Killing and bombing of Shia communities is common in Pakistan. The extremist Sunni groups target Shias. Unfortunately, the silent majority of Pakistan maintains a studied nonchalance and observes indifferently from the sidelines. The banned sectarian group Lashkar-e-Jhangwi openly claimed responsibility of the latest massacre. Jhung is a place that has special significance in the legend of Leila and Majnu.
Long before a Shia scholar of Pakistan has said: "You keep on killing and we will keep putting them into graves as our martyrs. We shall not respond.” Killing of Shias in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq is no longer any news.
What happened in Bahrain recently is known to the world. Egypt, a state ruled by Fatimides for 700 years keeps their shia minority on tight a leash. What happens behind the iron curtain of Saudi Arabia is rarely known.
A dispassionate observer of these organized killing knows well that these brutal killers are the puppets on the chains. The juggler is sitting somewhere else. They know well that the inspiration and sustenance of these heinous deeds comes from the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other rich princely states of Middle East.
The world knows that Saudi Arabia is the most intolerant dictatorship on this planet. It is based on a strict narrow interpretation of Salafi Islam found by Abdul Wahab. Fifteen percent of Saudi Shia population faces constant ruthless persecution and discrimination from the oppressive rulers - from cradle to the grave. From the very young age the kids in Saudi schools are taught that Shias are not Muslims. Shiaism is a conspiracy of Jews. Shias are heretics and deviants. Teachers and professors, government officials and religious priests proclaim that Shias are atheists. Killing of a shia is not a sin. Saudi government supports, clandestinely, this line of thinking.
This scribe would not go into the line of religious divide between Shias and Sunnis. Here, we will discuss the political, historical and geographical background of these frequent organized slaughters.
Iraq and Saudi Arabia are border-states with Qatar sandwiched between them. Since the inception of Islam, Sunnis dominated Iraq politics. In the last 400 years Ottoman Turks kept a tight control over Shias. Even after the defeat of Ottoman Empire in World War-I the British worked hard to check the Shia majority’s power in Iraq with “1920 Mandate Of Iraq”. They kept Sunni Arabs in senior positions in government and armed forces. They installed a weak monarchy in Iraq which was overthrown later by Arab Socialist Baath Party. This new outfit was an offshoot of communism with the tint of religion. It comprised of Sunni elites and a sprinkle of Christians and Shias as eyewash who ensured a Sunni dominance.
Bahrain is another story with the similar undercurrents. It was like a Nicobar Prison of Iran where the majority population consisted of Shias. In early 18th century a nomadic family from Qatar landed in Bahrain. With the open help of House of Sauds they took control of the island and declared themselves Al Khalifa.
From Egypt, a country which was ruled by Shia Fatimide Dynasty for 700 years, to Bahrain, Shias remain in Arab World as a marginalized community where system of political apartheid based on racial, sectarian and tribal discrimination is practiced even today. They are not allowed to practice openly their religion, customs and traditions.
The revolution of Iran changed the entire scenario. With the departure of Shah of Iran, a dominant bully of his time, America lost a loyal protégé. Today, Iraq and Iran together control a decisive supply of world energy. Ayat Ullah Khomeni’s doctrine galvanized the Shia populations of Iran, Iraq and rest of the Islamic World. Incidentally the overthrow of Saddam facilitated the ascendency of Shias of Iraq as dominant power upon the world scene. Iraq became the first Arab country and second Muslim country to be dominated by Shia political parties. Today, they are shaping the politics of Iraq and the Arab world. The success of Hizbullah, a Lebanese Shia outfit in the battle field, against Israel, gave a moral boost to Muslims in general and Shias in particular.
Today, the Shia community sits at the top of major energy resources. World can no longer ignore the new power equations. Saudi Arabia rather the House of Ale Sauds knows that with the advent of Arab Spring democracy in the brutal monarchies is not far behind. They are already on the radars of human rights. They can delay the dawn but they can’t stop the sunrise. To divert the world attention from their brutal suppression they have to support these vicious massacres as tamashas.
The Octopus sits in Najd and Riyad. The tentacles are spreading all over the world. You may call it Al Qaida, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi or any other name.
Meer Taqi Meer has said: "Jane na jane, gul he na janey bagh to sara jane hai.” Only the flower doesn’t know, the orchard knows it well. Today, the West pretends to look the other way as the killing fields change locations for political compulsions. But one can’t play all the times with the hares and hunt with the hounds.