Persecution of the Shia and Holy Pilgrimage: Institutional Hatred and Takfiri Islamists
Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
It is difficult to imagine that Shia Muslims are being constantly targeted by Sunni Takfiri Islamists during religious pilgrimages in modern day Iraq. Yet for the Shia religious persecution is sadly a common reality in many parts of the world. This reality is because of Takfiri Islamists, an array of Sunni Islamic terrorist groups, Salafi indoctrination, state discrimination and other factors within the Sunni Muslim world. Therefore, it is essential for international institutions like the United Nations (UN) and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to address this brutal reality because the blood of Shia martyrs is flowing endlessly.
Religious persecution happens in many nations but it is fair to say that the murder of Shia Muslims is all too common and extremely brutal. Also, even in the holy of holiest Shia religious places this religious community is butchered by Sunni Takfiris and a plethora of different terrorist groups. It is unimaginable in the modern world to think about Christians being constantly blown up in Jerusalem or for Buddhists to be killed for visiting holy places where the Buddha preached and spouted great wisdom. However, for Shia Muslims, times of joy when celebrating special Muslim religious festivals and visiting holy mosques of great importance is always tempered by the genuine fear that they could be killed at any moment by Sunni Takfiri zealots.
Despite the very real threat of being killed during holy processions and religious pilgrimages, the Shia remain unbowed. Yet why should the Shia have to face such barbarity time after time? It is, therefore, incumbent on the UN and OIC – and other major institutions – to address this brutal reality because something needs to be done to protect people from being murdered in such vast numbers based on religious sectarianism that is being fed by Gulf petrodollars.
Sadly it appears that the OIC is in denial mode – irrespective if this issue is being raised – because it takes only a few seconds to search for Sunni Takfiri imams inciting enormous hatred towards the Shia in various nations in the Muslim world. Likewise, zealots and converts in the West have many ratlines in the area of incitement and mass propaganda aimed at the Shia community. Yet why are sectarian forces being allowed to incite openly against the Shia and why is this brutal reality being ignored on the whole?
In Pakistan, many Shia mosques have been attacked and similarly in Yemen this religious community knows that they are fighting for survival against Takfiri extremists and the state policies of many Sunni Muslim dominated nations. Saudi Arabia also is meddling in anti-Shia policies in Bahrain and Yemen and this applies to the state apparatus in both these nations. Similarly, the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan follow the same sectarian mantra being ushered by al-Qaeda affiliates and ISIS (Islamic State – IS). Also, even when the Shia don’t suffer at the hands of barbaric terrorists they still face state discrimination – for example, in Malaysia the Shia are forbidden to openly spread their religious beliefs based on institutional discrimination. Meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia, which supports institutional discrimination against all non-Muslims and the Shia community, it is clear that the Shia face enormous marginalization. Therefore, anti-Shia sectarianism is now spreading far and wide within the Sunni Muslim world and this includes nations like Egypt, Kuwait (2015) and Nigeria.
Another brutal zone of anti-Shia and anti-Alawite massacres is also taking place in Syria based on Western and Gulf meddling, whereby Takfiri Islamist fanatics are utilizing NATO Turkey and other ratlines. This reality is based on outside meddling and enormous propaganda against the government of Syria. After all, the Syrian government took in vast numbers of Sunni Muslims from Iraq and Palestine – alongside other religious communities like Christians fleeing persecution – and clearly Syria supports the Palestinian cause (most Palestinians are Sunni). Yet, the sectarian angle is being manipulated by various dark forces. Therefore, Takfiri Islamic jihadists from all over the world are entering Syria in order to slaughter Alawites, the Shia, Christians and Sunni loyalists. The clear binding factor in the destabilization of Syria is the open manipulation of sectarianism against the people of this nation. Despite this, the Syrian armed forces and state institutions are trying to preserve the mosaic and recently the Russian Federation began to help this embattled nation.
Overall, it is clear that major powerful Gulf powers are either openly spreading sectarianism – or forces from within these feudal states are spreading anti-Shia hatred – or a combination of both. This notably applies to Saudi Arabia and Qatar but many ratlines also lead back to other feudal nations including Kuwait. Indeed, this reality should shame the OIC because the sectarian card is embedded within too many areas of life in several powerful nations within the Sunni Muslim world. Therefore, it is essential that the UN – and other major international bodies – raise the issue of mass persecution towards the Shia because this religious community is targeted constantly irrespective if based on Takfiri sectarian barbarity, or based on institutional discrimination.
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Some essential articles by Modern Tokyo Times are republished based on the importance of the subject. The issue of Shia Persecution is neglected and clearly the UN and others must do more to highlight this reality.