Dozens killed as suicide bomber targets Arbaeen gathering at Hazara mosque in Kabul

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Updated – Nov 23


Kabul, Afghanistan (Nov 21, 2016): At least 27 killed, dozens injured after suicide bomber targeted the Arbaeen gathering at a Hazara mosque in Kabul, Afghanistan.

The attack happened at the ‘Masjid wa Moassisay Baqir ul Uloom’ (Baqir ul Uloom Mosque and Cultural Center) when mourners gathered for Arbaeen day commemoration — 40th day of martyrdom of Prophet Mohammad’s grandson and family some 1400 years ago.



Baqir-ul-Uloom Mosque & Cultural Center, Kabul


Mostly Hazara victims in aftermath of suicide attack


‘ISIS’ Claims Attack Responsibility
The Tehreek Taliban Pakistan (TTP also known as ISIS in Afghanistan) has claimed responsibility for the attack.




The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

Comment by the Information and Press Department on the terrorist act in Kabul
On November 21, a bomb attack in a Shiite mosque in Kabul killed 32 and injured over 50 people. Responsibility for the attack has been claimed by the Afghan wing of the Islamic State terrorist group.
This is not ISIS’ first bloody act in Afghanistan targeting Shiite Muslims. Obviously, its organisers seek to foment interreligious strife with a view to further escalating the conflict in Afghanistan.
We strongly condemn this inhuman terrorist act. We express our deep condolences to the families and loved ones of those killed and wish a speedy recovery to those injured. We urge the Afghan authorities to do their utmost to ensure security and interreligious peace in the country.


Why the Sunni-Shia Schism is false narrative in Afghanistan?
In the aftermath of every attack on Hazaras in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, media report the attacks as ‘Sunni-Shia’ schism fight. The attacks by ‘ISIS’ in Afghanistan is particularly attracting attention with most headlines like ISIS trying to foment sectarian  war in Afghanistan. This narrative, without providing proper context, shows either Journalist’s unfamiliarity with the history of the region or the flagrant disregard of it. 

What is meant by ‘ISIS in Afghanistan’?
Historically and during ‘current era’ (1990’s onwards), following ‘groups’ in Afghanistan have persecuted Hazaras: Taliban, AlQaeda, ISIS, Kochis, Afghan Goverment – all ethnic Pashtuns. 

All Jihadist Terrorists in Afghanistan have following in common:

  • Idoeology – Sunni Deobandi, the Pakistan-variant of Saudi Wahhabism. Deobandis are known to attack secular Sunnis (Barelvis – ideologically and politically closest to Shias), Sufis (mystics that has both Shias and Sunnis) and minorities like Hindus and Christians. 
  • Finances – Saudi, Qatar, GCC nations
  • Ethnicity – Pashtun
  • Grassroot Support – 1000s of Saudi/GCC financed-madrassas mostly in Pakistan. In AF-PAK, you can identify all of them by their distinct signature pattern – all hold madrassa Haqqania (aka ‘Univ of Jihad’ in KPK, Pakistan) in high esteem.

So, ‘what is ISIS’ may just be a fighter that changes from all white attire (Taliban) to all black (ISIS). 

Image showing ‘ISIS in Afghanistan’ eulogizing their Pakistani TTP leader, Hakimullah Mehsood, who was killed in the US drone attack. 

Hazara Persecution and Discrimination is ‘Ethnic’ Not Religious
Historically, the motive for persecution of Hazaras has always been control of Hazara resources. A religious decree (fatwa) issued by Afghan Govt (1890) and Taliban (1998) declaring ‘Shia Infidels’ are almost mirror copies. The 1890s (Diaries of Kandahar) fatwa by Pashtun-ruler of Afghanistan was used to ethnically cleanse 60% of entire Hazara population and resettled Pashtuns in the Hazarajat region. Today, the Uruzgan province in Hazarajat is almost 100% Pashtun. 


Due to systemic discrimation and persecution of Hazaras, much of Afghanistan and the world does not known about Hazaras. While predominantly the Hazaras are Shias, they have tens of thousands of Sunni and Ismaili Hazaras. Recently, it has surfaced that the famed Anti-Taliban Commander Kaftar is in fact a Sunni Hazara from Baghlan province. Generally, the slick PR against Shias when ‘declaring them infidels’ by Saudi-financed propaganda machine is ‘because they hurl insult to Prophet’s campanions and wife Bibi Aisha.’ Interestingly, Commander Kaftar is Sunni, Hazara, and her real name is Aisha Bibi.  


While the intense persecution in the name of ‘sectarianism’ has done a lot of damage to Hazaras, it has brought the Shia and Sunni Hazaras together after a 100 plus years of separation. The recent formation of the ‘National Council of Suni Hazara’ is a prime example. Prior to this, they were considered ‘non-Hazaras’ since the word Hazara implied ‘Shias only.’ 



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