Everyone in Karachi is familiar with the devastation of Abbas Town and the bombing in Hayderi early last year. But as human beings we often don’t feel the effects of something that profound unless it happens in our locality.
Today a Shia friend told me a tale that has leashed a torrent of emotions in me – the slow non-violent ethnic cleansing of Shias from the U.A.E. My friend has been settled in the U.A.E with her family for over 20 years. Earlier this year her mother was asked to come to a government office and her father (who is their sponsor) asked to cancel the visa and her mother was sent back to Pakistan. A week ago the same thing happened to her. There are rumors circulating now that there is a list (put together after the recent uprising in Bahrain of the Shias against the Sunni government) – a blacklist.
Scores of Shias are being sent back to their home countries, in particular the targets being Iranians and Pakistanis -you get your marching orders a week to pack and leave your immigrant home.
Is this the Muslim way of behavior? My friend is unemployed. She is politically inactive and her sister recently went abroad for studies. After her mother was kicked out of the U.A.E she was the only person taking care of their home. Now her father is alone in a country without his wife or children wondering why he was lured by the peace of the U.A.E.
Just when I thought that Karachi was becoming a little less violent you find out a country that has so far being the only peaceful Muslim homeland – where a Pakistani cricketer and an Indian tennis player considered a safe home for themselves – is now practicing the dirty politics of other countries.
It seems like an unnatural fear on the side of the U.A.E government. Or it may be just plain stupidity to send hardworking folks home but it means disaster for these people. The Shias have to rebuild their lives and that is going to be a hard task for them. Not to mention the continuous fear of religious prosecution.
The Muslim world needs to put its differences aside and unite. At the Hajj sermon last week the Grand Mufti said:
“The Holy Quran is the ultimate guidance for the entire humanity which should be implemented and acted upon.”“Oh Muslims be God-fearing, adopt taqwa (fear of Allah), shun earning money through un-Islamic means, hold fast to the rope of Allah and don’t divide into diverse schools of thought, get united against injustice.”
I wonder if any Muslim took his words to heart? The upcoming 10 days of Muharram will show us if they did.