Shia vs Sunni Jihadism.

roc_

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We seem to have a lot of supporters of Iran on this forum, so perhaps it may be timely to delve into the reasons why they are considered a threat.

No doubt the psychology, strategy and tactics of terrorism practiced by Shi’a groups is markedly different from Sunni extremist terrorism.

For a start, Shi’a groups tend to have discrete terror campaigns tethered to state objectives. As opposed to how Sunni Jihadism sees itself in a perennial state of war against infidels and apostates, operating in a continuous, high intensity manner.(1)

And while Sunni extremism draws on the support of their coreligionist expatriate communities in facilitating terrorist activities, Shi'a terrorism tends to be supported and even originate from Iranian embassies, consulates and state run businesses.

But Shia Jihadism goes about essentially the same business, just much more under the radar, and surreptitiously, as they typically have direct state support.

At the present time, Shi'a Jihadism seems mainly focused on killing other Muslims in places like Syria and Iraq. According to this newspaper for example, Iran was/is financing more than 100 factions in Iraq and Syria.

(You know, at present in the Arab world, there is anger that the international media is ignoring the atrocities being committed by these militias, and they are questioning why the media as well as politics focus only on the activities of the terror activities of Sunni organizations, thus making an implicit statement that the Sunni world is responsible for all the terror in the world, while Shia atrocities get largely ignored.)

Of course that also to a fair degree follows the incredible successes that the likes of PressTV and RT have had in manipulating Western audiences with their propaganda.

Anyway, here are some of my own observations about the differences, and the dynamics in each strain of jihadism:


A. Shia jihadism is more predictable, controllable, and open to diplomacy than Sunni terrorism.

Owing to the fact of state actors controlling it, who may be dealt with, as opposed to the proliferation of disparate groups in Sunni jihadism.

B. Shia jihadism is vastly more resourced, organised and capable.

Again, because it can draw on state resources. In particular, nuclear and missile capabilities.

C. Shia jihadism bears a quite significant responsibility for much of the trouble in the world today.

For example, there is truth in the observation that ISIS evolved primarily out of the duality that Iran's Shi'a proxies in Iraq fomented with the Sunni extremists - I mean shi'a proxies like Muqtada al-Sadr, the shi'a 'death squads', the Mahdi Army, the Badr militia, the mass murdering monster Abu Deraa ('the Shia Zarqawi'), and more. All of these were agents of Shi'a jihadism. The point is that Al-Qaeda in Iraq evolved and grew into ISIS in response to these agents.

Of course that is not to mention Yemen and the many other countries where Shi'a jihadism is highly active today.

D. We have genuine state level Muslim allies to fight against Sunni Jihadism that we do not have in the fight against Shi'a Jihadism.

No doubt, as a result of the success of Iranian and Russian state propaganda to the West, Saudi Arabia is unregenerately demonised in the minds of most people on this forum. But the reality is that there are moderate Muslims in positions of power in Saudi Arabia who are willing to fight extremism and Wahhabism in their own country.

The moderate faction was originally lead by the King of Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Abdullah, up to his recent death, and he has been succeeded by his half brother, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who looks set to sustain more moderate forces and fight extremism. These are the Faisal branch of the Saudi royals.

No doubt there is the despotic conservative opposition within the House of Saud, that has huge control over oil and gas production, and has strong ties with the influential bin Laden family and the radical Ikhwan Wahhabi imams - the Sudairi branch of the royals, currently, Muhammad bin Naif bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is the most prominent in government. Note though that while Naif bin Abdulaziz is of the Sudairi branch, he is also a much more moderate influence, and also someone who can be worked with to bring positive change.

So, we see within the Saudi government power-brokers who may be worked with. i.e. The Saudi government are a potential means to defeat Ikhwan Wahhabi extremism.​


Any other observations on this thread would of course be very welcome.


(1) https://www.brookings.edu/research/sunni-and-shi-a-terrorism-differences-that-matter/
 
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roc_

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E. The Fatwa of Sunni and Shi'a jihadism have some similarilties and some differences.

I assume everyone knows a fatwa is. It is a legal pronouncement, and defines the law of the land in an Islamic country (they are not simply religious insights or advice).

