Call for naming anti-Shia violence sacrilegious

On July 4 three men wheeled a trolley up to the gate of a mosque in Quetta, Pakistan before pulling guns from under cover and opening fire on worshippers, police said. At the end of the carnage 53 Muslims had been killed and 65 injured.

Quetta is a town close to the Afghan border where, survivors of the attack say, three men started shooting inside a Shia mosque, calmly loading and reloading their guns as they massacred people at prayer. Two of the attackers managed to blow themselves up.

Who are these killers? What motivates them? They have to be outside the circle of Islam since the Quran in Sura Haj (the “Pilgrimage” chapter) forbids violence in houses of worship, naming synagogues, churches and mosques as places where the name of God is taken.

Either these killers are enemies of Islam, since their actions go against the religion, or they are profoundly ignorant and misguided.

Since the religious parties have an unprecedented national political platform these days in Pakistan (they are in power in the North West Frontier Province provincial assembly) and have never been this close to each other, they should get together and proclaim a fatwa that is against this mass, suicidal violence. This fatwa would make clear to the misguided and the ignorant in our communities where our religious leaders stand on the issue.

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