July 10, 2015
In 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran declared the last Friday of month of Ramzan (fasting) as the ‘Al-Quds’ day – a day to express solidarity with the Palestinians and oppose Zionism and the State of Israel.
Hazaras know today is Al-Quds day. In 2010, Iranian proxies led the Shia Hazara worshippers -mostly non-political, having no clue about Al-Quds, or Palestine and Israel conflict beyond what they hear in news delivered by the Saudi-leaning ‘Islamic State of Pakistan’- to join a rally on their way home (Mezan chowk falls in the way of Hazara enclave of Alamdar Road). As the rally started, a Saudi-leaning Sunni suicide bomber walked into the rally of ‘infidels’ (Shias) and detonated his suicide west, instantly killing 72 (including 53 Hazaras) and injuring at least 153.
- Have Facebook account? Article on FB – tinyurl.com/nov53bw
The Al-Quds day passed in 2010. Not much is known about victims, their shattered families, and the 153 others that sustained permanent physical and psychological scars. There were no ‘expression of solidarity’ from Iran, Palestine, Pakistan, or ‘Muslim World.’ In fact, it barely made news for one day in Pakistan. The mullahs’ fame grew. Most of them now have SUVs and half a dozen armed guards—mark of power and wealth in Pakistan. Now the rally is held at the Hazara Graveyard in Alamdar Road to commemorate the ‘martyrs’, on the side they now also burn American and Israeli Flags and/or walk over them. Outside the bounds of Quetta city, ‘experts’ void of context and knowledge are putting a big X on the Hazaras as ‘enemies of United States and Israel’ and those sitting in Islamabad putting a big X on Hazaras as ‘friends of Iran’ – an identity that instantly marks you as ‘infidel’ that must be killed at all costs. The Saudi-leaning AlQaeda-affiliated Lashkar-e Jhangvi (LEJ) -which has proudly owned bulk of 177 attacks on Hazaras- has literally made its mission to make Pakistan the graveyard of Shia Hazaras.
A Facebook post raising some of the questions mentioned above regarding Al-Quds day
An LEJ leaflet promising to make Pakistan graveyard of Shias, and Hazaras – 2011
What is Al-Quds and its significance?
Al-Quds (‘Quds’ Perisan) is the Arabic name for Jerusalem. The Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem is considered one of the most holiest site by all Muslims across the globe (considered the first Kaaba for Muslims before Mecca). The same place is also one of the most holy site for the Jews known as the Temple Mount. Jerusalem seems to be the crossroad for all three Abrahamic faiths – Judaism, Christianity, Islam. Politically, this is where representatives of all three religions -all claiming to represent the same God- bring their holy battles. For example, in United States, the Right-Wing Christians’ support for Zionist-Israel is deep rooted in Biblical interpretation of ‘End of time’ / Qayamat (Note: First part of Bible is known as ‘Old Testament’; Jews and Muslims call it ‘Torah’ and ‘Torat’ respectively).
Why Al-Quds day?
Shias make roughly 20% of 1.6Billion Muslims. The rest of the other 80% is Sunni Islam. Counter to the assertions by ‘experts’ and ‘political pundits’ (some are idiots, others with a vile motive intentionally twisting facts to suit their political agenda), the sectarian divisions do not have hard ideological boundaries. In Pakistan, for example, the majority Sunni-Barelvis and Sunni-Sufis among Hanafis are closer to Shias than Deobandis – an orthodox offshoot of Hanafi which is ideologically closer to Wahhabis. Equally, there is an ‘ethnic’ side to all people who also identify themselves with religion on different occasions. In Iraq, for example, the Kurds are predominantly Sunni. Likewise, the Hazaras are predominantly Shia (also have large population of Sunnis and Ismaili Shias) but majority of them identify themselves with their cultural identity than religion.
Why then is Al-Quds day coined by Shia Iran (Ajam) and not by Sunni-Arabs? Afterall, Palestinians are predominantly Sunni Arabs and surrounded by powerful Sunni Arab regimes (a term of endearment used by United States Govt and media mostly to project House-of-Saud as leader of Sunni Islam) as compared to Iran.
* ‘Arab vs Ajam’ (Non-Arab taken to be Persian or Iran) is a conflict so deep that it is mentioned in the Quran.
