SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- A crowded tent full of Turkmen mourners in northern Iraq was transformed into a mass killing ground on Wednesday by a suicide bombing that left at least 35 people dead and 117 wounded, regional officials and tribal leaders said, calling it a genocidal attack meant to further stoke the already-inflamed sectarian tensions in the country.
Both the dead and wounded victims included a number of high-ranking regional dignitaries, military officers, professors and religious men among the Turkmen population of the Tuz Khurmato district in Salahuddin Province, an area in the Kurdish north also claimed by Arabs and Turkmens. It came a day after an extended outbreak of sectarian shootings and bombings in the country that killed at least 24 Iraqis.
Mourners at the Imam Ali mosque had been paying their respects to a Turkmen employee of the Ministry of Health who had been killed in the mayhem the day before, the brother-in-law of a deputy in the Iraqi Turkmen Front, a political party. They had packed into a funeral tent for the ceremony when the suicide bomber, apparently masquerading as one of the aggrieved, blew himself up.
Turkmen leaders were outraged.
“We demand to have international forces to secure us, for the Turkmens and our areas,” said Faid Alla, the head of a Turkmen tribe. “We are being targeted, and our existence in Iraq is very dangerous, and we are under genocide. The central government is doing nothing for us.”
Tuz Khurmato, south of Kirkuk in an oil-rich area, was the site two months ago of a sectarian-tinged confrontation over disputed territory between forces loyal to the Iraqi government in Baghdad and the Kurdish regional government, which has its own armed forces.
Iraq has been increasingly consumed by sectarian attacks and political turmoil since December, when the home of the country’s Sunni finance minister was raided by security forces loyal to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, a Shiite. Mr. Maliki’s political bloc has been accused by Sunnis and others of seeking to monopolize power before provincial elections this spring.
Mr. Maliki, who took power during the American-led military occupation of Iraq, has denied the accusations and rejected demands by rivals that he resign. The instability has been a growing source of concern for the United States, which withdrew its military forces from Iraq about a year ago.
The United States on Wednesday denounced a deadly suicide attack at a Shiite mosque in northern Iraq, and said it proved "terrorists are willing to target all Iraqis, regardless of their religion."The attack, the deadliest in six months, is likely to heighten tensions in Iraq which is grappling with more than a month of protests in Sunni-majority areas, amid demands that Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki stand down.
In a statement, US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland described the bombing at the mosque in Tuz Khurmatu, 175 kilometers (110 miles) from Baghdad, as "horrific and heinous."A local official put the toll at 42 dead and 75 wounded.
The aim of the attack was to "expressly undermine the will of the Iraqi people who overwhelmingly support stability and security," said Nuland, adding that "we express our deepest sympathies to the families of the victims."No group claimed responsibility for the bombing, but Sunni militants often launch attacks in a bid to destabilize the Iraqi government and push it back toward sectarian violence that peaked between 2005 and 2008, in the wake of the US-led war that ousted long-time dictator Saddam Hussein.
Source : Agencies
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – The history of the Shi`ah and Christian cultural relations is comparatively old. Of these relations may be mentioned inter-religious dialogue in the area of Kalam that took place in a spirit of complete mutual understanding. In the works of the Shi`ah this is discussed in detail. Among such dialogues one may refer to discussions between the spiritual leaders of the two creeds, particularly dialectic between the Muslims and Catholicos, preserved in the oldest Shi`i books. The commentators of hadith have explained Catholicos in the following manner: "Catholicos, is the greatest spiritual leader of Christianity of every age." Most probably this word is the same as Catholic in the present sense, though for an author it is difficult to say which term is an alternative of the other.
Muhammad bin `Ali bin Babwayh al-Qummi, known as al-Shaykh al-Saduq (d. 280/901 A.D.), has recorded four polemical discussions between the highest spiritual leader of Christians and Shi`ah scholars of eminence andMutakallimun in his works.
It is probable that dialogue of Cathilicos with Imam `Ali (`a) took place during 657 A.D. But the culminating point of these controversies has been during the early 10th century A.D., i.e., in the 2nd century Hijrah, during the periods of Imam al-Sadiq (`a) and Imam al-Rida (`a),the 6th and 8th Imams of the Shi`ah.
2-- Another point that is indicative of the close cultural relations between the Shi`ah and Christianity is recording of the sayings, character and biographical accounts of Christ in the books of the Shi`ah, which surpasses all such accounts of Christ in the works of all other sects of Islam. It is noteworthy that the name of `Isa has occurred in the Qur'an 25 times and the name of Masih (`a) recurs 36 times in the Qur'an. And the circumstances of his birth and his way of preaching and his ascension are repeatedly narrated in the Qur'an. But despite this emphasis the books of non-Shi`i authors do not contain detailed accounts of Christ's sayings and character.
For instance, in Sihah al-Sittah, i.e., six authentic compendia of hadith of Ahl al-Sunnah we do not come across even a single utterance of Christ. On the other hand in the books of the Shi`ah, even some of the oldest, utterances of him are found in abundance.
