Skip to main content

Series of terror attacks in Pakistan: What religion are fundamentalists following?

By Sadhan Mukherjee*
Another report of a terrorist attack in Pakistan has come today (February 21). At least six people including a lawyer were killed and more than 20 injured at a sessions court in Charsadda near Islamabad by suicide bombings.
Terror is not to be identified with any particular religion and terrorists do not believe in any religion as their acts violate all religious norms and tenets. When terrorists claiming allegiance to one religion kill people belonging to the same religion, what religion do they follow? No religion teaches killing and terrorism. The recent Islamic terror acts are in the focus of world’s peaceloving peoples and the terrorist acts in Pakistan are inexplicable.
Derived from the Arabic root "Salema", Islam means peace, purity, submission and obedience. In the religious sense, Islam means submission to the will of God and obedience to His law. It believes in one God.
We have seen school children wantonly murdered in Pakistan. On December 16, 2014, seven gunmen affiliated with the Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP) conducted a terrorist attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar. 
On February 13, a bomb was set off in Lahore in a rally of Pharmacists protesting against the drug law and 10 people were killed. On February 16 came the news of a suicide bombing by a female IS terrorist in the most revered Sufi shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar at Sehwan Sharif killing 80 Sufis and injuring 150.
The IS, like other fundamentalist Muslims, depends on terror and fear to assert their authority, and they want the return of Caliphate, not parliamentary democracy. These Islamic fundamentalists consider the Sufis unIslamic as the philosophy of tolerance and love which Sufism seeks to spread among all are supposed to be contradictory to the orthodox Islamic teachings.
Wellknown historian and author William Dalrymple attributes this fanaticism to the utter failure of the Pakistani state to provide proper education to its people, especially the younger ones. This sphere was taken over by Saudi Arabia which provided huge amounts to set up a large number of Madrasas in Pakistan.
 These madrasas are not only places of orthodox teaching but also a potent instrument to spread an “imported form of Saudi Salafism”, as Dalrymple points out in an excellent article "The Sufi Must Sing" (Indian Express, February 21, .2017).
Who are the Salafis? Google describes them as: Salafis are fundamentalists who believe in a return to the original ways of Islam. The word 'Salafi' comes from the Arabic phrase, 'as-salaf as-saliheen', which refers to the first three generations of Muslims (starting with the Companions of the Prophet), otherwise known as the Pious Predecessors.
Also, the Salafi movement or Salafist movement or Salafism is an ultra-conservative reform branch or movement within Sunni Islam that developed in Arabia in the first half of the 18th century against a background of European colonialism. It advocated a return to the traditions of the "devout ancestors" (the salaf). Salafist violence has now spread to many countries and its fundamentalism asserts itself by using violence.
Most Muslims are Sunnis, the dominant branch of Islam. There are Shias, Sufis, and Wahhabis which constitute other major branches. There are some other groups like the Baha’is and Ahmadiyyas.
The Islamic fundamentalists like Salafis consider that Sufi songs and the Dhammal dance, the worship of shrines of dead personalities are unIslamic. The Dhammal dance, they feel, is a Shaivaite form which is part of Hinduism. 
They do not believe that the dance is a way to merge individuals with the divine. The Sufi poetry, its music and its other formats are not commensurate with Islam, they claim and hence deemed to be unIslamic.
The worship of shrines, the love songs, the dance form in Sufism are an anathema to Islamic fundamentalists as these are supposed to contradict the One God concept in Islam. But this is only an excuse for terrorist acts; the terrorists do not believe in any religion, profess as they might the contours of fundamentalism of any religious school.

Comments

TRENDING

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

Gross 'injustice' to children: Rs 5000 cr cut in education budget; 15 lakh schools shut down

Counterview Desk  More than 100 dignitaries, including educationists, academia, social activists, teachers’ union, civil society organisations (CSOs), various networks and people working on child rights, in a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have sought reversal of reduction in allocation for education in the Union Budget 2021-22, even as demanding substantial increase in it.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

RSS love for 'killer' Myanmar junta behind Indian military presence at Tatmadaw Day?

By Shamsul Islam*  If a shameful act means an action which is criminal and nauseating, it would be an understatement to describe the attitude of the present RSS-BJP rulers of India towards the demolition of democracy and large-scale killing of the people of Myanmar by the military ( tatmadaw ) junta which took power through a coup on February 1, 2021 after renegading the election results in which the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, National League for Democracy, was a clear winner.

Chhattisgarh’s Apra riverfront imitates Sabarmati: 'Devaluing' water, environment

Sabarmati riverfront By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  This year’s #WorldWaterDay (March 22) focus was on ‘Valuing Water’. My school friend, Pragati Tiwari from Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, called that day knowing my interest in water matters. We were remembering our childhood days as how we used to play on the banks and the bed of the Arpa Nadi (River) during the summer holidays and as how the river would swell like Anaconda to flow happily during the monsoon.

Bihar massacre on Holi day: Brahminical, casteist mindset behind 'uneasy' silence

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Several people were killed in Bihar amidst Holi festivities, but not much response has come in from the media. The silence of the government and the society as a whole is also appalling. We seek to romanticise these festivals, yet we forget that every year they take so many lives. This despite the fact that Holi appears to be the best time for 'avenging things'.

India's draft migrants policy: Whither concern on job restrictions imposed by states?

By Anil Kumar*  India’s Niti Aayog has prepared a Draft Migration Policy. The draft policy acknowledges migration as an integral part of development, and it calls for positive government interventions that facilitate internal migration. With a rights-based solution to migration, the draft states that the policy should “enhance the agency and capability of the community and thereby remove aspects that come in the way of an individual’s own natural ability to thrive”.

Gujarat religious freedom amendment bill 'pursues' votebank politics, is anti-minority

Gujarat home minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja  By Our Representative  A Gujarat-based minority rights organisation, taking strong exception to the state assembly last week passing the Gujarat Religious Freedom (Amendment) Bill, 2021, has asserted that the proposed law “is completely unconstitutional”, even as asking the Gujarat governor to give his accent to it.