Jang Groupâ€™s Geo TVâ€™s Islamo-evangelical anchor Aamir Liaquat Hussain has proposed that Pakistanâ€™s Shia Muslims should participate in the Yom-e-Farooq-e-Azam (celebration of the birthday of second Caliph Hazrat Umar Farooq) in order to escape the ongoing Shia genocide and other forms of anti-Shia violence. He also proposed that Sunni Muslims should particiapte in Yom-e-Hussain (to pay homage to the great sacrifice by Hazrat Imam Hussain and other members of Holy Prophetâ€™s family in Karbala).
The above proposal by Aamir Liaquat Hussain shows that he is in urgent need of a bit of liaquat (i.e., competence) and also some integrity. While we do not condone indecent or abusive remarks against any person including the Rashidun Caliphs, it is a fact that Shia Muslims do not consider the first three Caliphs as legitimate successors of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). In fact, instead of Khilafat (Caliphate), the Shia sect of Islam revolves around the institution of Imamate, i.e., spiritual successors of Holy Prophet from within his descendants and family (Aal-e-Muhammad). Thus, while Imam Hussain and other members of Holy Prophetâ€™s descendants (Aal-e-Muhammad) are equally revered by all Muslims, the status of first three Rashidun Caliphs and also Umayyad Caliphs remains controversial in Islamic history.
Itâ€™s both unfair and cruel to demand and expect Shia Muslims to abandon their specific religious identity and belief in order to earn the right to life in a country created in the name of Islam.
Letâ€™s remind Aamir Liaquat that:
1. Neither Shia Muslims nor Sunni Muslims need to forego their specific religious beliefs and practices in order to be accepted as equal Muslims or equal citizens;
2. The Yom-e-Farooq is an innovation (i.e., a biddat in Wahhabi-Deobandi terminology) started only a few years ago by the very people (Takfiri Deobandis of Sipah Sahaba) who ridicule Shias and Sunni Barelvis as Biddatis (innovators). Shia Muslims have been persecuted and killed for 1400 years when there was no such day.
3. Itâ€™s not ordinary Sunnis (i.e., Sunni Sufi Barelvis, moderate Deobandis, moderate Ahle Hadith) who are killing Shia Muslims. Itâ€™s the Takfiri Deobandi terrorists of ASWJ-LeJ who are not only killing Shias but also Sunni Barelvis, moderate Deobandis, Ahmadis and Christians etc. Are Christians, Ahmadis and Sunni Barelvis too being killed by the Sipah Sahaba terrorists because they donâ€™t participate in the Farooq Day? Do Deobandi terrorist kill Sunni Barelvis at various shrines in Lahore, Peshawar, Karachi etc because they doubt Sunni Barelvisâ€™ devotion to Hazrat Umar Farooq?
Last but not least, why is the guarantee to life of Shia Muslims dependent on participating in such a day or accepting the legitimacy of the first three caliphs? This is like demanding Shia to give up the raison dâ€™Ãªtre of their existence. Why is it so tough to accept that Shia Muslims represent a different (than Sunnis) but equally respectable sect of Islam?