Imam `Ali (`a), the first Imam of the Shi`ah, has narrated the ascetic style of the life of Christ in one of his sermons, given under No. 160, in Nahj al-Balaghah. After him, in the 2nd century A.H., Imam al-Sadiq has quoted the preaching of Christ, as found exactly in the Bible of Mathew, while delivering his advice to `Abdullah bin Jandab in New Testament, book of Mathew, chapter 6, sentences 2,3,6,7,16 and 18. During the period from the 2nd to the 4th century A.H., al-Jahiz, in al-Bayan wa al-Tab'in, nine short sayings and one detailed speech of Christ were recorded. During the middle of the 4th century an eminent Shi`i author, Abu Muhammad Hasan bin `Ali bin al-Husayn bin Shu`bah al-Harani (d. 38 A.H. = 1001 A.D.) in his book, Tuhf al-`Uqul `an Al al-Rasul, had devoted about 16 pages to record the sayings of Christ. These utterances consist of two parts: the first, which is briefer, second, which is comparatively detailed, quote parts of Christ's sermons. According to the researches done in this regard, same words are accessible to us at present, in some of anajil (i.e., Book of New Testaments). For example one may refer to the following:
Book of Mathew, sentences 1-7, 14-17 and 44-45 in chapter 5, sentences 12-19, 24, 30 in chapter 6, sentence 16 in the chapter 7, and 29-36 in chapter 22; Book of Luke, sentences 17-49 in chapter 6; 44-45 in chapter 6, 4-17 in chapter 8 and 37-53 in chapter 11; Book of Mark, sentence 30 in chapter 12.
Ibn Shu`bah was a resident of Harran and since Harran was a center of learning for the Christians, he had access to a majority of the Christian primary source. Of course, most of the sentences that Ibn Shu`bah has quoted are specifically from the books of Mathew, Luke and Mark. It remains unknown why he has not quoted from all the books of New Testament.
However, it is a distinct feature of the Shi`i works that they have been forerunners in the matter of referring to and quoting profusely from the sayings and sermons of Christ as compared to all other Muslim sects.
3-- In the books of the Shi`ah special attempt has been made to deal with the life and character of Christ [Masih(`a)]. In the sermon 159 in Nahj al-Balaghah, `Ali (`a), while highlighting the piety of great prophets, writes about Christ:
"Hadrat Masih (`a) laid his head on a stone, put on dress made of coarse material, took tough food. His main diet was hunger, at night the moon provided him only light; during winter he slept under the sun at times when it shone or set down; his fruit and vegetable was none other than what the earth grows for animals. He neither had wife that could instigate him to do follies nor did have a child that could make him sorrowful with concern; nor had any property which might have taken away from him; nor had he any kind of greed (for worldly things) that could cause him humiliation. He had no means of moving except his own feet, his servants were his own hands."
On another occasion, addressing one of his companions, Nuf Bukali, Hadrat `Ali (`a), says: "Blessing be on those pious persons who have turned away from the worldly attachments like Christ."
Mutual Influences in Kalami (Theological) Polemics
As it is generally accepted by researchers and scholars that Islamic Kalam has exercised influence on Jewish and Christian Scholasticism. In a similar way, it is also incontrovertible that on the land the views of MuslimMutakallimun, with regard to the Divine Attributes, in the course of their polemics and discussions with the Christian scholastics, particularly in the issue of trinity have developed and attained maturity of thought. Undoubtedly, the use of the term Attribute (sifat) and emergence of the concept of universal (kulliyat), during the medieval period of Christianity, through the Latin translation of the work of Ibn Hayman, Hidayat al-Mudallin (A Guide for Wayward) (530-601 A.H./1135-1204 A.D.), were influenced immensely by Islamic `ilm al-Kalam. He and before him Sa`diya Gawun (Sa`id al-Fayumi - 271-331 A.H./892-922 A.D.), had acquired their knowledge of the Greek philosophy indirectly from `Arabic translations and their Islamic commentaries. They themselves wrote in `Arabic (which was the academic language of that period). The ground conducive for the acceptance of the teachings of Muslim Mutakallimun, particularly al-Ghazzali, through Sa`diya, who might be justifiably regarded as Ash`airah of Judaism, for he not only adopts the method ofAsh`ariyyah but also in specific issues, makes use of their arguments. Yahud Ahlawi from Totedo, born in 479 A.H., who was a contemporary of al-Ghazzali, like him felt that philosophy in questioning the fundamentals of faith by interpreting them on the basis of logical argument results in weakening of the creed. With this view he embarked upon writing a book on refutation of philosophers, entitled al-Khazari, briefly called Khazri. Yahud-e Ahlawi, in his book, Logical and Philosophical Jargons, followed the same method and arguments that were advanced by al-Ghazzali against philosophers.
