Shia Pilgrims Brutally Killed by Sunni Islamists in Iraq: International Shia Persecution

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Shia Pilgrims Brutally Killed by Sunni Islamists in Iraq: International Shia Persecution

Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times


It is difficult to imagine that Shia Muslims are being constantly targeted by Sunni 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), Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and others, to address this brutal reality because the blood keeps on flowing.

Religious persecution happens in many nations but it is fair to say that the murder of Shia Muslims is sadly all too common. Also, even in the most holy of holiest Shia religious places this religious community is butchered by Sunni Islamist fanatics. 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 their times of joy when celebrating special Muslim religious festivals and visiting holy mosques of great importance is always tampered by the genuine fear that they could be killed at any moment by Sunni Islamist 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 sectarianism.

The BBC reports about the latest attack against Shia Muslims in Iraq by stating The pilgrims were heading to the holy city of Karbala for Arbaeen, which marks the end of the 40 days of mourning for the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Hussein.”

Currently it is known that at least 36 Shia Muslims were killed in three separate attacks against religious pilgrims. One attack occurred in south Baghdad in the mainly Sunni district of Doura when “a year zero Sunni Islamist fanatic” blew himself up in yet another brutal suicide bombing. At least 16 Shia pilgrims were killed in this attack and over 30 people were injured.

Also, another two barbaric suicide bombers attacked the Shia near Latifiya in two separate attacks. This district is also in the vicinity of south of Baghdad (approximately 25 miles away). It is known that 20 Shia pilgrims were killed in these two brutal attacks, including 9 Shia Muslims from the ethnic Turkmen community who had travelled from Kirkuk in the north of the country. Therefore, “three year zero Sunni Islamic fanatics” sent themselves on their way to hell by shedding the blood of innocent Shia pilgrims who face this type of barbarity all too often.

Obviously, 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 dominated 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?

In Pakistan many Shia mosques have been attacked and similarly in Yemen this religious community knows that they are fighting for survival against Sunni extremists and state policies. 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. 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 therefore they face enormous discrimination in this allegedly modern nation state. 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 because even in Egypt a brutal lynching of Shia Muslims took place by Sunni Islamist fanatics earlier this year.

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 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 Sunni 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 Syria. However, the Syrian armed forces and state institutions are trying to preserve the mosaic despite the enormous difficulties facing this nation.

It is clear that major powerful Gulf states are either openly spreading sectarianism or forces from within these feudal states are spreading anti-Shia hatred. This notably applies to Saudi Arabia and Qatar but many ratlines also lead back to other feudal nations including Kuwait. This reality should shame the OIC because the sectarian card is embedded within too many areas of life in several powerful nations within the 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 in many nations.

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