Here is muharram- the month of sorrow, grief, black clothes and Sunni-shia arguments. It’s as if the sighting of the new moon is the mark of the commencement of a series of futile debates regarding beliefs we have no right to discuss. It’s as if we forget what muharram is. It’s as if the true spirit of sacrifice is pushed aside and the reason this month is so close to our hearts loses itself mid this unwanted chaos. How ironic the very month that defied hypocrisy for all Muslims to come has become defined for it’s hypocrisy. Funny isn’t it that 72 martyrs, among whom was the Prophet’s grandson, fought for the prosperity of a coming Muslim generation that was to use the shuda’s deaths as a means to destroy the very religion they stood for.
And we can play the blame game for centuries as we have but we cannot deny that being Sunnis we have the “Sunni” privilege. What is that? It’s just like the white privilege, or gender privilege, or the caste privilege. It’s an unjust and unreasonable bias towards a certain group of people. In Pakistan, this bias has heightened due to the presence of terrorist organizations and religious leaders who exploit these volatile circumstances for their own good. The Sunni privilege involves a conglomeration of injustices that are ignored on the basis of majority and pathetically religion.
When we throw stones at shias no one questions us. When we hurt our Muslim brethren no one cares. When our azaan trampled the sound of theirs we call it justice on the fact that we are a majority. When our laws take precedence to theirs no one criticizes us because we have the Sunni privilege. We justify this on the most bizarre grounds. We argue that this happens in Iran where the Shias in the majority trump the Sunnis. (Note: Trump implies to the act of behaving or acting like the Republican party candidate Donald Trump as Sunnis and shias do). We argue that we are right and that these people are intruders in our religion.
This is the Sunni privilege; the right we have given ourselves to declare a certain group to be non Muslim. It is the right to be butchered to death for merely writing against it. We have bestowed ourselves the holy job of identifying and annihilating hypocrites. It is the divine permission to take the place of God. The Sunni privilege is the right to play Allah without any consequences. The Sunni privilege needs to end. The victims of racial remarks and islamophobia should know better than to fight amongst themselves. At the end of the day all we Muslims have is ourselves.
Muharram holds significance to both and all sects in Islam. Muharram is for all Muslims to learn from. It is up to us individually to remember this month in the way we please. No Sunni has the right to discuss the shia sect and vice versa if not for educational purposes. Stop preaching hate. Stop preaching a privilege. Stop being God.