Much more than him another scholastic thinker of the Jewish creed, Hasda'i Karaska was undoubtedly influenced by Tahafut al-Falasifah of al-Ghazzali though Wolfson, the Professor of Harvard University, rejects this view, arguing that Tahafut al-Falasifah was translated into Hebrew after the death of Karaska. His argument seems to be baseless, for Tahafut al-Tahafut by Ibn Rushd was translated before 729/1328 by Qalunimus bin Dawud and was published under the title Hapatlat Hapala, while Karaska died in 814/1210. Even on this ground if we accept that there was no possibility of his direct access to the arguments of al-Ghazzali, forwarded inTahafut al-Falasifah, it may be conjectured that undoubtedly he could have possibly referred to al-Ghazzali's arguments by means of the translation of Al-Ghazzali's Tahafut al-Falasifah.
Raymond Martin, one of the eminent Christian scholastics, who died in 1285 A.D., is the person who worked as a link between European Christianity and al-Ghazzali, because in his works, Interpretation of the Secrets of the Disciples of Jesus, and The Sword of Faith, he has evidently borrowed ideas from al-Ghazzali. The influence of Ibn Sina on B. Spinoza's various views, particularly his doctrine of emanation (ifadah), serves as irrefutable in the view of the thinkers of the East and the West.
From these examples it may be inferred that the scholastics of other religions, particularly the Christianity, have benefited from Muslim mutakkalimun in the middle ages without doubt. But the question arises as to whether non-Muslim scholastic thinkers have also influenced in a similar way of the Muslim scholastics.
5-- The Mu`tazilah claimed that the Asha`irah in preaching uncreatedness of the Qur'an, were advocating the Christian doctrine about Logos, and as a result have fallen prey to a kind of pluralistic heresy (shirk). TheMu`tazilah argued that the emphasis of the Asha`irah on the uncreatedness of the Qur'an cause them in believing the doctrine of the eternity of the Qur'an and its coexistence in pre-eternity with Allah. Thus they attributed eternity to the Qur'an along with the Eternity of Divine Essence. Shaykh al-Mufid says:
"A man from Basra was talking about one of Ash`ariah beliefs which was against monotheism. He was of the view that God's Eternal Attributes are not the Divine Essence and not otherwise as well. That is why God is ascribed to be All-Knowing, the Living, the Omnipotent, the Hearing, the Seeing and the Speaker. That man was of the view that God possesses eternal face, eternal hearing, eternal seeing and eternal hands, such ideas are against the ideas of the monotheists what to talk of Islam."
This is interesting to note that the Asha`irah made a similar allegation against the Mu`tazilah and dubbed them as the greatest of atheists (kafirun). They argued that whosoever maintains emphatically that the Qur'an is created comes closer to the views of the atheists, since the atheists said that the Qur'an was a creation of the Prophet's mind. To support their argument they site a verse from the Qur'an, in which Allah Himself explains the unbelievers' faith by saying:
"This (the Qur'an) is saying of man." (25:74)
"Anybody who maintains that Qur'an is created, verily believes that Qur'an is man's words. Such idea is like the ideas of unbelievers."
The criticism of the Mu`tazilah seems to be a criticism far from truth. They say that the Asha`irah, supported by some orientalists, borrowed this doctrine of the eternity of the Qur'an and its uncreatedness from Jewish or Christian interpretation of the term "Logos".
As the Asha`irah have based their doctrine on the apparent meanings of some of the Qur'anic verses per se, they may not be blamed for adopting this view from alien sources and then reconcile it with the Qur'anic verses. But we have to concede to some extent that the issues concerning the Divine Attributes in general, and the controversy regarding the Qur'an in particular, have emerged and developed in the course of controversies and discourses among mutakallimun of Islam and the use of other religions, during which they came in contact with the works of each other. The same is applicable in the context of the medieval Christian scholasticism and the role of Descartes, and in the context of Medieval philosophy of Judaism and its impact on the modern philosophy of Europe through Spinoza.
6-- The word of God (Kalimat Allah): It may be said that the image of the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (s) bin `Abdullah in Muslims' view and the Christian view of the personality of Christ (`a) may not be compared reasonably, since the concept of prophethood of `Isa bin Maryam (`a) in the Christian milieu and the concept of the Prophet (s) in Islam is also different. Whenever we want to compare and contrast some sacred things in Islam and Christianity, we should try to compare the image of Christ in the Christian view with the words of the Qur'an and their nature, because both the Qur'an and `Isa Masih are called Kalimat Allah (The Word of Allah). It occurs in the Qur'an:
"When the angels said: O Mariam surely Allah gives you good news with a word from him (of one) whose name is the Messiah `Isa son of Mariam, worthy of regard in this world and the hereafter and of those who are made near (to Allah)." (3:44)
In Christianity `Isa Masih is the embodiment and incarnation of the "Word of God" (Kalimat Allah). His embodiment and anthropomorphisation is similar to what is meant by the revelation and descent and consequently written form of the Qur'an.
This matter is discussed in the history of `Ilm al-Kalam in the same way and sense. The Qur'an described itself as having the attributes according to which it is indicated that the existence of the Qur'an precedes its revelation in historical time to the Prophet (s). For instance:
"Most surely it is an honored Qur'an, in a book that is protected." (56:77-78)
"Most of it is a glorious Qur'an, in a guarded tablet."(85:22)
"And surely it is in the original of the Book with us, truly elevated, full of wisdom." (43:3)
A number of verses in the Qur'an throw light on this issue, that is, the Qur'an has been revealed (in time), and despite this its existence precedes its revelation.
