Tarek Fatah, a leading Pakistani journalist, who lives in Canada wrote a note on his wall titled “Why are most terrorists Pakistani? An insight into the Pakistanis’ obsession with ‘Kaafirs'”. That note was basically the article written by Amir Mir in Outlook India.
Amir Mir, in ostensibly a well meaning article titled “Just Who Is Not A Kafir?” brought out a startling statistic, which explains the current situation in Pakistan very well. Here is what he gives as the starter to his article. In the introduction to this list of stats he says: “War on Kafirs: The broad Sunni-Shia division does not explain it”.
- Most Sunnis adhere to the Hanafi school of jurisprudence. Only 5 per cent of the country’s population belongs to the Ahle Hadith sect or Wahabis.
- The Sunnis are subdivided into the Barelvi and Deobandi schools of thought
- The Deobandis and Wahabis consider the Barelvis as kafir, because they visit the shrines of saints, offer prayers, believe music, poetry and dance can lead to god
- Barelvis constitute 60 per cent of the population. Deobandis and Wahabis together account for 20 per cent
- Another 15 per cent are Shias, again considered kafir and subjected to repeated attacks
- Since 2000, the Sunni-Shia conflict has claimed 5,000 lives
- Others considered kafir are the religious minorities-Christians, Ismailis, Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Ahmadias, etc, who account for 5 per cent of the population
- So, 20 per cent of the population effectively considers the remaining 80 per cent as kafir
Although fairly well articulated and argued, the author ironically himself exemplifies the mess that is there on a much larger scale – complete disregard for the fundamental issue of “Kafir-ness” as opposed to how it relates to the various sects of Islam. His worry ONLY seems to be the concept of “Kafir” as it relates to Muslims. Non-Muslims be damned and he doesn’t seem to care two hoots.
Unless one tackles the Believer-Non-Believer (Muslim-Kafir) issue at the most fundamental level, anything you do will be a waste of time.
The author almost completely disregards the stringent and righteous intolerant stand against non-Muslims in Quran and Hadiths and Islam in general. He is only bothered about laying out why the treating of Barelvis (and Shias/Ahmadiyas/ etc) by Ahle Hadiths/Deobandis as Kafirs is ironical. To him its totally lost that the mess of Kafir-ology is seeded in the very concept of Kafir and the treatment that he ought to get if one follows Quran and Mohammad verbatim. What was true for Pagans as laid out by Mohammad is very easily transferable to Hindus. Of course, poor Jews had their goose cooked by Mohammad himself.
While the statement below is very startling, it is quite like “bikini statistic” – what it reveals is important, but what it hides is critical!!
“This means only 20 per cent of Pakistanis (15 per cent of Deobandis plus 5 per cent of Ahle Hadith) strictly consider the remaining 80 per cent as kafir, even willing to subject them to death and destruction.”
Its not as simple as that. The “Kafir-ology” is a layered and hierachical science. Yes, it is startling that 20% of Ahle Hadith/Deobandis treat the rest 80% as Kafirs. But this subjugation and discrimination doesn’t stop there, because for the 60% Barelvis the 15% Shias and 5% non-Musims are Kafirs.. and in turn for 15% Shias the 5% non-Muslims are Kafirs. The game is about who is where on the “Kafir-ology scale”. Non-Muslims are the lowest on the totem pole. Since Quran and Mohammad personally cooked the goose of Pagans and Jews so Hindus and Jews are the favorite “Kafir” targets.
Within the Islamic world, one group’s Kafir is another’s Muslim. But with respect to non-Muslims, all non-Muslims are legitimate Kafirs for ALL Muslims!
It is astonishing that this righteous intolerance and pride, legitimacy and acceptance of it is so matter of fact!
Honestly, I see two issues that have been brought forth by Quran and Hadiths that are responsible for the entire mess within Islam and its relationship to the outside world:
(i) the obsession with Believer vs Non-Believer and utmost criminality against Non-Believers masquerading as “righteous intolerance”
(ii) Mohammad’s ego-maniacal obsession on being the most important and the last one.
Until these two issues remain, no matter what the Moderates, Apologists, “Progressives”, and Dhimmis say about Islam.. Non-Muslims will continue to be sub-humans in their society and one Muslim will do the “needful” on another Muslim right in the confines of his mosque.
No ideology or religious dogma is helpful in spiritual realm, but Islamic ideology, the way it is, will not even let humankind remain peaceful.