Btw in that regard, it is worth noting that fatwa possess more authority in Iran, than the fatwa issued by leaders like Bin Laden, who would not possess the same kind of authority as the Grand Ayatollah Khomeini.

Taking some of the Shi'a fatwa that are in existence first (these were written in the 1980's, but still very much enshrined in law today),


"... Islam is a religion of those who struggle for truth and justice, of those who clamor for liberty and independence. It is the school of those who fight against colonialism.

Our one and only remedy is to bring down these corrupt and corrupting systems of government, and to overthrow the traitorous, repressive, and despotic gangs in charge. This is the duty of Muslims in all Islamic countries; this is the way to victory for all Islamic revolutions.

Muslims have no alternative, if they wish to correct the political balance of society, and force those in power to conform to the laws and principles of Islam, to an armed Jihad against profane governments.

Though you may not have the means to prevent heresy or fight corruption, nevertheless, you must not remain silent. If they hit you in the head, protest! Resigning yourself to oppression is more immoral than oppression itself. Argue, denounce, oppose, shout. Spread the truth – that Islamic justice is not what they say it is.

Jihad means the conquest of all non-Muslim territories. Such a war may well be declared after the formation of an Islamic government worthy of that name, at the direction of the Imam or under his orders. It will then be the duty of every able-bodied adult male to volunteer for this war of conquest, the final aim of which is to put Qur’anic law in power from one end of the earth to the other. But the whole world should understand that the universal supremacy of Islam is considerably different from the hegemony of other conquerors. It is therefore necessary for the Islamic government first to be created under the authority of the Imam in order that he may undertake this conquest, which will be distinguishable from all other wars of conquest, which are unjust and tyrannical and disregard the moral and civilizing principles of Islam.

Who liberated our country and our people from the shame of Zoroastrianism, if not the victorious army of Islam?

There are some of us who aren’t concerned with developing an Islamic movement, but, instead, of making the pilgrimage to Mecca with the Muslim brothers, in peace and understanding. It certainly wasn’t that way in the time of the Prophet. The Friday prayers were the means of mobilizing the people, of inspiring them to battle. The man who goes to war straight from the mosque is afraid of only one thing – Allah. Dying, poverty, and homelessness mean nothing to him; an army of men like that is a victorious army.

Islamic faith and justice demand that within the Muslim world, antiIslamic governments not be allowed to survive. The installation of a lay public power is equivalent to actively opposing the progress of Islamic order. Any nonreligious power, whatever form or shape it may take, is necessarily an atheistic power, the tool of Satan; it is part of our duty to stand in its path and to struggle against its effects. Such Satanic power can engender nothing but corruption on earth, the supreme evil which must be pitilessly fought and rooted out. To achieve that end, we have no recourse other than to overthrow all governments that do not rest on pure Islamic principles, and are thus traitorous, rotten, unjust, and tyrannical administrative systems that server them. That is not only our duty in Iran, but it is also the duty of all Muslims in the world, in all Muslim countries, to carry the Islamic political revolution to its final victory.

Europe [the West] is nothing but a collection of unjust dictatorships; all of humanity must strike these troublemakers with an iron hand if it wishes to regain its tranquility. If Islamic civilization had governed the West, we would no longer have to put up with these barbaric goings-on unworthy even of wild animals.

At a time in the West so primitive that there is no recorded history of it, when its inhabitants were still wild, and when America was still a land of half-wild redskins, the peoples of the Persian and Roman empires were forced to live under despotism, oligarchy, favoritism, and absolute rule, without the slightest participation or right to participate in their own government. It was then that Allah, through his prophet, sent us the laws whose scope has amazed mankind.

The homeland of Islam, one and indivisible, was broken up by the doings of the Imperialists and despotic and ambitious leaders. The Muslim people, one and indivisible, was broken up into several peoples. And when the Ottoman Empire struggled to achieve Islamic unity, it as opposed by a united front of Russian, English, Austrian, and other imperialist powers, which split it up among themselves.

Western missionaries, carrying out secret plans drawn up centuries ago, have created religious schools of their own within Muslim countries. We did not react against that, and this is what it led to: These missionaries infiltrated our villages and our countrysides, to turn our children into Christians or atheists!