7-- Accordingly "The Preserved Tablet" is considered as contingent and created. The problem of revelation and written form of the Qur'an, that is, the issue of the relationship of the revealed word to the Mother Book (Umm al-Kitab), does not give rise to any philosophical difficulty. The philosophical difficulty arises when in the light of some Qur'anic verses. The Qur'an is referred to as existing in the realm of Divine Knowledge.
"And if you follow their low desires after what has come to you of knowledge, you shall not have against Allah any guardian or a protector." (13:37)
"And if you follow their desires after the knowledge that has come to you, you shall have no guardian from Allah, nor any helper." (2:120)
These verses led some Mutakallimun to confuse the Qur'an with the Divine Attributes of Knowledge, and they were compelled to believe that the Qur'an as created in time, revealed and written, is an accident of the Attribute of Eternal Divine Knowledge that preceded the written revelation.
This confusion is like the problem that arose in Christianity particularly regarding the embodiment and incarnation of Christ. It is interesting that this issue too was interpreted in a similar way, since the Christian scholastics considered Christ as embodiment of Divinity in the person of a human being and called the second member of the Trinity.
When the Shi`i Mutakallimun came to know that the use of the term "created" (makhluq) created difficulties, so in accordance with the way the Holy Family (Ahl al-Bayt) of the Prophet (s), they avoided to make use of the wordMuhaddith and instead of it used the word muhdath. This term is used in the Qur'an for itself
"Never comes there unto them a new reminder from their Lord but they listen to it while they play." (21:2)
"Never comes there into them a fresh reminder from the Beneficent One but they turn away from it." (26:5)
Al Shaykh al-Mufid, says:
"In my view, Qur'an is the God's word and revelation. It is created in time (hadith), as is described by God, I do not wish to call it Mukhluq. There are certain hadith from Imam Baqir (`a) and Imam Sadiq (`a) supporting such meaning."
8- Divine Attributes: Some of the Mutakallimun(Ash`ariah) are of the view that Divine Attributes are like the persons in Christian doctrine of Trinity. For they believe that Divine Attributes are distinct beings separate from the Divine Essence and are eternal as well. Yet, other Mutakallimun (M`utazilah) and those who followed the School of Ahl al-Bayt denying the eternity of the Qur'an and by meticulous philosophical arguments, so that not to be entrapped into the embodiment and incarnation of Christianity. Of course, they believe in eternity of Divine Attributes, not as distinct beings, but as identical with Divine Essence and deny any polytheism. Thus, they are free from any shirk.These scholars of Kalam are of the view that to believe in eternal distinct Divine Attributes would lead to certain dilemma that Christian face it by believing in Trinity. For to be eternal and at the same time to be distinct from the Divine Essence would result in belief in many eternal beings which impair Divine Unity (Tawhid), as al- Shaykh al-Mufid held that such idea would lead to believe in many eternal beings.
9- In order to believe in eternal and distinct Divine Attributes and at the same time keep on believing in Divine Unity and discard the ascription of any unreal attributes to God, al-Shaykh al-Mufid propounded the following rational matters:
"If God is ascribed to the attributes of the living, the powerful, the knowing. The such attributes contain rational matters that is, they are not identical with Divine Essence."
By the meanings of such matters, he means that attributes are not distinct from ontological point of view but are distinct from epistemological view point, as he says:
"By rational matters I mean those matters which are rational in mind not concrete and objective."
With a deep insight into al-Mufid's views, one can infer that by M`aqul, he means samething that later on was called by Sabziwari as the primacy of being over quiddity. In this regard Sabziwari says: being and quiddity are, however, distinct in mind but are identical in the external world.
Similarly, al-Shaykh al-Mufid also held that though attributes are distinct in mind but are identical in out side. Apparently, Martin McDermott also maintains that al-Mufid's approach was conceptualism.
10- The issue of distinct Divine Attributes while holding the Unity of God was discussed by later Islamic thinkers. Ibn ``Arabi and Mulla Sadra also like al-Shaykh al-Mufid had a kind of conceptualistic approach toward the Divine Names.
Ibn `Arabi explicitly denies the existential status of attributes and says: "What we believe is as relations which in Shari`ah is called name. Every name bears a meaning different from others. That meaning is predicated to God. Nazzar who follows Kalam, considers it as attribute not relation... Do names possess existential status? In this regard there is a debate between Nuzzar. In our views, everything is clear. They are only relations and names and are conceptual, not objective and concrete. Thus, substance can be divided only by being, not by accidents, attributes and relations."
He further says: "Relations are neither essences nor things. Regarding the reality of relations, one should say that they are nothingness in nature."
Mulla Sadra commented the following points on the levels of being: "Nothing can be found which is not available among the Divine Names. Names come into being by Divine Being. They come into being in a best manner, and owing to His necessary Essence they would be necessary."
