New Handbook Sheds Light on Zikris’ Struggles in Iran and Pakistan

By Dr. Akram Zaheer, PIIF Correspondent

A groundbreaking new handbook titled “Between Two Worlds: A Handbook on Zikris in Iran and Pakistan” by Dr. Muhammad Asim has been launched, offering profound insights into the little-known history and contemporary challenges faced by the Zikri community in the borderlands of Iran and Pakistan.

The book, which is the culmination of extensive research and interviews conducted by Dr. Asim, provides a comprehensive examination of the Zikris’ experiences, from their origins in the Makran region to their migration and settlement in Pakistan amidst persecution and marginalization.

Book title

Pioneering Insights

Dr. Asim’s work delves into the complex historical, social, and religious dynamics that have shaped the Zikri community’s identity and struggles over the centuries. Through meticulous discourse analysis and comparative studies, the book sheds light on the challenges faced by Zikris both before and after the 1979 revolution in Iran.

Key Findings

  • The handbook uncovers the suppression and persecution faced by Zikris in post-revolution Iran, where they were subjected to discrimination and forced migration.
  • It highlights the role of Shia clerics and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in targeting Zikris and undermining their religious identity.
  • The book also explores the challenges encountered by Zikris upon migrating to Pakistan, where they continue to face threats from militant groups and struggle to maintain their cultural and religious heritage.

Critical Acclaim

Renowned scholars and experts in Iranian studies have praised the handbook for its groundbreaking insights and meticulous research. Dr. Maria Fuchs from the Austrian Institute for Asian Political Studies commends the book as a paradigm shift in understanding the Zikri community’s history and struggles.

Implications for Understanding Religious Minorities

“Between Two Worlds” serves as a crucial resource for scholars, policymakers and activists interested in religious minorities and human rights in the Middle East and South Asia. By amplifying the voices of the marginalized Zikri community, the handbook calls attention to broader issues of religious persecution and minority rights in contemporary society.

In Short

Dr. Muhammad Asim’s “Between Two Worlds” stands as a testament to the resilience and perseverance of the Zikri community in the face of adversity. By documenting their struggles and experiences, the handbook offers valuable insights into the challenges faced by religious minorities in Iran and Pakistan, urging for greater recognition and support for their rights and freedoms.

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