One State Solution.

links for 2008-05-09 May 10, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Big Momma @ 4:03 am

3 Responses to “links for 2008-05-09”

  1. Ashiq Lukman Says:

    Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Qatarbased Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, the president of the InternationalUnion for Muslim Scholars (IUMS), the head of Iran’s Expediency Council, engaged in livedialogue on Al Jazeera TV Network (February 2007) in which they calledupon Muslims to seek unity and abandon disunity and fighting

    Shia-Sunni hostility has been on the rise in the last fewyears, particularly in Iraq and Pakistan. Scores of Shias and Sunnisare killed in a vicious tit-for-tat between extremists on both sides.Many of the victims are killed as they pray or are in mosques.

    These incidents contradict the reality of Shia-Sunni coexistence andcooperation. In Iraq, it is estimated that up to 30 percent ofmarriages are between Shias and Sunnis; victims of violence between thetwo groups frequently attend each other’s funeral prayers; one groupoften helps the other’s victims after an incident.

    This silent majority must come together through dialogue to defeat the terrorists who have been responsible for these killings.

    Reasons for Shia and Sunni dialogue
    Theological differences between Shia and Sunni are old and arebetter left for God to judge, as He knows best and has said in theQuran that He is the final judge of religious disagreements. Thekilling of Shias or Sunnis will not resolve these disputes.

    The principle of ‘no compulsion in matters of faith’ (Quran 2:256)is not just limited to Muslim-non-Muslim relations. It applies toMuslim interpretations of Islam as well. This instruction of God servesas a guideline for the Muslim community to not impose one’sinterpretation on others. That is why throughout history, not only haveHanafis and Shafis worked with each other despite differences, butShias and Sunnis have lived and worked side by side with each other aswell.

    When human beings sit down and talk to each other, they learn to respect each other.

    Dialogue allows parties to understand each other better by allowingparticipants to acquire direct knowledge about beliefs instead ofrelying on propaganda and stereotypical images. (Quran 49:6-12)

    Dialogue will isolate the extremist fringe. It is a major sin tokill a human being. Killing a human being is like killing the whole ofhumanity. By talking to each other, Shias and Sunnis will be able tosave lives, which is like saving the whole of humanity. (Quran 5:32)

    Revenge is not justice. Killing in revenge is unjust, inhuman, andun-Islamic. Retribution through the state, which the Quran sanctionsvia capital punishment, does not amount to individuals taking the lawin their hands or killing an innocent person in revenge. The call for,’an eye for an eye,’ does not mean an innocent eye for an innocent eye.

    Even if some Shias and Sunnis consider each other enemies, the Quranasks us to be just even toward one’s enemy ‘O you who believe! Standout firmly for God, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not thehatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart fromjustice. Be just: that is next to Piety: and fear Allah, for Allah iswell-acquainted with all that you do.’ [Quran 5:8]

    Some considerations for dialogue:

    The Shia community like Sunnis is diverse. There are manydifferences between one Shia group and another. This is why it isimportant that dialogue between Sunnis and Shias becomes a movement anda process throughout society instead of everyone waiting for one highpowered dialogue to yield some results at the leadership level. Hereare some preliminary thoughts on how a dialogue between Shias andSunnis can be beneficial for each side.

    Goals of dialogue

    Although I consider dialogue a process that is beneficial to all, itis necessary that everyone involved recognize some of its tangiblebenefits.

    The following are a set of achievable goals for Shia-Sunni dialogue.

    Developing an agenda of common concerns
    Identifying issues of conflict
    Issuing joint Fatwas against the killings
    Isolating extremists on each side
    Preventing a potential conflict or mediating an existing conflict
    Education to clarify stereotypes about each other
    Setting up joint task forces to deal with outstanding issues

    Who should participate in the dialogue?

    Imams and caretakers of Masjids
    Students of Madrassas
    University students
    National level religious leadership
    Shia and Sunni media persons
    Shia and Sunni businesspersons

    Mechanism of dialogue

    Dialogue is a process that should occur at all levels of society. Inthe 1960s in Pakistan, when Shia- Sunni fights were far lesssignificant, city officers used to convene joint meetings of Shia andSunni leaders to chalk out Muharram plans so no confusion would resultin rioting. These government-arranged dialogues helped keep conflictsat a minimum. Considering the current level of mistrust, it will bebeneficial if civil society takes initiatives for dialogue at alllevels of society.

    Private Dialogue:

    Host roundtable discussions initially at the topleadership level that should later expand to include others working ondifferent committees.

    Public Dialogue:

    Shia and Sunni both use public forums and media to speak to each other’s audiences
    Visiting each other’s Masjids to enhance confidence and todemonstrate that they are not supportive of the extremists who isolateeach other.

    Shia-Sunni Dinners:
    Masjids and social associations should invite Shia and Sunni friends to eat with each other publicly.

    Publicity of dialogue
    Publicity of the dialogue will generate hope and confidence in it and will empower those in dialogue vis-a-vis the extremists.
    Media should facilitate self-criticism and introspection by the religious leadership

    Those leaders who participate in dialogue should be recognizedthrough interviews, reports, and documentaries. Investigative reportsshould be aired and published about the truth behind sectarianpropaganda
    It is important for society to honor those Shia and Sunni leaderswho take initiative and demonstrate leadership in participating indialogue. Sunnis, being members of the majority community, have thehigher level of responsibility towards initiating and participating indialogue

    Sponsors of Dialogue

    Funding always facilitates the beginning of a process in civilsociety. Every task requires time and money. While participatingorganizations and individuals can take care of their own costs, itwould be very rewarding if some individuals and businesses came forwardwith funds to sponsor and host these dialogues. For instance AmericanMuslims can start a dialogue in North America where there is noconflict in the Shia-Sunni community and then inspire and sponsordialogues where it is needed the most.

    Beyond Dialogue

    Considering that Shias and Sunnis live side by side in the Muslimworld, they are not unknown to each other, and considering that most ofthem have nothing to do with the current extremism which is responsiblefor the killings and violence, it is important for the moderatemajority to come up with a few initiatives which are beneficial forShia- Sunni harmony. These could be communicated in the print form orin any other media. T

    hey should discuss the following themes and/or usethe methods outlined here:

    Khutba points which can help harmony
    What type of talk can hurt at personal level
    What is common between Shias and Sunnis
    Common Hadith between Shias and Sunnis
    What is hate speech
    Islamic teachings of tolerance
    A Shia-Sunni security force, jointly safeguarding each otherâshouses of worship will be a significant blow to the extremist agenda.


    Shia-Sunni conflict and sectarian terrorism is tearing our community apart
    The Quran, the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) the Ka’aba and the fivepillars of Islam are common to Shias and Sunnis. That is why no one inIslamic history has stopped Shias from performing Hajj, although theKa’aba has always been in the control of Sunnis. Since the 1979 IslamicRevolution of Iran, Imam Khomeini issued a decree ordering Shiapilgrims to pray behind Sunni Imams in the Holy City of Makka insteadof praying separately.
    This mutual recognition gives us hope that a dialogue can bear fruit of peace and harmony between both the communities.

  2. Ashiq Lukman Says:

    Let’s put aside the differences, let’s see where we can unite? project those in front side, And broader the space of the same.

    Try or make efforts to make the accaptable and influential leaders, in the right sense of unification, of the community, sit togather for the good of Human Beings.

    I don’t think these can be settled down by common mass like us, but the opportuniy to find the different views of opinion is not out of reach in this era of Information world, as one individual, if he/she earnestly search without bias belonging to any side, with a quest for truth.

    Thanks & Regards

    Ashiq Lukman

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