... These names are conceptual and simple beings which depend on Necessary Being. And such multiplicity in unity is one of the secrets of the Divine Being.
In some other place, he said: "Divine Attributes are identical with His Divine Essence, not as Ash`ariahbelieve in it. For they believe in multiplicity of His Attributes which entails multiplicity of two eternal beings, not as M`utazilah creed also who denied the reality of the attributes. Yet, while believing in its effects, he considers essence as second to the attributes."
Concluding that Ibn `Arabi and Mulla Sadra admit the basis of al-Mufid ideas though they developed it in a broad area, they believe that all created beings are conceptual, and, all creatures possess conceptual entities and like Divine Names they can be called Divine Word.
11- Difference between the development of Islamic Thought and that of the Christian doctrine of Trinity is considerable. In Islamic philosophy, inclination was directed towards multiplying of the Divine Attributes in a sense to consider all creatures as Divine Attributes. At the same time such attributes do not impair Divine Unity.
The early Islamic scholars of Kalam were aware of modalism in Trinity and believe that common people's perception is nothing but innovation. The theory of modalism is attributed to Sibelius, who consider God as a person with three attributes which certain Muslim Sufis also used in their poems.
Modalism approach of Trinity was strongly discarded in the Christian theology. For they believe in a vertical Trinity, that is, father and son, according to which son does not possess perfect divinity.
In refuting the modalism approach towards Trinity, they believe that God not only is three in term of meaning, but is a Triad personality. According to Mutakallimun this idea is a kind of polytheism as the Qur'an says:
"Believe therefore in Allah and His Apostle, and say not, three. Desist, it is better for you; Allah is only One God...." (4:171)
Kendi argued against the doctrine of Trinity and Christians tried to reply it. Kendi said: "Three fold personality cannot be included in the categories of porphyry."
Yahya bin `Adi, the well-known Christian learned-man in return replied as: "Such beings are individual substances."
Mutakallimun of Islam like Ghazzali used the argument of Tamama (an argument in kalam), derived from the Qur'an to prove the Divine Unity. Ghazzali says that if there were two gods than if one of them wanted to act, the other one had to favor it or oppose it. In the former case, he would have been a follower which impair his omnipotent and in later case one of them would have been weaker which again impair their omnipotent.
The same argument was applied by Scotus against a kind of Trinity namely social Trinity. In such Trinity God has three distinct personalities. Everyone of which possesses certain attributes which suffice for being a god. The argument of Tamano applied by new Christian schotictics as a logical reasoning.
* This paper was presented at the conferences of Islam and Orthodox Christianity in the month of Sharivar 1373 (September 1994), in Tehran by the Center of International Studies and Culture.
- Al-Shaykh al-Saduq, Tawhid, pp.182, 286, 361.
- Ibid., pp.270, 417, 420.
- Ibid., p.422.
- Harrani Ibn Sh`ubah, Tuhfat al-`Uqul, Tehran, 01.
- For more information, please refer to the book:History of Medieval Jewish Philosophy, by Howzile, New York, 1930. p.24.
- The original title of the book is: Al-Hujjat wal-Dalil fi Nasr al-Din. Please refer to Hartwig Mirschefeld,Kitab al-Khazri, London, 1931, p.6.
- Wolfson, Crasxa's Critique of Aristotle, Harvard, 1929, p.12.
- On influence of Ibn Sina on Jewish Thinkers particularly spinoza refer to the following books: E.I.J. Rosenthal, Avicenna's Influence on Jewish Thought, "Avicenna: Scientist and Philosopher", ed., G.M. Wiefens, London, 1952, Ch. IV.Encyclopedia Britanica, "Studies in Muslim Philosophy", by Saeed Shaikh.
- Refer to "Comparative Studies in Islamic Philosophy", translated by Sayyid Mustafa Muhaqqiq Damad, Kharazmi Publication, 1369, Tehran, p.48.
10. Al-Abanah, p.56.
12. Wolfson, Philosophy of Kalam. The term `inlibration' is used for this matter.
13. Awail al-Maqalat, p.50.
14. Ibid., p.58.
16. Sabzawari, Manzumah.
17. McDermott, 1978, p.134ff.
18. Ibn `Arabi, Futuhat Makkiyah, vol.4, p.294.
19. Ibid., vol.2, p.516.
20. Al-Hikmat al-`Ushi`ah, p.229.
21. Ibid., p.230.
22. Ibid., p.223. 23. Refer to the article: "Influence of Ghazzali on Western Thought", by Sayyid Mustafa Muhaqqiq Damad, Maqalat wa Barrasiha, Number Dai, pp.45-46.
25. David F., The Modern Theologians, volume Oxford: Basil Blackwell 1989, pp.195-198.
26. Op. cit, Wolfson, p.32.
27. Quoted from the book: Rationality, Religious and Moral Commitment, by J.W. Right, 1986, pp.2-301. In this book the over-mentioned text in quoted from the book Tract on Dogmatic Theology, which is the translation of, Fi `Usul al-Aqa`id, by Ghazzali.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Insurgents launched a wave of attacks across Iraq on Monday, primarily targeting Shiite communities and pilgrims and killing at least 23 people, officials said.
