South Asia

Pakistan: Taliban target Sufi shrine —again

At least 10 people were killed and 25 others injured in a suicide blast that targeted security forces guarding a famous Sufi shrine in the Pakistani city of Lahore. The attack, which came during the holy month of Ramadan, was apparently aimed at a police vehicle, and five officers are among the dead. The Data Darbar shrine, where Sufi saint Ali Hajveri is buried, was the target of a 2010 suicide attack that killed more than 40 worshipers, and has since been under heavy security. The new attack was claimed by the Hizbul Ahrar, a splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Iran

Iran: Sufi bus driver executed after ‘unfair trial’

Amnesty International issued a statement protesting the execution of Mohammad Salas, a 51-year-old man from Iran’s largest Sufi order, the Gonabadi Dervishes, saying it "was carried out despite serious unfair trial concerns." Salas was arrested outside a police station where thousands of Gonabadi followers had gathered to protest persecution of the dervish community. He was convicted of killing two police officers during the protest—on the basis of a "confession" coerced through torture and threats, and despite the fact that he had already been detained when the killings took place. Witnesses in his defense were barred from testifying. Gonabadi dervishes consider themselves to be Shi'ite Muslims, but are rejected as heretical by Iran's orthodox establishment. (Photo: Amnesty International

South Asia

Pakistan: death penalty in slaying of Sufi singer

Pakistan's army high command approved the death penalty for 10 condemned jihadists who were convicted by a military tribunal of attacks that claimed over 60 lives—including the assassination of Amjad Sabri, one of the country's most revered singers of qawwalii, traditional Sufi devotional music. Sabri was on his way to a televised Ramadan performance in Karachi when his car was attacked by gunmen, and his many followers hailed justice in the case. But in the two years since Sabri's death, attacks on Sufis in Pakistan have continued, with suicide blasts and horrific massacres at shrines and mosques. (Photo via PTI)

North Africa

ICC takes Mali war crimes suspect into custody

The International Criminal Court announced that al-Hassan ag-Abdoul Aziz was surrendered to the court's detention center in the Netherlands by Malian authorities. He is accused of crimes against humanity in Timbuktu  as de facto leader of the "Islamic police" force after the city was taken over by jihadists in 2012. He allegedly took part in the destruction of the mausoleums of Muslim saints. He is also accused  of participating in forced marriages involving Fulani women, which resulted in the reduction of women and girls to sexual slavery. (Photo: WikiMedia Commons)

Greater Middle East

Egypt: Sufis targeted in Sinai mosque massacre

At least 235 were killed and over 100 wounded in a suicide attack as people gathered for Friday prayers at a mosque in Egypt's North Sinai. Women and children are among the dead. The mosque is said to be run by adherents of a local Sufi order, and includes a zawiya—a lodge used by order members for prayer and chanting. Although no group has yet claimed responsibility for the massacre, followers of Sufi Islam have faced numerous attacks by ISIS cells operating in the Sinai Peninsula.

North Africa

Reparations for destroyed Timbuktu shrines

The International Criminal Court found that a former Malian jihadist militant is liable for 2.7 million euros in reparations for overseeing the destruction of Muslim shrines in Timbuktu. In its order, the ICC stressed the importance of cultural heritage, calling the destruction of the shrines "an irreplaceable loss that negates humanity."

North Africa

Libya: fatwa against ‘infidel’ Berbers

The Amazigh Supreme Council (ASC) of Libya, representing the Berbers in the country's western mountains, responded strongly to the fatwa issued by clerical authorities attached to the "Interim Government" based in Libya's east against the practice of Ibadhi branch of Islam. The fatwa refers to Ibadhi Muslims as "infidels." Nearly all followers of Ibadhi Islam in Libya are ethnic Berbers in the Nafusa Mountains. The ASC called the fatwa "a direct incitement for genocide."

South Asia

Pakistan: deadly ISIS attack on Sufi shrine

An ISIS suicide attack on a Sufi shrine killed at least 75 worshippers and wounded dozens more—the deadliest in a string of blasts across Pakistan this week.

South Asia

Revered Sufi singer assassinated in Pakistan

Thousands of people attended the funeral of slain qawwali singer Amjad Sabri in Karachi, the day after he was shot dead in an attack claimed by the Pakistani Taliban.

North Africa

ICC hears first case on cultural crimes

The International Criminal Court opened its case against captured militant Ahmad al-Mahdi for destruction of religious and cultural heritage during the jihadist occupation of Timbuktu.

Europe

Forgotten history: Muslims who sheltered Jews

The group "I Am Your Protector" marked Holocaust Memorial Day by celebrating the often forgotten stories of Muslims who helped Jews to survive during the Nazi genocide.