• Hazarerna – Förföljelsen av Hazarerna genom tiderna

     

    Persecution of Shia Hazaras

     

     

    Name: Latifa Jawadi
    Class: S3A
    Research paper
    Autumn 2013
    Subject: English
    Teacher: Beth Ann Frandell

    1. Content.……………………………………………………………………1
    2. Introduction……………………………………………………………….2
    3. Question and method…………………………………………………3
    4. Background………………………………………………………………4
      Shia Hazaras 4.1………………………………………………………………………………5
      Lashkar-e-Janghvi 4.2…………………………………………………………………………5
      The Taliban 4.3……………………………………………………………………………………6
      Target killing in Quetta 4.4………….………………………………………………………6
      Target killing in Quetta 4.5………………………………………………………………….7
    5. Conclusion………………………………………………………………….7
    6. References………………………………………………………………….8

     

      

    Introduction

    This research paper was written in purpose of examining Shia hazaras of Afghanistan and Pakistan. I wanted to examine the Hazara people carefully to be fully understood in why they have been persecuted for over a century. To come to conclusion I chose to interview both my parents whom are Hazaras of Afghanistan and Iran, and two friends of mine who both have grown up in Quetta, Pakistan where most of the bombings and killings have been taking place. These two friends are Khodadad Hosseini, whom is 18 years old. He fled to Sweden autumn 2011 and has been living in Sweden since. Khodadad was born in Kabul, Afghanistan though when he was two years old, his family fled to Pakistan when the Taliban came to power in 1996. The second person I chose to interview was Nadia Nazher, one of my closest friends who is born and raised in Quetta. Nadia is 16 years old. She came to Sweden with her sister 2012, it is unknown where the rest of their family is. The interviews were for my own personal gain, I wanted to get a wider perspective from Shia Hazaras before I started with the website sources in case they were too objective or if they somehow took sides.

    Other than the interviews I examined several websites, both informational ones and news websites from the past two years. The best way to understand what it is that is going on is to understand both sides which are the Hazara people and the terrorist groups for example Lashkar-e-jhangvi and the Taliban, I searched for information on all of these groups and at the end of this research paper I summarized the information I had gathered up.

    My conclusion briefly is that the Hazaras have been a persecuted group for several decades. They have been an easy group to violate because they have always been a minority. In nations as Afghanistan and Pakistan where the majority of the population is Sunni muslims they have been slaughtered because of their belief, and with their Asian traits it has been even easier to distinguish them from others. This has made it easier, and created a reason, for the terrorists to target them.


    1. Question and method

    For over two decades Shia Hazaras of Pakistan have been targeted and murdered by the Taliban and other terrorist groups. There have been no ending to this ongoing genocide even though there have been Shia Hazaras protesting all over the world and especially in Quetta, Pakistan where the bombings and killings usually take place.

    The two main questions in this essay are;
    Who are the Shia Hazaras?
    Why are the Shia Hazaras being targeted?

    In order to answer these complicated questions and to understand why the Hazaras are targeted a background history of the Hazara people and their religion, which is playing a big part of this topic, will be presented thoroughly. There will also be a background check on some of the terrorist groups that have been targeting the Shia Hazaras, to get a bigger picture of the issue.

    To draw a conclusion there will be several website sources and interviews with Hazaras of Quetta, Khodadad and Nadia who has grown up there, carefully examined in this essay. The main reason to why there will be interviews is to get information direct from a credible source, though there is a chance they will present a more subjective point of view, so mostly they are more for my own personal usage so I can have more understanding for their situation. I will therefore not present the interviews in the essay though they will still be compared to at least two or more website sources to be sure whether I have been gathering up similar information or not.

    It is also important for me to mention that this issue is not very widely known and spread therefore it wasn’t easy for me to find good and credible sources. This is a reason to why most of my website sources are news websites.

     

     

     

    Background

    Shia Hazaras

    The Hazara people are the third largest ethnic group in Afghanistan which is approximately 9% of the population. [1]For over centuries they have faced persecution and violence both from Pashtuns, the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan, and other ethnic groups in the country. Often they have been seen as outsiders, mainly because they belong to the Shiite branch of Islam which makes them a minority in a mostly Sunni muslim nation and this has contributed to the discrimination against Hazaras.