The Islamic movement met its first saboteur in the Jewish people, who are at the source of all the anti-Islamic libels and intrigues current today. Then came the turn of those even more damnable representatives of Satan, the imperialists. Within the last three centuries or more, they have invaded every Muslim country, with the intention of destroying Islam. They have been aware ever since the Crusades that only Islam, with its laws and its faith, can bar the way to their material interests and political power. They sent missionaries into Muslim cities, and there found accomplices within the universities and various information or publication centers, mobilized their Orientalist scholars in the service of imperialism – all of that only so as to distort Islamic truths.

Their plan is to keep us in our backward state, to preserve our backward state, to preserve our pathetic way of life, so they can exploit the tremendous wealth of our underground resources, of our land, and our manpower. They want us to stay destitute, distracted by niggling day-to-day problems of survival, our poor living in misery, so that we will never become aware of the laws of Islam – which contain the solution to misery and poverty! All of this they have done so they can sit in their big palaces, living their stupid shallow lives!


Now, Bin Laden's 1998 one for comparison:


"... Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders

World Islamic Front Statement

23 February 1998
Shaykh Usamah Bin-Muhammad Bin-Ladin
Ayman al-Zawahiri, amir of the Jihad Group in Egypt
Abu-Yasir Rifa'i Ahmad Taha, Egyptian Islamic Group
Shaykh Mir Hamzah, secretary of the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Pakistan
Fazlur Rahman, amir of the Jihad Movement in Bangladesh

Praise be to Allah, who revealed the Book, controls the clouds, defeats factionalism, and says in His Book: "But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)"; and peace be upon our Prophet, Muhammad Bin-'Abdallah, who said: I have been sent with the sword between my hands to ensure that no one but Allah is worshipped, Allah who put my livelihood under the shadow of my spear and who inflicts humiliation and scorn on those who disobey my orders.

The Arabian Peninsula has never -- since Allah made it flat, created its desert, and encircled it with seas -- been stormed by any forces like the crusader armies spreading in it like locusts, eating its riches and wiping out its plantations. All this is happening at a time in which nations are attacking Muslims like people fighting over a plate of food. In the light of the grave situation and the lack of support, we and you are obliged to discuss current events, and we should all agree on how to settle the matter.

No one argues today about three facts that are known to everyone; we will list them, in order to remind everyone:

First, for over seven years the United States has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian Peninsula, plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its bases in the Peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples.

If some people have in the past argued about the fact of the occupation, all the people of the Peninsula have now acknowledged it. The best proof of this is the Americans' continuing aggression against the Iraqi people using the Peninsula as a staging post, even though all its rulers are against their territories being used to that end, but they are helpless.

Second, despite the great devastation inflicted on the Iraqi people by the crusader-Zionist alliance, and despite the huge number of those killed, which has exceeded 1 million... despite all this, the Americans are once against trying to repeat the horrific massacres, as though they are not content with the protracted blockade imposed after the ferocious war or the fragmentation and devastation.

So here they come to annihilate what is left of this people and to humiliate their Muslim neighbors.

Third, if the Americans' aims behind these wars are religious and economic, the aim is also to serve the Jews' petty state and divert attention from its occupation of Jerusalem and murder of Muslims there. The best proof of this is their eagerness to destroy Iraq, the strongest neighboring Arab state, and their endeavor to fragment all the states of the region such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Sudan into paper statelets and through their disunion and weakness to guarantee Israel's survival and the continuation of the brutal crusade occupation of the Peninsula.

All these crimes and sins committed by the Americans are a clear declaration of war on Allah, his messenger, and Muslims. And ulema have throughout Islamic history unanimously agreed that the jihad is an individual duty if the enemy destroys the Muslim countries. This was revealed by Imam Bin-Qadamah in "Al- Mughni," Imam al-Kisa'i in "Al-Bada'i," al-Qurtubi in his interpretation, and the shaykh of al-Islam in his books, where he said: "As for the fighting to repulse [an enemy], it is aimed at defending sanctity and religion, and it is a duty as agreed [by the ulema]. Nothing is more sacred than belief except repulsing an enemy who is attacking religion and life."

On that basis, and in compliance with Allah's order, we issue the following fatwa to all Muslims:

The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies -- civilians and military -- is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty Allah, "and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together," and "fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah."

This is in addition to the words of Almighty Allah: "And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)? -- women and children, whose cry is: 'Our Lord, rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will help!'"