Hazaras that identify themselves with their cultural and ethnic identity sees this issue with clarity. Saudi Arabia is an Arab nation, run by one family – the House of Saud- that uses Sunni Islam to protect its rule. Likewise, Iran (Shah of Iran or the Ayatollahs of Islamic Revolution) identifies itself with its glorious past as ‘Persian Empire’ (Persian Nationalism). Like Saudi, it uses Shia Islam to protect its rule. It would be a remiss not to point to the fact that same is true of the State of Israel which uses Judaism to make a case for Zionism.
Al-Quds day then serves several important purposes:
1. It is an annual ‘Exit Pole’ allowing Iran to guage support for its Wilayat-e Faqih Theocracy across the globe.
2. It allows Iran to humiliate the Sunni-Arab regimes among its own people by projecting itself the ONLY Islamic nation that has the guts to challenge the might of Israel and United States. To this end, the current ISIS phenomenon excepted, Iran has remained successful when Hezbollah and Hamas is factored into the equation. Prior to ISIS, most Sunni Arab youths would grudgingly accept that ‘Among Arabs, there is one man and that is Hassan Nasrullah’ (Hezbollah Chief)
Some people may strongly disagree with the above analysis but not with ground realities.
a. If Iran is about Shiaism, then why hate-slur for Shia Hazaras in Iran is Berberi (Barbarics)?
b. If Iran is about Shiaism, then why don’t they offer political, moral support to Shia Hazaras closer to its borders: Hazaras in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and wider Shia community in Pakistan like it does to Hamas (Sunni Arab) and Hezbollah (Shia Arab)? It is common knowledge (many still believe it is conspiracy against Iran) that Iran has sheltered Bin Laden’s family (Wahhabi Arab) in Tehran, as well as Hekmatyar (Wahhabi, just announced support for ISIS) and Ismael Khan (Sunni Tajik). Iran is also alleged to have helped Taliban (ISIS atrocities against Yezidis in Iraq pales in comparison to Taliban’s that killed between 2000-8000 Hazaras in a killing frenzy in Mazar-e Sharif, Afghanistan; Figure quoted for Hazaras slaughtered by Taliban are somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000. Additionally, Taliban also destroyed Hazaras’ cultural heritage – 2000 year old Buddhas of Bamiyan crafted by Hazara ancestors, Kushan dynasty) [*], President Karzai regime (Ethnic Nationalist Sunni Pashtun) who admitted receiving suitcase full of dollars.
* Taliban is predominantly Pashtun – an ethnic group that has persecuted Hazaras for last 120+ years. There is an ethnic angle involved in destruction of Bamiyan Buddhas. The ‘religious reasoning’ for Buddhas’s destruction is not logical given that Taliban is creation of Pakistan Army’s ISI.
c. If Saudi is about Sunnism, then why do they call mostly Sunni-migrant workers as ‘Miskeens’ (Beggars) and Caucasian-Whites as ‘Rafiqs’ (friends)?
The use of word ‘Rafiq’ is interesting. It means that the ‘Arab Nationalist’ Saudi Arabia (House of Saud) considers US as ‘Rafiq’ (friend). It is also well known that the Sunni Saudi Arabia (Wahhabist) is mortal enemy of West. All Sunni-based militant groups actively plotting to attack US are Wahhabi or ideologically connected with Wahhabism (eg. Deobandis). This includes: AlQaeda, ISIS, Taliban, Bokoharam, AlShabab, LEJ, and hundreds others.
Since the topic is Al-Quds, the above logic holds true for the relation between Christians and Zionism, and US and Israel. As Henry Kissinger put it, “America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests.” If this is true, than what is US’s permanent interest in tiny Israel when it dominates the entire Arab world? Surely, US is not known for its foresight to see Israel as only ‘friendly island’ in a hostile futuristic Middle East. Nor, does the argument ‘Israel is the only democracy’ in the ME holds true when all dictatorships are in fact kept alive by both Israel and United States. If you want to put this to test, let US withdraw its support from Saudi Arabia and see how long the House of Saud holds (equally true for its other dictator Arab allies: Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, and the list goes on).
Further reading: Jerusalem Day defines Iran’s enduring animosity toward Israel
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