“Who is a Proper Muslim?”

 

640px-AQMI_Flag.svgOne of my first pieces for Ricochet was “The Last Jew in Pakistan.”  It was about a friend I made over Twitter named Fishel Benkeld, a resident of Karachi, who is commonly thought of as, literally, the last Jew in the entire country, population 187 million. We chat over Twitter direct message, and sometimes, I wonder if it’s the last time we will ever talk.

On Wednesday morning, Karachi was the scene of unimaginable carnage. Several members of the Islamist radical group, Jundallah, shot into a bus full of minority Muslim Ismailis. At least 40 were killed, and 20 were injured.

The New York Times has more:

The passengers were members of the Ismaili sect of Shiite Islam, and the bus made daily commutes from an Ismaili residential complex to other parts of Karachi. Sixteen women were among the dead, the police said.

Jundullah, a Taliban splinter group, claimed responsibility for the attack. Members of minority sects have often been targeted in Pakistan by the Taliban and other extremist Sunni militants; attacks on Ismaili Muslims, an educated and affluent community, are rare but not unprecedented.

At least six men, riding motorcycles, took part in the attack Wednesday, said Ghulam Haider Jamali, the police chief of Sindh Province, of which Karachi is the capital. Some of the attackers boarded the bus and opened fire on the passengers, most of whom were shot in the head and chest, Chief Jamali said.

It is near impossible to imagine about a scene where innocent people, crowded on a bus, watched as their killers shot the men, women, and children in front of them, knowing that they would be next. I’m sick to my stomach right now just thinking about it. The CNN story about this attack included a chilling quote from Zohra Yusuf, the chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, who said that the attack was:

“[D]isturbing in terms of the fact that the definition of who is a proper Muslim is shrinking as far as the extremist groups are concerned”

We are tragically watching, in real time, the ethnic cleansing of minority Muslims, by radical Islamists, who consider them not to be “proper.” The Yazidis certainly know this. When ISIS started its reign of terror over the Middle East, they were some of its first targets. From The Guardian:

Most of the trapped people are members of the Yazidi religion, one of Iraq’s oldest minorities. They were forced to flee to Mount Sinjar in the Iraqi north-west region, or face slaughter by an encircling group of Islamic State (Isis) jihadists. The UN has said that roughly 40,000 people – many women and children – have taken refuge in nine locations on the mountain, “a craggy, mile-high ridge identified in local legend as the final resting place of Noah’s ark”.

Gruesome images of brutally slain people have emerged in the past week, as local officials say that at least 500 Yazidis, including 40 children, have been killed, and many more have been threatened with death. Roughly 130,000 residents of the Yazidi stronghold of Sinjar have fled to Dohuk, in Iraqi Kurdistan to the north, or to Irbil.

Some of the reports of the atrocities Yazidis suffered have been forever etched in my memory. One is the report that some of the children trapped on Mount Sinjar were so dehydrated, that their parents would cut themselves open so their children could drink their blood. Another is the mass enslaving and rape of Yazidi girls and women. I will never forget this headline from The Daily Mail’s webpage:

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 5.46.23 AM

The list of minority Muslim groups attacked and killed by radical Islamists is ever-growing. Kurds, Bohras, Ahmadis, Hazaras, and so on. This is not at all to forget attacks on non-Muslim groups like Coptic Christians, 21 of whom were beheaded by ISIS terrorists on a Libyan beach.

As I was wrapping this article up, a tweet from The Wall Street Journal came across my timeline:

Radical Islamists are certainly trying to kill all but the “proper” Muslims.

When I first saw this story, I sent a message to my friend, Fishel.  I hope to hear back from him, soon.

There are 10 comments.

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  1. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    None of us are, Cameron.  They would kill us all in a heart beat.

    • #1
  2. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @DanielWood

    I am woefully ignorant of the Koran, but is there nothing in it which prohibits the murder of innocent women and children? Are these Sunni radicals directly violating fundamental tents of Islam with this wanton killing? I’m honestly curious. The New Testament, with which I’m very familiar, specifically prohibits violence toward innocents; could moderate Muslims use similar prohibitions in the Koran to ostracize these barbarians in the Islamic world?

    • #2
  3. Max Ledoux Coolidge
    Max Ledoux
    @Max

    Cogito Ergo BBQ:I am woefully ignorant of the Koran, but is there nothing in it which prohibits the murder of innocent women and children? Are these Sunni radicals directly violating fundamental tents of Islam with this wanton killing? I’m honestly curious. The New Testament, with which I’m very familiar, specifically prohibits violence toward innocents; could moderate Muslims use similar prohibitions in the Koran to ostracize these barbarians in the Islamic world?

    If you are not a “proper Muslim,” then you are not innocent. See?

    • #3
  4. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Cogito Ergo BBQ:I am woefully ignorant of the Koran, but is there nothing in it which prohibits the murder of innocent women and children? Are these Sunni radicals directly violating fundamental tents of Islam with this wanton killing? I’m honestly curious. The New Testament, with which I’m very familiar, specifically prohibits violence toward innocents; could moderate Muslims use similar prohibitions in the Koran to ostracize these barbarians in the Islamic world?

