Hope, and not Despondency, in the Wake of Misfortune and Tragedy

Yellow Tulips - Hope amidst Tragedy
“Despair not of the Spirit of Allah. Lo! None despaireth of the Spirit of Allah save disbelieving folk.” (Holy Qur’an, Chapter 12, Verse 87).

The recent tragedy in Karachi, where dozens of innocent Ismailis were the subject of wanton violence is extremely disquieting. Besides questioning the humanity of our fellow citizens, it may serve to bring to the fore the insecurities of a people who have been subject to religious persecution in the past and are today, without exception, minorities in every single land they live in. As the Ismailis of Karachi (and of Pakistan in general) reflect on the aftermath of this terrible tragedy, perhaps it would natural for them to give in to despondency. This, however, should be cautioned against, for the following reasons.

Today, Ismaili Jamats globally unite in prayers and solidarity with their brethren of Karachi sending a strong message that their brethren are not just a forgotten minority in a big state, but an indivisible part of a strong global brotherhood. Equally, and no less significant, is the Imam’s global work and name, which has resulted in condemnation across the globe by world leaders, and which will ensure that this tragedy will not end up as just another footnote in an unending series of attacks on religious minorities in Pakistan. As K. N. Pandita says in a recent article:

 “But given the international influence and reach of Prince Aga Khan and the great humanitarian works that his Foundation is doing in many parts of the world including Karachi, the massacre is bound to cause ripples in Pakistan politics. This is the reason why the Prime Minister of Pakistan and the Army chief both lost no time in flying into Karachi to take stock of things”. [1]

There is reason to hope that from this tragedy, and from the blood of innocents, a reaffirmation of the rights of religious minorities in Pakistan will result, Inshallah.

Date posted: May 18, 2015.


[1]  http://www.dailyexcelsior.com/tragedy-descends-on-ismailis/

Canadian Muslim Organizations Offer Condolences to the Ismaili Community + List of Deceased

“….Life is utterly sacred in all Faiths, and in Islam it has a special sanctity that outweighs the holiness of all sacred spaces, so much so that for the Ka’bah to crumble into dust is less a concern than that for one drop of innocent blood to be spilled! I am saddened by the senseless loss of life around the world, each soul is special, every life is important…” an excerpt from Mohamad Jebara’s message.

Editor’s note: Messages of condolences have been pouring in from all over the world for the Ismaili community and His Highness the Aga Khan for the precious lives that were lost in Karachi on May 13, 2015, resulting from a gun attack on an Ismaili bus.

A selection of messages from Muslim organizations in Canada is produced below. Please also see our previous post, Leaders and Communities Extend Condolences to His Highness the Aga Khan and His Ismaili Followers as Mass Funeral is Held in Karachi for Terror Victims.

At the bottom of this page we have published a list of individuals who passed away in the tragic attack. As we have noted, we will update the list with more details as friends and relatives of the victims review the list and send us updates by submitting their feedback at Leave a comment  or writing to simerg@aol.com, subject: Deceased details.


Candle Light Vigil in Toronto on Saturday May 16th
to Commemorate Karachi Tragedy

Toronto 13th May 2015: The Pakistani-Canadian community of Toronto is holding a vigil at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, 16th May 2015 at the Consulate (7880 Keele Street, Unit #14, Vaughan, ON). The event is open to all communities and is being held to commemorate the victims of the Karachi attack in which 44 innocent Pakistanis lost their lives.

All Canadians are invited to join the vigil to express their solidarity with the Pakistani nation in this hour of grief.


Statement from The Muslim Coordinating Council of the National Capital Region (MCC-NCR), mccncr.org
mccncr_logo_with_textFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ottawa, Ontario (May 14, 2015) – The Muslim Coordinating Council of the National Capital Region (MCC-NCR) express our shock and grief at the massacre of at least 45 of our Ismaili Shia brothers and sisters in Karachi, Pakistan on May 13, 2015. We condemn this heinous crime in the strongest terms and offer heart felt condolences to Ismaili Muslims in Ottawa, and all over the world.

We note with dismay that the killing of Ismaili Shia Muslims is a part of a continuing pattern of persecution and harassment of religious minorities by extremist groups, that has included attacks on mosques, killing of doctors and teachers in Karachi, and attacks resulting in death and injury of a large number of men, women, and children of the Hazara community in the province of Baluchistan. The MCC-NCR calls upon the Government of Pakistan to take effective measures for the prevention of attacks on religious minorities in Pakistan.

President, Anwar ul Haq, Ottawa,
Tel: 613-863-9441
Email: anwarjee@gmail.com

Spokesperson: Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan,
Tel: 613-820-1064,
Email: mohammedazharalikhan9@gmail.com

Media Committee, Tariq Ahsan
Tel: 613-830-3106
Email: tariq.527@gmail.com

MCC-NCR represents Canadian Muslims of the National Capital Region of Ottawa and Gatineau and engages with fellow Canadian citizens of all of all faiths to promote human rights, equality, and justice for all Canadians.


Statement from the Ottawa Shia Islamic Associationoshia_logo

In The Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

OSHIA.CA (613) 853-7881

Ottawa: May 13, 2015. We are shocked by the senseless act of violence against members of the Ismaili Shia community today in Karachi which resulted in the killing of more than forty men and women and scores of the others injured. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and the families of those killed and injured in the attack.

The barbaric attack on the bus carrying people to their places of work in Karachi once again highlights the danger the Muslim minorities and the people of other faiths face in Pakistan and the government of Pakistan’s inability to protect its citizens from the Wahhabi/Salafi militant groups.