    Their Asian features, is another reason to why they are distinguished from the rest of the population. The Hazaras history goes back to Genghis Khan and his soldiers, who invaded Afghanistan in the 13th century. The Hazaras bloodlines and genetic tests also show that other ethnicities, not only Genghis Khans Mongol troops, have also been mixed with them. There were even traces of DNA from Turks, Tajiks including of the original habitants of Afghanistan.[2]

    The term ‘’Hazara’’ means thousand in Persian and it is said that Genghis Khan Regiments consisted one thousand soldiers each. Wherever Genghis Khan crossed from, he left one unit there to keep occupancy. These men then got mixed up with the locals and that is how the Hazara generation came to being. Hazaras are often associated with the province Hazarajat, where they emerged from. Hazarajat is located in central Afghanistan but they can also be found in neighboring countries around Afghanistan.
    One of the countries is Iran where approximately one million Hazaras have fled to during the Soviet invasion in 1979 and more than half a million Hazaras can be found in the neighboring country Pakistan. Most of the Hazaras that fled to Pakistan lives in the city Quetta which is located in the province Balochistan. [3]

    For over decades the Hazaras of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan has experienced and seen acts of human right violations. The Pashtun king in former Afghanistan, Emir Abdur Rahman Khan killed thousands of Hazaras for the sole purpose of ethnic cleansing in 1890-1900. Most of the Hazaras fought back which resulted in a larger rebellion against the state, it ended with the Hazaras defeated in 1891 and that is when they got brutally massacred.
    The emir, Abdur Rahman Khan had the support of several Sunni religious scholars issuing the fatwa that Hazaras are infidel. With the support of the scholars Abdur Rahman Khan created a whole crew whom turned against the Hazara people. Abdur Rahman Khans troops took over their lands, most or all of their properties were taken away from them, whereas a large number of the Hazara community were murdered another part of the group were sold as slaves in the afghan market for over a century. This war ended with 62% of the Hazara population exterminated.

    Even though this persecuted people still experience acts of violence and discrimination on a daily basis they have decided to remain in their maintaining countries due to lack of security, human rights, the right to get the education they want and the right of religion and culture in Afghanistan. [4]

     

    Lashkar-e-Jhangvi

    Lashkar-e-jhangvi is a sunni extremist group that was created in 1996 by another Al-Qaeda affiliated Pakistani Sunni muslim extremist militant group called Sipah-e-sahaba, in Pakistan. Shortly after the Taliban regimes decay in 2001, the Taliban as well as Al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-jhangvi etc. was temporarily moved back to Pakistan were they have settled down since. With the Taliban fleeing from Afghanistan the situation for the Hazaras of Afghanistan improved though from this point on it started to get a whole lot worse for those Shia Hazaras who lived in Quetta. [5]

    The Taliban regimes decay in 2001 led to suicide attacks on the Shia muslims in Pakistan. This was an ongoing issue even before that, though now when the Taliban no longer had control over Afghanistan they started to target those who were in Pakistan with different groups and new operations. After dozens of killings in 2001, Gen Pervez Musharraf who was Pakistan’s leader back then, prohibited the worst terrorist groups.  [6] These past few years the Taliban have re-emerged and grown bigger and larger in Pakistan as in Afghanistan. It is believed that the Taliban is taking refuge in Quetta, Pakistan from where they are guiding their new operations

     

     

    The Taliban

    The Talibans emerged in Afghanistan year 1994, two years before they came to power in 1996. They are a predominantly Pashtun movement. They promised both Pakistan and Afghanistan a better and safer country with Islamic sharia laws if they were to be chosen as new leaders. Instead they introduced public executions of murderers, adulterers and amputation of those who got caught stealing in both countries.

    It is said that those who joined the Taliban were educated in Islamic madrasas (Schools) in Pakistan though Pakistan has denied that they may be the founding country of these terrorist groups. Along with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan was one of the countries who recognized and stood by the Talibans when they were in power until 2001. [7] This could be used as an argument to that Pakistan did create these terrorist groups.

    Even though these different terrorist groups have close ties with each other they are not focusing on the same thing. As the Taliban tries to come to power in Afghanistan once again, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is focused on exterminating the Shias and Shia Hazaras of Pakistan. They told in an official statement in 2011 that, I quote; ‘’All Shias are worth of killing. We will rid Pakistan of this unclean people. Pakistan means land of the pure, and the Shias have no right to be here. We have the fatwa and signatures of the revered ulea in which the Shias have been declared kaafir. (Infidel)’’ [8]

    Target killing in Quetta

    Since the last past few years the bombings and killings in Quetta has resulted in over 1000 deaths and over hundred injured Hazaras.  Only in 2013 over 100 Hazaras were killed in bomb attacks in the city of Quetta. The first attack occurred in January last year when Lashkar-e-jhangvi who claimed responsibility for the attack, had sent out two suicide bombers who blew themselves up just a few seconds after each other, which resulted in over 100 people dead and more injured. The following attack happened in February same year resulted in over 70 Hazaras dead and more than 100 injured. The bomb that was triggered in February was hidden in a mostly Hazara dominated location.

