Saturday, 23 February 2013

Pakistan, A Fractured Society


The Pakistani Shia community has once again suffered at the hands of hard line Sunni groups. A second bomb attack on Shia Hazaras took place in a busy market area. The human casualties this time were more than 80 people killed and nearly 200 injured. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon occurrence in Pakistan in recent years. Sectarian violence is slowly, but surely, destabilising the country and creating more enmity between Muslims in an all-ready deeply fractured society.
Fundamental differences in creed between the two groups have led to a deep historical and religious schism. These differences are so deeply ingrained in the consciousness of some Muslims that to them it legitimatises using violence as a means of advocating the righteousness of their own beliefs. Surely this is flawed logic, as the message these hard line Sunni groups are trying to proselytise is essentially then lost amongst the mindless bloodshed and carnage.
This problem is further exacerbated by the negligent stance taken by the Pakistani government. They face criticism from many quarters because they are failing to protect some of the most vulnerable groups (Shias) in their fragmented society. This poses the pertinent question - how can a government that cannot protect minority groups serve in the best interests of the majority?
Moreover, this is a sad and precarious situation because arguably there are more important issues that Pakistan needs to be focusing on such as poverty, corruption and the drone attacks the Pakistani government condones. Muslim groups in Pakistan should be uniting to produce a strong voice which tackles the more pressing issues affecting Pakistan.
Globally, all Muslims share one creed and testify to uphold and believe in the strongly monotheistic nature of Islam. So let this commonality be the unifying stance by which Muslims protest, rather than them expending their energies on the diverging elements of the religion. A united Ummah can effect change, Real Change!