The attacks appeared aimed at undermining security and confidence in the government by fomenting sectarian conflict. Overall violence has dropped since the nation neared a civil war several years ago, but attacks of a sectarian nature come almost daily, and government forces seem powerless to prevent them.
The deadliest blasts on Monday were in the town of Musayyib, about 60 kilometres south of the capital, where militants planted bombs around two houses, one belonging to a police officer. Two women, two children and three men were killed in the pre-dawn explosions, a police officer said.
In Baghdad's Shiite neighborhood of Karrada, a parked car bomb went off next to a tent for Shiite pilgrims making their way to the southern city of Karbala to mark the seventh century death of the Prophet Mohammed's grandson, Imam Hussein, a police officer said. Five were killed and 25 wounded, he said.
The explosion rattled nearby buildings and sent a thick plume of black smoke billowing into the air. Ambulances and police rushed to the scene in the busy downtown shopping district, and several helicopters hovered above.
That came hours after a parked car bomb exploded in a busy street in the city of Hillah where local government offices are located, killing three people and wounding 21, another police officer said. He said some Shiite pilgrims were among the casualties, but he didn't say how many. Hillah is about 95 kilometres south of Baghdad.
Two other Shiite pilgrims were killed and 16 wounded in the town of Khalis, 80 kilometres north of Baghdad, when two bombs exploded simultaneously, another police officer said. In the town of Latifiyah, about 30 kilometres south of Baghdad, one pilgrim was killed and 11 wounded when two mortar rounds exploded nearby, another police officer said.
Six doctors confirmed the casualty figures. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release information to reporters.
Also Monday, four policemen were killed in the northern city of Kirkuk while trying to defuse a bomb the center of the city, according to police Colonel Taha Salaheddin. Kirkuk is 290 kilometres north of Baghdad. The city is a focus of a power struggle among several sects and the Baghdad government.
Another a policeman was killed when a bomb hit a police convoy in the town of Tuz Khormato, 210 kilometres north of Baghdad, said the provincial spokesman of Salahuddin province, Mohammed al-Asi.
Although violence has ebbed since the height of the insurgency in the past, some groups presumed to be primarily Sunni extremists are still able to launch deadly attacks nationwide against government officials or civilians.
Shiite pilgrims are one of their favorite targets. Each year, hundreds of thousands converge on the southern city of Karbala where the Imam Hussein, an important figure in Shiite Islam, is buried. Many travel on foot, and the mass gatherings are frequently attacked, despite tight security.- www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)A government official says a suicide bomber driving a vehicle packed with explosives rammed into a bus carrying Shiite Muslim pilgrims in southwest Pakistan, killing 19 people. Tufail Ahmed says over 20 people were wounded in the attack Sunday in Baluchistan province's Mastung district. The blast completely destroyed the bus that was hit and damaged a second bus carrying Shiites that was close by.
An eyewitness who was traveling in the second bus told Geo TV that the pilgrims were headed to neighboring Iran, a majority Shiite country that is a popular religious tourism destination. The eyewitness did not provide his name. Pakistan has experienced a spike in killings over the last year by radical Sunni Muslims targeting Shiites who they consider heretics, especially in Baluchistan.
Where as Reuters reported : A car bomb exploded on Sunday near a convoy of buses taking Pakistani Shia pilgrims to Iran, killing 20 people and wounding 24, officials said, the latest attack on the minority sect. Witnesses said the blast occurred as the three buses were overtaking a car about 60 km (35 miles) west of Quetta, capital of sparsely populated Baluchistan province, site of many sectarian attacks, near the Iranian border. "The bus next to us caught on fire immediately," said pilgrim Hussein Ali, 60. "We tried to save our companions but were driven back by the intensity of the heat." An official at Mastung district hospital, said 20 people had been killed and 24 wounded.
Akbar Durrani, Baluchistan's home secretary, said rescue teams were trying to reach victims in the wreckage of the vehicles, one of which was still in flames some time after the attack. He said the death toll could rise. A string of attacks on Shias underscores the government's inability to crack down on groups promoting sectarian violence. In August, militants made passengers disembark from a bus in a northern province and shot 19 Shias dead after determining from their identity cards whether they were Shias or majority Sunnis.
New York-based Human Rights Watch has noted more than 320 Shias killed this year in Pakistan and said attacks were on the rise. It said the government's failure to catch or prosecute attackers suggested it was "indifferent" to the killings. Pakistan has banned several militant groups that openly call for attacks on Shias. But their leaders move around openly, give interviews and often receive police protection. Rights groups say some groups have ties to Pakistani security agencies. Pakistan is overwhelmingly Muslim, with most citizens Sunni, though about 20 percent of its 180 million population are Shia.
SHAFAQNA (Shia international News Association) - KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The killing of an American serviceman in an exchange of fire with allied Afghan soldiers pushed U.S. military deaths in the war to 2,000, a cold reminder of the perils that remain after an 11-year conflict that now garners little public interest at home.
