Counter-Terrorism: Taking It Out On The Little Guy

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May 8, 2010:  While thousands are dying each year in Pakistan because of Taliban and al Qaeda attacks, there are other forms of religious violence going on as well. Taliban and al Qaeda are radical Sunni (mainstream) Moslems, who are mainly at war with foreigners and governments. While these two groups are religious in their ideology, their goals are political (to establish regional, or global, religious dictatorships). But there is still a lot of purely religious violence in Pakistan. Last year, there were 106 violent incidents between Christians, Hindus and several varieties of Moslems (Sunni, Shia and some smaller sects), that left 190 dead. This year, the death toll for purely religious violence is likely to be over 300.

The radical Sunnis are most often the instigators of violence, attacking non-Moslems and other Moslems sects they consider heretical (especially Shia groups.) While the Christians and Hindus tend not to organize armed resistance to this terrorism, Shia groups do. Most of the dead are victims of Sunni and Shia attacks on each other. Some of the Sunni radicals had shifted their attention to the government, but with the Pakistani Army invasion of the tribal territories last year, and that force about to be doubled (to over 200,000 troops) more of the radicals are fleeing the tribal territories, and turning to less lethal targets (like other religious groups.)

 

 


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