We take serious note of this morning’s heinous act of violence in Karachi. We hope that Government of Pakistan will soon apprehend the perpetrators of these contemptible acts and bring them to justice.

Jaffar Hashmi


Statement from the Cordova Spiritual Education Center
Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)


Thursday, May 14, 2015 at 10:51 AM
Official Statement

Life is utterly sacred in all Faiths, and in Islam it has a special sanctity that outweighs the holiness of all sacred spaces, so much so that for the Ka’bah to crumble into dust is less a concern than that for one drop of innocent blood to be spilled! I am saddened by the senseless loss of life around the world, each soul is special, every life is important. ​

My heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of our Ismaili brethren senselessly killed in Karachi yesterday. My condolences to His Highness Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini Aga Khan and the Ismaili Jamaat around the world.

During times of tribulation, when dark forces aim to divide us, we must work even hard to set aside our differences and unite for the common good of all people. Neither faith nor rational logic can justify such heinous acts of violence and destruction.

​In deep Respect,​

Mohamad Jebara
Chief Imam, Resident Scholar

Cordova Spiritual Education Center
Office: 1-855-567-3223 Ext. 804

email: imam@cordovacenter.org


Statement from the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada and Muslims Against Terrorism


Date: May 13, 2015

For Immediate Release

Calgary: The Islamic Supreme Council of Canada (ISCC) and the Muslims Against Terrorism (MAT) strongly condemn today’s massacre of Ismaili Muslims in Karachi, Pakistan. According to the media reports the attacks on a bus carrying Ismaili Muslims was carried out by the ISIS and Taliban recruits.

Once again today’s attacks on peaceful innocent people prove that the terrorism is on the rise and the strategy to control terrorism is failing. The worldwide governments must change their approach towards terrorism. Terrorism and extremism can only be eliminated by eliminating the ideology that creates terrorists and extremists. And clearly identify the people behind it.

Those who commit extremist and terrorist actions in the name of Islam are in fact the followers of Wahabi ideology which is being spread among Muslims by the Saudi funded and trained Imams and leaders under the patronage of the western countries especially the United States. The current level of sectarianism among Muslims never existed in the history of Muslims. The source of such hateful and violent sectarianism is the Wahabi interpretation of Islam with which Sunni Muslims strongly disagree.

“I am extremely disappointed by the CBC and the other media outlets for their ill-informed reporting of today’s tragedy in Pakistan”, Imam Soharwardy said in a statement today. “We have repeatedly informed the CBC and other Canadian media outlets that these terrorists must not be called “SUNNI MUSLIMS”. They are WAHABIS. We, the Sunni and Shia Muslims are the victims of Wahabi terrorism but media keep on misinforming and misrepresenting Sunni Muslims”. ISCC and MAT is consulting with legal experts on how to take legal action against some of the media outlets which are deliberately associating and identifying the Wahabi terrorists as Sunni Muslims. This is far from the truth. All Sunni Muslims condemn the massacre of innocent people regardless of their groups/sects or religious affiliations.

Once again our sympathies and condolences are with the Ismaili community. We pray for the victims and express our full support with their families and the community.

For any questions please contact:
Imam Syed Soharwardy


List of Deceased 

The following list of  individuals within the jurisdiction of Sachal Police Station who died in Karachi’s gun attack on May 13th has been released by the Sindh government, and was published in the Dawn newspaper. Simerg will try and obtain the complete names and ages of the deceased, and update the information.

List of  female victims (list may be incomplete, and exact ages and names as well as any relationship to other victims will be updated by Simerg shortly):

  1. Shireen Faqdar;
  2. Zahida Syed;
  3. Arifa Ameer Ali;
  4. Aneela Zulfiqar;
  5. Yasmin Nazar Ali;
  6. Shamim Shaukat;
  7. Saiedh Peer Mohammad;
  8. Wali Qasim;
  9. Zubaida Akbar;
  10. Shamim Ameer Ali;
  11. Zubaida Nazar Ali;
  12. Ameena Nazar;
  13. Neelam Rizwan;
  14. Asmeera Saleem;
  15. Sonia Ranish;
  16. Areesha Zulfiqar; and
  17. Laila Sultan.

According to Dawn newspaper, all the ladies listed above were stated to be between the ages of 20 to 50 years.

List of  male victims (list is incomplete, and exact ages and names as well as any relationship to other victims will be updated by Simerg shortly):

  1. Nazar Ali;
  2. Noor Mohammad Kadiwal;
  3. Sayed Nazar Manpura;
  4. Jawaid Dilawa Manpura;
  5. Liaquat Noorji Ladjipura;
  6. Nazar Miyaji Sunesra;
  7. Rajab Ali Kuwara;
  8. Rizwan Raheem Badarpura;
  9. Raheem Mianji Sherwa;
  10. NoorAli Bhai;
  11. Abdul Wale;
  12. Ramzan Wali; and
  13. Sultan Qasim Varsilla.

As a note of interest it was announced yesterday at the Ottawa Jamatkhana that family members and friends residing in Ottawa will be performing the ceremony of “samar” (remembrance and prayers for the deceased souls) in the Ottawa Jamatkhana on Sunday, May 17, 2015. Also, a  special 7 day tasbih at Jamatkhanas in Canada (and abroad) has been instituted to pray for the restoration of peace in various parts of the world where there is conflict and unrest. As part of this website, we offer an obituaries and tributes page to family members who wish to pay their respects and tributes for their deceased family members. Please visit Passings.

Date posted: Saturday, May 16, 2015 (10:05).
Date updated: May 16, (13:25).


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