    Yeah, there’s quite a lot of Sharia that ISIS and pals treat poorly. It’s often helpful to recall the 9/11 bombers being bad tippers at strip clubs. The anti-Islamic propagandists in the West are extremely unhelpful in the debate within Islam in the Middle East and in South Asia, regularly suggesting that whoever is the most obnoxious is the best representative.

    • #4
  5. Limestone Cowboy Coolidge
    Limestone Cowboy
    @LimestoneCowboy

    Cogito Ergo BBQ:

    I am woefully ignorant of the Koran, but is there nothing in it which prohibits the murder of innocent women and children? Are these Sunni radicals directly violating fundamental tents of Islam with this wanton killing? I’m honestly curious. The New Testament, with which I’m very familiar, specifically prohibits violence toward innocents; could moderate Muslims use similar prohibitions in the Koran to ostracize these barbarians in the Islamic world?

    I don’t think that these Sunnis even know. At the madrassas, the boys memorize and chant the Koran in Arabic… but most of them don’t speak Arabic.

    • #5
  6. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Limestone Cowboy:

    Cogito Ergo BBQ:

    I am woefully ignorant of the Koran, but is there nothing in it which prohibits the murder of innocent women and children? Are these Sunni radicals directly violating fundamental tents of Islam with this wanton killing? I’m honestly curious. The New Testament, with which I’m very familiar, specifically prohibits violence toward innocents; could moderate Muslims use similar prohibitions in the Koran to ostracize these barbarians in the Islamic world?

    I don’t think that these Sunnis even know. At the madrassas, the boys memorize and chant the Koran in Arabic… but most of them don’t speak Arabic.

    The Yazidis? They speak Arabic. It’s not easy to get by in Iraq without.

    • #6
  7. user_64581 Member
    user_64581
    @

    Don’t miss the subtlety in Mr Shah’s statement.  What he is not saying is as noteworthy as what he is saying.  He does not say, for example, that the disturbing aspect of this attack is that it was launched against what the extremist group deemed to be a busload of non-muslims, on the basis of religion.  He says it is disturbing that more and more people are being placed into that category.

    It is common, in Pakistan, for attacks on non-muslims to go unpunished by authorities or less strictly punished than attacks on muslims.  It strikes me that the chief of their Human Rights Commission is implicitly validating the underlying assumption behind this situation by suggesting that the real problem is not religion-based extremist attacks, but placing too many people into a category that can be attacked with impunity.

    • #7
  8. Ricochet Moderator
    Ricochet
    @OldBathos

    Islam was designed to be an imperial religion for a tribe that became imperial rulers.  Unbelievers or separatist Muslim sects could exist as well-defined second-class citizens who do not threaten the authority of the rulers.  But when Islam does not rule or things devolve into chaos, the instinct is to purify.  The end of Umayyad rule in Baghdad, reconquest attempts in Spain and the emergence of Mahdi-wannabes were all animated by Islam’s genetic code, a desire to prune away accretions and restore mythical pure beginnings.

    As the world gets more complex and more secular and Islam continues to sink into a political and economic backwater, the “renewal” becomes more desperate.  Muslims who attempt to deploy ideologies that do not find their roots in the Koran will need to be purged more often, more violently.

    Our idiot President and his cretinous sidekick Kerry are accelerating nuclear weapons development across the Middle East as well as abetting a collapse into a Muslim war of all against all.  Islam stands on the brink of its own Gotterdamerung.

    • #8
  9. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Old Bathos:Islam was designed to be an imperial religion for a tribe that became imperial rulers. Unbelievers or separatist Muslim sects could exist as well-defined second-class citizens who do not threaten the authority of the rulers. But when Islam does not rule or things devolve into chaos, the instinct is to purify. The end of Umayyad rule in Baghdad, reconquest attempts in Spain and the emergence of Mahdi-wannabes were all animated by Islam’s genetic code, a desire to prune away accretions and restore mythical pure beginnings.

    As the world gets more complex and more secular and Islam continues to sink into a political and economic backwater, the “renewal” becomes more desperate. Muslims who attempt to deploy ideologies that do not find their roots in the Koran will need to be purged more often, more violently.

    Our idiot President and his cretinous sidekick Kerry are accelerating nuclear weapons development across the Middle East as well as abetting a collapse into a Muslim war of all against all. Islam stands on the brink of its own Gotterdamerung.

    Well said.

    • #9
  10. Limestone Cowboy Coolidge
    Limestone Cowboy
    @LimestoneCowboy

    James Of England:

    Limestone Cowboy:

    Cogito Ergo BBQ:

    I am woefully ignorant of the Koran, but is there nothing in it which prohibits the murder of innocent women and children? Are these Sunni radicals directly violating fundamental tents of Islam with this wanton killing? I’m honestly curious. The New Testament, with which I’m very familiar, specifically prohibits violence toward innocents; could moderate Muslims use similar prohibitions in the Koran to ostracize these barbarians in the Islamic world?

    I don’t think that these Sunnis even know. At the madrassas, the boys memorize and chant the Koran in Arabic… but most of them don’t speak Arabic.

    The Yazidis? They speak Arabic. It’s not easy to get by in Iraq without.

    The Yazidis are not Muslims. They are the victims of the Sunni fundamentalists.

    I’m referring to the Pakistani Taliban. They are rarely conversant in Arabic, and their knowledge of Koranic strictures is close to nil. They recite the Koran in Arabic and understand little of it.

    • #10
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