Stop Shia massacre, Muslims urge global community

Last Updated: Tue, Feb 26, 2013 11:20 hrs

Mumbai, Feb 26 (IANS) Prominent Islamic scholars and intellectuals here Tuesday called upon the international community to help put an end to 'massacre' of the Shia Muslim community in Pakistan.

"This is extremely shameful and a matter of concern to the whole world. The United Nations, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other global bodies must step in to end this senseless killings of Shias in Pakistan," renowned Islamic scholar Maulana Sayed Ahmedalo Abidi, the Imam of Jama Masjid in Mumbai, told media-persons.

He claimed that Shia Muslims in Pakistan are being physically attacked, shot or bombed at random and called upon the Pakistani government to protect from from the militant violence.

"Stop this Shia Muslim genocide in Pakistan ... The Pakistan government must acknowledge that the atrocities unleashed against the helpless community tantamount to a systemic genocide," Abidi said.

Alleging that the Takfiri Deobandi militants of ASWJ-LeJ and Sipah-E-Sahaba were responsible for the violence against Shia Muslims, Abidi said the Pakistan Army must be directly held accountable for the safety and well-being of the Shias in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan where they are in majority and are being targeted.

Maulana Zaheer Abbas Rizvi, general secretary of the All India Shia Muslim Personal Law Board, said the Pakistan Human Rights Commission must now intervene to put an end to the violence against Shias.

"The legal ban on Sipah-e-Sahaba, which currently is allowed to operate freely under a new name ASWJ, must be fully implemented. Their leaders, Ahmed Ludhianvi, Malik Ishaq, Aurangzeb Farooqi and Qazi Nisar, must be arrested immediately," Rizvi demanded.

The duo pointed out that in recent years, Pakistan has been besieged by militant activities of the Pakistani Taliban and now radical Sunni Muslim militant groups have started targeting the Shias whom they do not regard as Muslims.

"Many of these sectarian attacks have taken place in southwest Balochistan province, which has a huge concentration of Shias in Pakistan. Many are Hazaras, an ethnic group which migrated from Afghanistan over a century ago," said Maulana Mahmood Daryabadi, general secretary of the All India Ulama Council.

The Islamic scholars also condemned last week's twin blasts in Hyderabad.

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