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Muslim divisions

Reader comment on item: Terrorism Defies Definition
in response to reader comment: Muslim Brotherhood threat

Submitted by Michael S. (United States), Nov 26, 2014 at 05:09

Hi, Sara; shalom

I've been mapping out the Middle East, trying to assign these various movements and governments to as few sides as possible. I come up with four sides:

1. The Jews of Israel -- pretty much hated groundlessly by the whole world. So what else is new? Pass the latkes.

2. The Iranians and their clients. Iran is a Shi'ite theocracy; and I believe the Shi'ites look forward to the coming of the Madhi, to set all things straight. I don't know the Muslim prophecy well at all; but I did read the Zoroastrian prophecy that it was based upon. Whatever their expectations, they seem to be taking great pains to demonstrate that they represent all Muslims, not just their brand of Shi'ites. Bashar al-Assad of Syria is of the quasi-Shi'ite Alawite sect, but his Ba'athist politics are secular. He also has been a protector of the Druze and Christians in Syria, who justifiably dread the Sunni radicals. In Yemen, also, the Iranian-backed quasi-Shi'ite Zaidis are trying to forge an alliance with moderate Sunnis, against the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda. The Iranian approach, therefore, seems to be more practical than religious, at least on tactical matters.

3. The Sunni radicals, all of them -- from the Turkish AKP to the MB to Hamas to the al-Nusra front to Al Shabaab to Boko Haram to the Islamic State. These are strategically parallel to the Communist movement during the Cold War, fomenting revolutions everywhere. They promise repressed Muslims a religious Utopia, which is not entirely different from the Marxist Utopia promised by Mao Tse Tung and Che Guevara. Opposing them are

4. the Sunni STATES -- not the Sharia hybrid of Erdogan in Turkey, but hard-nosed states like Saudi Arabia and Morocco, which have to deal in a realistic way with keeping their excitable masses under control. They are the "reactionaries" to the Jihadist "revolutionaries".

Both #3 and #4 are deeply rooted in the Arabian peninsula, the link being the Wahabbi clerics of the Gulf States. To Western audiences, the "State Sunnis" play the "good cop" to the Jihadis' "bad cop".

I notice that on the margins of the Middle East and even further afield, all these groups have influence in very non-Islamic causes. Al-Shabaab of Somalia, for instance, is at war with the IGAD troops of Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and others.

For tactical reasons, AS is involved with anti-Ugandan rebel forces in the DR Congo and the Central African Republic - South Sudan border region. The first group of rebels is led by a convert to Islam; the second, however, the Lord's Resistance Army, are led by a Christian Fundamentalist from the mainly Catholic northern half of Uganda. Iran, likewise, is using the Eritrean Orthodox leader to smuggle weapons to the Shi'ite Houthis of Yement; and Al Qaeda of the Maghreb associates with Latin American drug cartels (Catholic, presumably) for mutual benefit. The Sunni Taliban of Afghanistan also tax the opium growers there in a manner similar to the way the atheist FARC of Colombia taxes the coca growers.

A 2006 poll of the Lebanese is interesting. It shows that Sunnis and Christians alike supported Hizbullah; but eh Druze did not. In Syria today, of course, both the Druze and Hizbullah support Bashar al-Assad.

Back to the UAE and Qatar, I have no idea what's going on in their devious leaders' minds. I'm getting sleepy. Gottago.

Shalom shalom :-)


