genocide” the author has tried to paint Ahmed Rashid as an anti-shia person. The whole post has focused on a single paragraph from the interview. If anyone reads the interview itself, the scenario becomes clear. A better perspective can be found by quoting the “whole” answer.

Following is what Mr. Ahmed Rashid said “On the repercussions of an attack on Iran”

“I think this has totally been underplayed by the U.S. media. I think the repercussions in the region would be devastating, simply because the Iranians would not retaliate in a confrontational war with U.S. or Israel, if there were was a bombing. They would launch a guerrilla war, using their proxy forces all through the Middle East up from Lebanon all the way through India. … These groups would unleash terrorist attacks on Americans and Europeans and Israelis and there would be a real mayhem. And this would particularly affect the neighboring countries of Iran, of which both Afghanistan and Pakistan are. They would be placed in a terrible quandary because they would be faced with the possibility of American forces using these territories to launch retaliatory attacks against Iran. … The consequences I don’t even want to think about.”

7. A National Paranoia?

This post makes one thing abundantly clear. Despite ideological and socioeconomic divide, all Pakistanis think the same way. All of them want an enemy to blame for everything. For most of us, it is either Amrika/Israel/Hindu/Yahudi/Zionist people. For the liberal non-elite, it is #DeepState. They deliberately quote-mine and misrepresent ideas that they do not like, which is not very different from the “Arrivals” videos on YouTube or the musings of Zaid Hamid.

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