International Conflict of Shia, Sunni and the Role of Islamic Countries

Noor Dahri

Middle East Analyst, United Kingdom.


Nowadays Islamic countries are facing innumerable serious problems that are causing unrest across them. The most troublesome and threatening issue is the conflict between Shia and Sunni communities. This conflict, based on mutual hatred, has been going on for a long time, and, as the time passes by, its intensity is also increasing day by day, making the situation worse. This issue is neither for wealth, nor for power, but it is out-and-out madness for revenge. It is bringing Shiite and Sunni groups against each other, and as a result, thousands of innocent people of both communities have been mercilessly killed. This kind of unjustified and meaningless killing is going on in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Bahrain, Syria and Lebanon. Now due to this most unfortunate conflict two powerful and influential Islamic countries, Iran and Saudi Arabia are at loggerheads.
Pakistan is the most affected country on account of this conflict. Shiites were mercilessly killed here on a very large scale. The stream of their blood crossed Asia’s border and reached the Middle East. It seems this battle of hatred asks for more sacrifices of human lives. It is difficult to predict that the game of bloodbath would ever stop.
If we split the total Muslim population of the world, we come to know that Sunnis constitute 80 to 90 per cent and Shias 10 to 20 percent of the total population. South Asia, South East Asia, China, Africa and Arab countries are Sunni dominated, whereas Iran, Iraq and Bahrain have a majority of Shiites. Apart from Iran and Iraq, Shiite have considerable political power in Lebanon and Azerbaijan. There are many Shiites in Pakistan and Afghanistan too. So far as the population of Shiites is concerned, Iran holds first place with 70 million people, and the second place goes to Pakistan where 40 million Shiites dwell. The population of Shiites in India and Iraq is almost equal.
In the freedom movement of Pakistan, both Shias and Sunnis took part and offered sacrifices of their lives. Notwithstanding the fact, it is an unconvincing truth that Shias have been getting away with prestigious and important posts like heads of the military forces, Generals, Presidents and Prime Ministers right from the beginning. Still there is no change in this trend.
The span of the history of Shias and Sunnis’ unity is spread over 1400 years. They lived together in harmony for such a long period. During this period, sometimes Sunni caliphate and sometimes Shia caliphate were formed, but they never crossed swords at any time. In case of any dispute, religious heads of both communities would sit together to resolve their differences. Two examples of their unity are presented below:

1. When the Sunni caliphate was in danger in the First World War, the powerful Shia “Caliphate Movement” took an important decision in the session held in Jerusalem in 1931 that it would support the Sunni Ottoman (Turk) Caliphate strongly, and it kept it support till the end.
2. A great and learned scholar of Jamia Al’azhar of Egypt issued a fatwa (judgment) by which the Shia’s Islamic Law was declared 5th fiqha (religious prudence) of Islam

Suddenly the Revolution of Iran came into being, and the conflict that was confined to Shias and Sunnis turned into a burning political issue. Iran started strengthening those areas where Shias’ population was more. In retaliation of Iran, Saudi Arabia provided power to Sunni dominated places by giving those monetary help. These two hostile communities were forced to fight with each other by the help of hatred based on falsely fabricated stories.
Apart from these stories, Fatwas (judgment) were also issued by the religious heads of the both communities, declaring each other kafir (Infidel), thus killing one another was justified. Many people were mercilessly exterminated. Extremist religious groups started coming up in Iran and Saudi Arabia. These fascist groups were named as Mujahedeen. These two Muslim nations never bothered to think that those innocent people who are losing their lives do not belong to any militant outfit, but they are innocent, religious and peace loving people.
Iran and Saudi Arabia started helping their militant groups, so that they could go on with their destructive activities. Sunnis formed “Sipah-e-Sahaba” (army of the Companions of Prophet), a militant organization against Shias in Pakistan. To pay Sunnis back, Shias organized a militant group in Pakistan by the name “Sipha-e-Mohammed” (Army of Muhammad). In Lebanon, a Shia group “Hezbollah “was formed, in retaliation Sunnis came up with “Ansarullah” (Helpers of Allah). In Afghanistan, “Hizb-e-Islami” (Followers of Islam) was set up by Sunnis, whereas “Hizb-e-Wehdath” (followers of Unity) was established by Shias. In Iraq, Syria and Bahrain militant groups were formed too. Their main task was to issue a fatawah (Judgment) of kafir (Infidel) against each other and start killing. The militant groups that are active in the above mentioned countries get full support from different extremist groups of the world.
In Pakistan, the slogan “kafir kafir Shia kafir” (Infidel, Infidel Shia Infidel) started when a fatawah (Judgment) was issued against Shias. The reaction of this fatawah was so dangerous and strong that thousands of innocent Shias were put to death. The same kind of fatawah was issued in Lebanon against Sunnis, and as a result thousands of innocent and peaceful Sunnis were brutally killed. In Afghanistan too, lot of Shia and Sunnis were massacred. The Sunni government of Saddam Husain also killed thousands of Shias in the majority of Shia populated states in Iraq.
When Soviet Union left Afghanistan, the Sunni and Shia militant started so called jihad among themselves. The world has seen how they played havoc with human lives in 1992 to 1994 in Kabul. In the name of religion, bloodshed was carried out by the same so called mujahedin, who fought against the Soviet Union under the influence of fatawah issued by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Now, the same jihad completely spread in Muslims. Iran and Saudi Arabia are adding fuel to the fire by helping Shia and Sunnis militants in Syria.
The situation in Afghanistan turned so hostile that Shia and Sunni plundered each other, communities killed thousands of innocent children, raped innumerable women, put youngsters in containers and set them on fire, and sold the old ones in unremunerated camps. All these activities were carried out taking each other as kafirs (Infidels). Every so called jihadi faction gets full support from Islamic countries. This war does not have any political significance, but it is based on religious hatred. It is deeply rooted in Pakistan, as a result, many innocent people and Islamic scholars of both communities were mercilessly killed. It is not ending. Now the bloodshed crossed cities, states and entered into most of the countries of the world. It must be stopped at any cost.
The barbaric killing could be stopped by taking following precautions:

1. All terrorist outfits must be revoked and a lifelong ban must be imposed on them, so that they could not be active with other names.
2. The leaders of these organizations must be brought under judicial proceedings for the massacre.
3. Vindictive speeches against each other in the mosques must be banned.
4. One community must respect the other one, and must accept and realize that both communities are living realities, and could not be annihilated by their destructive activities at any cost.
5. One group must safeguard the respect, life and belongings of another group. The forces that raise their heads against them must be dealt with an iron hand.
6. Children must be taught lessons of love and compassion.
7. Both mosques must be kept under governmental protection.

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