SHAFAQNA (Shia international News Association) — A series of coordinated bombings shattered Shiite neighborhoods and struck at Iraqi security forces Sunday, killing at least 26 in attacks that one official described as a rallying call by al-Qaida just days after dozens of militants escaped from prison.
The blasts brought September’s death toll from sectarian violence to nearly 200 people — a grim, above-average monthly total for the period since U.S. troops left last year. The steady pace of attacks has worked to undermine confidence in the government.
“The people are fed up with the killings in Iraqi cities,” said Ammar Abbas, 45, a Shiite and government employee who lives in a Baghdad neighborhood near one of the bombings. “The government officials should feel shame for letting their people die at the hands of terrorists.”
Police said the wave of explosions stretched from the restive but oil-rich city of Kirkuk in the north to the southern Shiite town of Kut, wounding at least 94 people. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, but bombings are a hallmark of al-Qaida in Iraq, the Sunni insurgency that has been struggling for years to goad Shiite militias back toward civil war.
A key Shiite lawmaker said the bombings likely sought to galvanize al-Qaida in the wake of a prison break last Friday in Saddam Hussein’s northern hometown of Tikrit. Scores of inmates escaped — including as many as 47 convicted al-Qaida militants — in a massive security lapse that the government acknowledged had help from inside.
“Al-Qaida leaders have no intention of leaving this country or letting Iraqis live in peace,” said Hakim al-Zamili, a Shiite member of parliament’s security committee. “The jailbreak in Tikrit has boosted al-Qaida’s morale in Iraq and thus we should expect more attacks in the near future.”
“The situation in Iraq is still unstable,” al-Zamili added. “And repetition of such attacks shows that our security forces are still unqualified to deal with the terrorists.”
Spokesmen for the government and Baghdad’s military command could not immediately be reached for comment.
Sunday’s deadliest attack struck the town of Taji, a former al-Qaida stronghold just north of Baghdad. Police said three explosive-rigged cars in a Shiite neighborhood went off within minutes of each other, killing eight and wounding 28 in back-to-back blasts that began around 7:15 a.m.
At almost the same time, in Baghdad, police said a suicide bomber set off his explosives-packed car in the northwest Shiite neighborhood of Shula. One person was killed and seven wounded. Police could not immediately identify the target.
“So many people were hurt. A leg of a person was amputated,” lamented Shula resident Naeem Frieh. “What have those innocent people done to deserve this?”
The chain reaction of blasts continued throughout the morning, petering off around noon.
Another suicide bomber drove a minibus into a security checkpoint in Kut, located 160 kilometers (100 miles) southeast of Baghdad. Maj. Gen. Hussein Abdul-Hadi Mahbob said three police officers were killed and five wounded.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — [B]Shiakilling presents a report on all the incidents of Shiite Genocide in August.[/B]
There were a total of 5 Shias killed in August in Sindh whereas 21 others were injured. It is worth mentioning that several Shias were illegally arrested by Police and Rangers in Karachi who were later released due to lack of evidence and with the help of some Shiite Ulemas.Martyrs:
14th August – Sajid Mousavi
17th August – 2 killed in Al Quds blast
17th August – Abbas Haider
25th August – Syed Faraz Hussain
25th August – Shezad Raza
10th August – Salman & Zeeshan
17th August – 18 injured from Al Quds Blast
27th August – Sikandar
There were no Shia Genocide incidents in Punjab
27 Shiites were killed in Gilgit Baltistan in August. On the 3rd of August a Shia named Nizamuddin was beheaded and on the 5th a Shia named Shujaat was killed in a bomb attack. The worst of the attacks was on the 16th of August, known as the Massacre of Babusir, where 25 Shia were pulled off of buses and killed.
There were no reports from Khyber Pakhtunkhua in August.
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi killed 8 Shiites in August in Quetta. On the 16th, 3 Shia were killed on Arbab Road and 3 more on the 27th on Spini Road. Finally, Zulfiqar Naqvi and his driver was shot dead on the 30th.
According to Shiakilling’s reports a total of 40 Shia were killed in the month of August on the basis of being Shia whereas over 25 were injured.
Those who claim to be the champions of justice, heroes of the government and saviours of Pakistan are on a legendary silence on this ongoing Shia Genocide. Those Shiites in political parties and even Shiite leaders themselves are not fully dealing with this situtation.
Shiakilling reports show that 386 Shia have been killed in the past 12 months and yet not a single person has been caught and/or convicted for these murders. Pakistan’s award-winning Judiciary has failed to hand out punishments for these killings.
September 2011: 46 marytrs
October 2011: 18 martyrs
November 2011: 11 martyrs
December 2011: 14 martyrs
January 2012: 57 martyrs
February 2012: 68 martyrs
March 2012: 28 martyrs
April 2012: 21 martyrs
May 2012: 22 martyrs
June 2012: 32 martyrs
July 2012: 29 martyrs
August 2012: 40 martyrs—www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) - Sayyed Abul Hassan Al-Nawab has spoken to SHAFAQNA reporter about Muslim unity and how the Ahlulbayt (A.S.) school of thought is the real face of Islam in front of other religions and beleifs.