    The leader of Lashkar-e-jhangvi, Malik Ishaq was arrested following the attack but released soon because of lack of evidence. [9] A bus full of pilgrims that were on their way back to Quetta from Iran in January this year were attacked by suicide bombers who rammed themselves in to the bus with explosives killed over twenty Shia Hazaras. The families of the victims and other citizens grieving were refusing to bury their dead ones in protest against the authorities. They were out with their dead ones in coffins for three days before burying them.

    In an Islamic society where people usually are buried the same day they die, it is an extreme protest to refuse burial of the dead. This kind of protest has been used before, but authorities have not yet taken any precautions to help the Shia community.[10]

    Conclusion

    In conclusion all the information that has been gathered and discussed in this essay they tells that the Hazaras have been a persecuted people for several decades and an easy target for discrimination. They emerged in Afghanistan after Genghis Khan invaded the country in the 13th century, where the original habitants of Afghanistan got mixed with the Mongol’s including Turks and Tajiks. In a country where they were a minority both by religion and ethnicity they soon got labeled as outsiders.

    Since most of the Hazara community belongs to the Shia branch of Islam their enemies in religion soon found a reason to target and oppress them. In nations as Afghanistan and Pakistan where the majority of the population belongs to Sunni branch of Islam the Hazaras were, and still are, seen as infidels which are enough for terrorist to kill them. Since the soviet invasion in 1979 they have been fleeing from their oppressors to the neighboring countries of Afghanistan, but has not found security yet.

    Hazaras of Afghanistan got more secure and their lives improved as the Taliban lost their power in 2001, but this may have led to more violence and less security for the Hazaras of Quetta since most of the terrorist groups were moved back to Pakistan. The terrorist have declared some kind of war against Shias of Pakistan to get rid of them and to be able to declare Pakistan as a Sunni nation.

    In nations as Afghanistan and Pakistan where the majority of the population is Sunni muslims they have been slaughtered because of their belief, and with their Asian traits it has been even easier to distinguish them from others which has made it easier for the terrorists to target them.

     

    References

    Web sources;

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21485731 [Accessed 19 December 2013]

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21553492 [Accessed 19 December 2013]

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25855794 [Accessed 23 February 2014]

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11451718 [Accessed 23 December 2013]

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/af.html[Accessed 26 February 2014]

    http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Hazara.aspx [Accessed 22 December 2013]

    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/geopedia/Hazara_People [Accessed 24 December 2013]

    http://hazaranewspakistan.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/lashkar-e-jhangvis-open-letter-against-hazaras/ [Accessed 22 December 2013]

    http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/pakistan/terroristoutfits/Lej.htm [Accessed 23 December 2013]

    http://worldhazaracouncil.org/en/who-are-the-hazaras/ [Accessed 22 December 2013]
    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/af.html[Accessed 26 February 2014]

    Zakira Jawadi, homewife. 41 years old. Born and raised in Afghanistan. – Interviewed 26th October 2013.

    Jaqub Jawadi, on sick leave, 47 years old. Born and raised in Afghanistan. – Interviewed 11th November 2013.

    Khodadad Hosseini, 18 years old. Born in Afghanistan, raised in Quetta, Pakistan. – Interviewed 23 December 2013.

    Nadia Nazher, 16 years old. Born and raised in Quetta, Pakistan. – Interviewed 23 December 2013.

     

     

    [1]https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/af.html[Accessed 26 February 2014]

    [2]http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/geopedia/Hazara_People [Accessed 24 December 2013]

    [3]http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Hazara.aspx and http://worldhazaracouncil.org/en/who-are-the-hazaras/ [Accessed 22 December 2013]

    [4]http://worldhazaracouncil.org/en/who-are-the-hazaras/ [Accessed 22 December 2013]

    [5]http://worldhazaracouncil.org/en/who-are-the-hazaras/ [Accessed 22 December 2013]

    [6]http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/pakistan/terroristoutfits/Lej.htm [Accessed 23 December 2013]

    [7]  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11451718 [Accessed 23 December 2013]

    [8]http://hazaranewspakistan.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/lashkar-e-jhangvis-open-letter-against-hazaras/ [Accessed 22 December 2013]

    [9]http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21553492 [Accessed 19 December 2013]

    [10]http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25855794 [Accessed 23 February 2014]

     

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