Opinion: Halal (Kosher) Apartheid

by Crethi Plethi

The meteoric rise in Wahabism has long besieged the Islamic world. The fundamentalist religious movement, started by Abd Al-Wahhab to address supposed impurities in Islam, has divided, not united, Muslims. Ideological differences between Sunnis and Shias have become a political tug of war and the divisions between the followers of Prophet Mohammad are being stretched to the snapping point.

From the look of it, Muslims become brethren once their religious beliefs or eminent religious figures are desecrated by non-Muslims. They forget all their differences when a non-Muslim produces a video calling their religion a “fitna” (nuisance). Whenever their religion or religious figures they hold dear are defiled, they jump up to vehemently express disgust and anger. But this unity soon abates when it comes to their differing religious and/or political preferences. Very quickly, that passion to die for Islam turns into killing another Muslim for following different interpretation of verses of Qura’an and Sunnah. These religious, intellectual and political differences have been morphing into civil wars.

Owing to the spread of Wahabism, Shia Muslims are being rounded up and massacred in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain in the name of Islam. In Iraq, the U.S adeptly sowed the seeds of sectarian division, in collaboration with the Saudis, with bomb explosions in Shia-majority residential areas to create cleavages.

In Pakistan, thousands have lost their lives due to the pervading Salafi and Wahabi school of thought which allows semi-literate militias to recruit and brainwash young men to kill Shia Muslims to purge Islam of “impure followers.” From Gilgit-Baltistan to Mehran (Sindh), from Khyber Pukhtun Khwa (KPK) to Baluchistan, innocent Shia Muslims have lost their lives to KSA- and UAE-funded extremist militias spilling blood to further their politico-religious agenda.

Afghanis witnessed Salafi and Wahabi terrorism when the Saudi-backed Taliban launched ferocious attacks on Hazaras, forcing residents to find sanctuary in neighboring countries. The same Wahabi lobby launched a similar assault against Shias in Bahrain, when the Saudi Army openly helped the Bahraini government and military suppress protests.

The Western powers, under the leadership of United States, have turned a blind eye to these and many other instances of human right violations. Alas, there was no protest anywhere in the Muslim world following these massacres of innocent Shia Muslims.

Political instability in Egypt, too, has opened a new front with the deposing of Mohammad Morsi, allowing Wahabis to pit the Egyptian army against its own people. When the Army ousted the democratically-elected Morsi, the Salafi troika (UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait) once again came to the fore to back a coup d’etat in order to legitimize the takeover. It also sought to neutralize the Muslim Brotherhood, which the Saudi monarchy sees as a threat to the region and their agreement with the Wahabi religious establishment which allows the Saud family to keep the religious establishment away from the core political issues, foreign policy, royal succession and the armed forces. The Saud family views the Brotherhood as a serious threat to their existence, even more so than the Shia minority. The result was more violent clashes the deaths of thousands more.

Similarly, Muslim countries have remained silent and no leader has condemned the recent tactics employed by Wahabi monarchies to forcibly deport Shia Muslims from the Gulf countries. So far,  the government of UAE has deported many Lebanese Shia families based solely on an alleged affiliation with Hezbollah, and alleged funding of the resistance in Syria and Bahrain. Pakistani Shia Muslim families, that have lived and worked in UAE for decades, were expelled without warning. Once again,  it seems that any such orders emanating from Saudi Arabia, with a Wahabi stamp of approval, are halal (acceptable) and no Muslim country can dare speak out against these discriminatory actions lest they be excommunicated from the realm of Islam.

It’s sad to see that these actions and policies, which should be considered violations of human rights and which would never be employed by any Western country against any Muslim, are being acted upon in a country which fancies itself as the birthplace of Islam.

If a Western country had engaged in such practices, the world would have seen  an outcry from Muslim Ummah (Brotherhood). Because Salafis and Wahabis are once again in the forefront of an anti-Shia movement,  backed by United States and its western allies, no one dares raise an objection to what innocent people are facing.

The Salafis and Wahabis have remained discreet about this neo-anti Shia campaign. This certainly raises questions about the so-called Muslim brotherhood they have been striving for. Meanwhile, innocent Muslims are losing their rights and lives at the hands of other Muslims.


Politics aficionado with a keen eye on current affairs.

1 Comment

  • Avatar
    Reply October 5, 2013

    Kristin Unger

    Informative article, Aasim. I like that you’ve made mention of the U.S. interests in Saudi Arabia, and the hypocrisy of the situation.

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