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (53) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
An Agreed Definition [72 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Freddy TerraneanApr 4, 2016 17:27228712
2Definitions of Terrorism in the U.S. Code [413 words]LudvikusJan 17, 2015 00:51220437
Define [19 words]AlbertEDec 15, 2014 19:35219789
the abstract or the actual islamist terrorist [16 words]mythNov 17, 2014 05:39219336
The name of the "game" is Zionism [823 words]Richard MartensNov 14, 2014 14:37219307
The wellfare state result: mass terrorism [60 words]PermReaderNov 12, 2014 10:54219285
3Terrorism is not an ideology [176 words]saraNov 3, 2014 21:09219150
You are correct: Terrorism is not an ideology; and we're not convincingly at war with it. [373 words]Michael S.Nov 9, 2014 09:22219150
1Terrorism is in the eye of the beholder [158 words]saraNov 16, 2014 18:39219150
War on Flying [408 words]Michael S.Nov 17, 2014 15:07219150
Muslim Brotherhood threat [153 words]saraNov 20, 2014 21:29219150
1It takes all kinds [295 words]Michael S.Nov 21, 2014 15:18219150
Muslim divisions [571 words]Michael S.Nov 26, 2014 05:09219150
Terrorism [133 words]donevanNov 2, 2014 14:42219127
1It's Personal [546 words]Michael S.Nov 25, 2014 11:23219127
1I agree...it's not a religion [181 words]donevanNov 27, 2014 14:40219127
It's all "religious", by someone's definition [573 words]Michael S.Nov 29, 2014 18:51219127
Not a 'Religion" [184 words]donevanDec 1, 2014 22:10219127
Defining "Religion" [209 words]Michael SDec 4, 2014 12:28219127
Terror May Have Religious Connection; But Never a Righteous One [388 words]M. ToveyDec 4, 2014 17:20219127
I Agree......I think I do [119 words]DONEVANDec 8, 2014 10:02219127
Religion and Terrorism...... [117 words]donevanDec 8, 2014 10:21219127
How to become a heretic [1033 words]Michael S.Dec 9, 2014 12:21219127
Hereticism Can Be Avoided By Holdng to the Spirit of Scripture [538 words]M. ToveyDec 11, 2014 14:10219127
Murder From Supremacist Motives [65 words]DaveOct 31, 2014 19:14219088
1Still puzzled after 13 years. [120 words]JD WillOct 31, 2014 09:58219068
An endless war.... [151 words]donevanNov 3, 2014 22:17219068
Why did the lame duck cross the road? [919 words]Michael S.Oct 29, 2014 14:43219039
Someone Tell the Duck to Duck - It's Dark Out On That Roadmap to Peace. [324 words]M. ToveyOct 31, 2014 18:22219039
Be afraid! Be very afraid! [875 words]Michael S.Nov 3, 2014 10:01219039
Terrorism is in the Eye of the Beholder [26 words]Barry BlackOct 28, 2014 09:36219010
Koran sponsored crimes [64 words]PermReaderOct 27, 2014 12:19218990
what about "a state actor attacking civilian targets to spread fear for some putative political goal" ? [25 words]servet cevikOct 27, 2014 08:04218987
4What can we learn from the terrorist attack in Ottawa [219 words]dhimmi no moreOct 27, 2014 07:18218985
terrorism is a Monster with many face [26 words]myselfOct 27, 2014 06:47218984
1"TERRORISM" IS THE CRIME OF "EXTORTION" [41 words]Uncle VladdiOct 26, 2014 20:55218980
Let's Define Terrorism Better [379 words]Richard H. ShulmanOct 26, 2014 20:31218979
Définitions Of TERROR, TERRORISM and TERRORIST [161 words]JACQUES HADIDAOct 26, 2014 18:02218977
Its the purpose...not the degree of violence [167 words]gerNov 3, 2014 11:12218977
Don't Forget the Media's Role [156 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
AlexOct 26, 2014 16:50218973
1common sense [49 words]Charles MartelOct 26, 2014 16:02218972
Freud summed it up. [80 words]Andrew HOct 26, 2014 13:32218967
That Explains It [50 words]Barry BlackOct 26, 2014 10:19218964
1The Winslow Plan [367 words]TL WinslowOct 26, 2014 10:13218963
1terrorism [25 words]Jan LapterOct 26, 2014 09:37218960
Yes, "Terrorism" is already known as the crime of "Extortion." [13 words]Uncle VladdiOct 27, 2014 21:36218960
terrorism [11 words]Jan LapterOct 28, 2014 04:37218960
"Terrorist inmates" are subject to many extra restrictions - I would add: many extra benefits if members of ROP [16 words]MarkOct 26, 2014 09:28218958
Terrorism is a tactic in the War [90 words]Ralph C Whaley MDOct 26, 2014 09:27218957
Maybe there is a reason terrorism defies definition [179 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
S. KleinOct 26, 2014 09:01218956
What's wrong with the definition provided? [36 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Eric GoodmanOct 26, 2014 06:59218950
Pst! "Terrorism" isn't limited to "non-state actors." [27 words]Uncle VladdiOct 27, 2014 21:33218950
What's wrong with the definition provided? (Defining vs. criteria of application) [133 words]Daniel D. NovotnyOct 29, 2014 09:26218950

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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