The bomb contained steel pellets, ball bearings and shrapnel

Fridays are prime time for Islamist violence – sometimes after prayers, as with the flogging of Raif Badawi, and sometimes during prayers, as yesterday at a mosque in Sindh province.

Funerals have taken place in southern Pakistan for the victims of a suicide attack on a Shia mosque during Friday prayers which police say killed at least 60 people.

Dozens were also wounded in the attack in Sindh province’s Shikarpur district, making it one of the worst sectarian attacks in Pakistan in recent years.

Sunni militants linked to the Taliban said they carried out the attack.

They were careful to do the worst damage they could.

“The bomber selected a place in the mosque that would cause huge destruction,” Raja Umar Khitab, a police official in Sindh’s counter-terror department, told the AFP news agency.

Mr Khitab said the bomb contained steel pellets, ball bearings and shrapnel to maximise the damage.

This god hates people.


  1. says

    So… This is not even generalized violence in the name of religion. This is murderous violence by one fundamentalist, extremist group visited upon anyone (which may include their fellow adherents of the same religion), who does not conform to their specific, restrictive, myopic understanding of religion.

    *light-bulb moment* It is not about the religion, is it? It is all about control and dominance to be established via violent intimidation.

    That, however, doesn’t let the religion off the hook. A religion that is open to corruption and misinterpretation by vested interests is ultimately harmful. But that is a separate critique altogether.

  2. johnthedrunkard says

    Of course its about religion. But the lightbulb should go for anyone who thinks that appeasement has a chance. The hair-splitting and rage won’t ever stop.

    Trivial side note: Journalists need to stop using words like ‘shrapnel’ without learning what they actually MEAN.

  3. Lady Mondegreen (aka Stacy) says

    Kausik Datta #1

    *light-bulb moment* It is not about the religion, is it? It is all about control and dominance to be established via violent intimidation

    I agree that ultimately it’s about control and dominance. Human beings can find all kinds of rationales for their totalitarian impulses.

    I do think that religion, notably monotheism, is especially well suited for totalitarians. The Abrahamic religions have it practically built in.

  4. says

    The two are all tangled up together. Domination is one of the things religion is all about. It’s not about that for all religious people, but it can be about it for anyone at any time.

    But yes, the more puritan or fundamentalist or theocratic the religion, the more it’s about dominance.

  5. Eric MacDonald says

    Johnthedrunkard, it is only fair to point out that, in the original report, the word ‘shrapnel’ was used by the police officer interviewed about the attack, and it might have been used to make a reasonable distinction. Major General Henry Shrapnel, after whom shrapnel is named, devised a bomb that contained metal shot, bearings, and other items that became projectiles when the bomb was exploded. It could also refer to the shards of mental from the metal casing of the bomb, if it was in fact so designed (as is evident from the incised appearance of most grenades). So, in fact, it may not have been a misuse of the word ‘shrapnel’ which referred generally to the projectiles (of whatever kind, including the bomb casing) contained in the bomb. At the worst it is pleonastic in the context, at best it adds detail. Perhaps the bomb was so designed that shattered parts of the bomb casing became shrapnel, besides the contents of the bomb itself. Just a bit of pedantry, but you may as well get it right.

  6. Eric MacDonald says

    Regarding domination. I have always said that one of the features of religions (not confined to monotheistic ones) is the fact that religions do not respect boundaries. Devotion, in a sense, always extends beyond the individual devotee, whether by being offended by what disbelievers or members of other religions say, or by extending religious prescriptions to others who do not share the same moral or other doctrines. Polytheism is often thought to be more tolerant, but this is by no means clear, historically. Religions are basically (whatever else they may be) systems of social control, and this extends to polytheistic as well as non-theistic religions as well. Polytheisms can sometimes absorb the gods of other peoples, as the Roman gods had equivalent Greek instantiations, Jupiter-Zeus, Venus-Aphrodite, etc., but sometime this kind of syncretism is not possible. Roman religion was fairly intolerant of Eastern polytheisms, as well as the polytheisms of Northern Europe, because there were no easy correspondences that could be made between the Roman pantheon and others.

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