Sayyed Al-Nawab has defined unity as “and do not dispute and [thus] lose courage and [then] your strength would depart” (Quran 8:46), meaning we have to discuss and talk and do not attack their beliefs and sacred places or their emotions.
“The world, Churches and Christians today, when wanting to have dialogue with Islam, they turn to the followers of Ahlulbayt (A.S.). Other sects do not have the ability and the big heart to have dialogues and the only ones who really have this character are Ahlulbayt (A.S.) followers.
“Wahhabis and Al-Qaeda followers do not have the ability to show a real face of Islam and they are the ones killing Muslims and Shia in particular. Ahlulbayt (A.S.) school of thought is spreading in the world and we should be proud to be part of it. The message of the Commander of the faithful Imam Ali (A.S.) addresses more than six and a half billion people and our duty is to deliver this message in the best way possible.
Nowadays, seminary studies have become unbelievably popular and people from all around the world are coming to study the knowledge of Ahlulbayt (A.S.). Lately, more than 20 students from Germany have come to Qom (Iran) saying we came with the aim of learning the knowledge of Ahlulbayt (A.S.).
The Islamic awakening that we see today in many Islamic countries has been expected long time ago. When we traveled to these countries, we saw the empathy of the people and their willingness to get hold of us, but their governments never allowed them to do so. They did not even allow us to perform a single prayer with them, but how far can they go with this pressure and continue to prohibit them from their freedom?
This awakening does not only include Islamic countries, but even western countries and in particular the United States and, more precisely the American individual, has turned towards searching for truth and the real belief with the blessings of the Quran and Islam.
SHAFAQNA translation from original Arabic interview
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) - Every year on the last Friday of Ramadan, Muslims commemorate al-Quds day and show their solidarity with the people of Palestine. The Palestinian cause is an indisputable aspiration shared by almost every Muslim in the world, regardless of their national, lingual and sectarian diversities. Their wish to liberate Palestine and al-Quds from the Zionists goes beyond all their differences. This year's al-Quds day, in the aftermath of revolutions and political turbulences in the Muslim and Arab world, and in the prospect of sectarian conflicts and civil wars ignited by the western powers, is a unique opportunity to forget all differences, to use the spiritual and liberating experience of Ramadan and to come together as brothers and sisters.
Muslims traditionally tend to ignore the material life and worldly pleasures and to restrain themselves from any dispute during the month of Ramadan. This week's Islam and Life asks: How important is the international Al-Quds day for Muslim unity?
Courtesy of PressTV
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) - Top Shia cleric Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Al-Hussaini Al-Sistani, emphasised that there are no real differences between Shia and Sunnis and that he is a servant to all the people in Iraq.
His eminence also added, in a speech that was read on his behalf on the opening ceremony of the first Shia and Sunni Scholars Forum in the holy city of Najaf, “I love everybody and religion is love. I am shocked how enemies can divide the Islamic sects.”
He also mentioned that “these gatherings and meetings are important and fruitful, from which people can know that there are no disputes between them (referring to Islamic sects). Differences between Shia and Sunnis are in jurisprudence (Fiqh) issues, which also exist between the people of the same sect.”
In addition, he said that “Shia have to defend the social and political rights of the Sunnis before the Sunnis themselves. Our call is for unity; and I said that before, but still say it, do not say our Sunni brothers, but say ourselves. I listen to the Sunni Friday prayer leaders more than I listen to Shia Friday prayer leaders. We do not distinguish Arabs and Kurds. Islam is what unites us.”
He clarified that he mentions the Sunni fatwas, in his jurisprudence researches. “We are united towards one Ka’ba, one Prayer and one Fasting. Whenever a Sunni comes and tells me that they be became Shia, in the time of the previous regime, I ask him why? He responds to me that it is for the obedience of Ahlulbayt (A.S.) (Wilaya). So I tell him that the Sunni scholars always defended and supported the obedience of the Holy Household (A.S.).”
Ayatollah Al-Sistani concluded by saying that “the mass burials (graves where many people used to be buried together at the time of Saddam Hussein’s regime) affected the Sunnis as equally as the Shia. I support everyone who demands their rights.”
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Everyday, there are news concerning Muslims and Shia Muslims in particular, that are not spread in the media and few people are aware of. Therefore, SHAFAQNA is seeking your cooperation to obtain your local news and grow to another level of serving the Shia Muslims worldwide. You can send us written or audiovisual reports and stories. The topics are wide and anything can be relevant for people to know about. Here are some examples of reports you can send us:
1- Video, audio or pictures of events or important news.
2- Written news reports.
3- Diaries or personal experiences (written, pictures, video or audio)
4- Web blog article (along with the introduction of your web blog on SHAFAQNA)
5- Introduction of scholars, academics and distinguished people of your community.
6- Mobile journalism activities.
7- Rare pictures of distinguished people or unseen places around the world.
8- Introduction and interviews of unknown servants of Islam and Shia Islam in particular.
9- Introduction of scientific works, researches or reports.
10- Ideas related to religion and the development of the Shia communities.