Friday, July 2, 2010

Sufis Attacked in Pakistan

Filed under: Asia | Terrorism — by Will Kirkland @ 5:11 pm
Tags: ,

The news from the political-religious-ethnic wars in the Middle East and South West Asia has typically been of Sunni vs Shiite — the two biggest branches of Islam.  Today’s news from Pakistan of an attack on a large Sufi shrine is equally appalling in its carnage, and more mysterious.  As far as is known Sufis, though regarded as heretics by some in Islam, are not known for armed violence against other groups.  The bombing would not seem to be a retaliation nor, with several involved, a personal grievance.  Is it simply heresy cleansing — like the Roman Church against the Cathars in the early 1200s, or is a strategy of sowing chaos at work — let the most vicious win?

The bombers attacked in the city of Lahore just before midnight, the peak worship time for the shrine, known as Data Ganj Baksh. Thousands of people were at the shrine at the time, according to the Pakistani police. At least 37 were killed and 175 injured, according to police officials.

“This is a barbaric attack,” wrote Raza Ahmed Rumi, a Pakistani expert on Sufism, on his Web site. The shrine, he said, “is not just another crowded place — it represents a millennia of tolerant Sufi Islam which is directly under attack by the puritans.”

NY Times: Bombing the Sufis

Who Attacked and Why? — The Atlantic Wire

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Words for Acts

"All I maintain is that on this earth there are pestilences and there are victims, and it's up to us, so far as possible, not to join forces with the pestilences. ... That's why I decided to take, in every predicament, the victim's side, so as to reduce the damage to done. Among them I can at least try to discover how one attains the third category, in other words, to peace."

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The Plague, Albert Camus

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