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Published in the 16-30 Nov 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Orai violence

It is more than a week since the senseless violence in Jalaun district’s Orai town where two imams were killed by rival sub-groups of same maslak, but apart from Maulana Asad Madani of Jamiatul Ulama-e Hind, no Muslim leader of consequence has taken notice of this painful and shameless downward spiral in our community relations. 

Such violence was known in Pakistan. This is the first time that sub-groups of same maslak are at each other’s throats in our own country and the silence of the Muslim leadership means that somehow this development has been accepted as normal. If the case is really so, it would be a matter of utter shame for a community whose Prophet had said that if two Muslims unsheath swords against each other and one of them kills the other, both will go to Hell because each wanted to kill his brother.

It is a well-known fact that some short-sighted petty ulama for their own mundane interests incite their followers against other Muslims and at times this gets out of control. For decades Sunni-Shi’i tussle, especially in Lucknow, was a fact of life but of late things have cooled down because of the emergence of a saner leadership in the Shi’i community which was taught the lesson of Wahdat-e Ummat by Imam Khumeini.

Inter-community violence has no place in our society. Only the insane can resort to it while we face grave challenges at the hands of local and foreign purveyors of hate which leads to serious challenges at home and abroad.
More unity is needed to face these threats in order to secure our rightful place under the Sun. Anyone trying to distract and distort our march is a criminal agent of our enemies and a traitor to the message of peace, mercy and harmony brought by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) for all time to come.

— Zafarul-Islam Khan

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