Von Schiiten lernen: Der Reiz des Martyriums für sunnitische Gruppen in Pakistan und Afghanistan

Simon Wolfgang Fuchs


In this article, I argue that a prevalent focus on sectarianism in conceptualizing contemporary Sunni-Shi‘i relations has blinded us to important processes of intellectual appropriation and mimicry between the two communities. In the context of Pakistan and Afghanistan, I focus on the anti-Shi‘i group of the Sipah-i Sahabah-i Pakistan (Army of the Companions of the Prophet, SSP) as well as Islamist Sunni groups active in the Afghan jihad against the Soviets during the 1980s in order to make the case that Shi‘ism in general and Iran in particular remain important fixtures for the Sunni imagination. This rings especially true as far as the issue of martyrdom is concerned. In Pakistan, the SSP tried to actively counter the symbolic power of Shi‘i symbols and concepts, styling itself as producing superior Sunni martyrs. In Afghanistan, Sunni groups made sense of the jihad by applying Iranian lenses of martyrdom to their battlefield experiences. 


DOI: https://doi.org/10.6094/behemoth.2019.12.1.1006