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Quetta Versus Christchurch: Where Is CAIR?

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A victim of the bombing targeting the Shiite Hazara ethnic minority in Pakistan (Photo: BANARAS KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A victim of the bombing targeting the Shiite Hazara ethnic minority in Pakistan (Photo: BANARAS KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Last week there was an attack on a Shiite minority community, the Hazaras, in the city of Quetta. Sixteen were killed and at least 30 wounded.

The relatively new leader of Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan, promised a “new Pakistan.” I’m wondering if it’s not the same old wine in a new bottle?

Attacks on the Hazara are not new. In recent years there have been over 1,000 Hazaras killed and hundreds wounded. Any terrorist caught? None. No condemnation from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) or any other Islamist organizations that had plenty to say when Christchurch happened and engulfed themselves in the victim narrative.

What did Muslim Congresswomen Ilhan (yes, “some people did something”) Omar and Rashida Tlaib have to say about persecution of minorities in a Muslim country? Nada.

The Hazara people are a Persian-speaking ethnic group originating in the Hazaristan region of central Afghanistan. They are a Shiite minority and have been persecuted there for such a long time that many of them have sought refuge outside Afghanistan.

A large number of Hazaras moved to the city of Quetta in the Baluchistan province of Pakistan. They are generally a peace-loving community and only resist when they are persecuted, which they have ruthlessly been for too long.

Unfortunately for them, they are distinguished by their Central Asian features and have been a soft target for Sunni militants in Pakistan who call them heretics.

After the April 12 attack, authorities said no one took responsibility for the killing and they did not know the Hazaras were in danger.

The ISI, the Pakistani secret service, is touted as one of the most efficient agencies in the world. Is it possible they did not know? Not likely.

The ISI has tentacles as far as Canada (where I live). Don’t try to tell me they don’t know what’s brewing in their own backyard. Maybe it’s convenient for them to look the other way when an ethnic minority is being targeted, so they can focus on encouraging pro-Khalistan events in Ottawa and Hindu-bashing events in Toronto.

As we look around the world and see relentless persecution of minorities, why is it that those countries that call themselves “The Islamic Republic of…” are the ones indulging in most crimes against humanity?

Take Iran. Leave alone calling themselves “Islamic,” they should not even call themselves believers in God, because God does not ask anyone to go out and kill innocent people. Yet these thugs do everything in the name of their own genocidal ideology and get away with it.

It’s time Muslim religious leaders openly and loudly condemn these actions from every pulpit, and it’s time political leaders rally to the support of minorities in their countries.

What they must acknowledge is that hate taught at a young age morphs into violence when the recipients of these messages get older and acquire power and protection.

We know from Clarion’s upcoming documentary, Kids: Chasing Paradise, that hate is the potent force behind radicalization, and when hate is on the curriculum, it leads to violence of many kinds.

President Donald Trump rightly curtailed aid to Pakistan. The International Monetary Fund and other Western countries should do the same until Pakistan punishes its empowered jihadi groups and improves the treatment of its minorities – the Shiites, Ahmaddiyas, Christians and Hindus.

 

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Raheel Raza

Raheel Raza is ​an adviser to Clarion Project. ​She is an award-winning author, journalist and filmmaker on the topics of jihad and sharia. She is president of The Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow, and an activist for human rights, gender equality, and diversity.