We -- with Allah's help -- call on every Muslim who believes in Allah and wishes to be rewarded to comply with Allah's order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it. We also call on Muslim ulema, leaders, youths, and soldiers to launch the raid on Satan's U.S. troops and the devil's supporters allying with them, and to displace those who are behind them so that they may learn a lesson.

Almighty Allah said: "O ye who believe, give your response to Allah and His Apostle, when He calleth you to that which will give you life. And know that Allah cometh between a man and his heart, and that it is He to whom ye shall all be gathered."

Almighty Allah also says: "O ye who believe, what is the matter with you, that when ye are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah, ye cling so heavily to the earth! Do ye prefer the life of this world to the hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the hereafter. Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place; but Him ye would not harm in the least. For Allah hath power over all things."

Almighty Allah also says: "So lose no heart, nor fall into despair. For ye must gain mastery if ye are true in faith."​


Same, same, but different, eh...

 

Levellers

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What we do know is that the USA has never supported any Shia group but have armed and funded numerous Sunni groups such as ISIS and al Qaeda.
 

roc_

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What we do know is that the USA has never supported any Shia group but have armed and funded numerous Sunni groups such as ISIS and al Qaeda.
It's not as simple as you make out wrt their alleged "support" of Sunni Jihadism.

And many people would say that Obama's "deal" with Iran indeed massively supported Shi'a jihadism.

But I do not want to demonise him. The thing that must be examined is intent. (of course also especially true in the case of the allegation that they "supported" Sunni jihadism)

Perhaps in this regard it is worth re-visiting Obama's view about Shi'a terrorism and Iran in making that deal with them:


Obama: They may make irrational decisions with respect to discrimination, with respect to trying to use anti-Semitic rhetoric as an organizing tool. At the margins, where the costs are low, they may pursue policies based on hatred as opposed to self-interest. But the costs here are not low, and what we’ve been very clear [about] to the Iranian regime over the past six years is that we will continue to ratchet up the costs, not simply for their anti-Semitism, but also for whatever expansionist ambitions they may have. That’s what the sanctions represent. That’s what the military option I’ve made clear I preserve represents. And so I think it is not at all contradictory to say that there are deep strains of anti-Semitism in the core regime, but that they also are interested in maintaining power, having some semblance of legitimacy inside their own country, which requires that they get themselves out of what is a deep economic rut that we’ve put them in, and on that basis they are then willing and prepared potentially to strike an agreement on their nuclear programme...

...[Iran’s] Quds Force are actually low-cost. They are not a threat to the region because of their hardware. Ballistic missiles are a concern. They have a missile program. We have to think about missile-defense systems and how those are integrated and coordinated. But the big problems we have are weapons going in to Hezbollah, or them sending agents into Yemen, or other low-tech asymmetric threats that they’re very effective at exploiting, which they’re already doing—they’ve been doing despite sanctions. They will continue to do [this] unless we are developing greater capacity to prevent them from doing those things, which is part of what our discussion was in terms of the security assurances with the GCC countries.

You know, if you look at a situation like Yemen, part of the problem is the chronic, endemic weakness in a state like that, and the instability that Iran then seeks to exploit. If you had GCC countries who were more capable of maritime interdiction, effective intelligence, cutting off financing sources, and are more effective in terms of working and training with allied forces in a place like Yemen, so that Houthis can’t just march into Sana’a, well, if all those things are being done, Iran having some additional dollars from sanctions relief is not going to override those improvements and capabilities, and that’s really where we have to focus. Likewise with respect to Hezbollah. Hezbollah has a certain number of fighters who are hardened and effective. If Iran has some additional resources, then perhaps they’re less strained in trying to make payroll when it comes to Hezbollah, but it’s not as if they can suddenly train up and successfully deploy 10 times the number of Hezbollah fighters that are currently in Syria. That’s not something that they have automatic capacity to do. The reason that Hezbollah is effective is because they’ve got a core group of hardened folks that they’ve developed over the last 20-30 years, and.....


http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/05/obama-interview-iran-isis-israel/393782/#ISIS
 

parentheses

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Bottom line is Israel consider Shia militancy a particular problem so therefore zionist lobbies make sure America will confront Iran.



.
 

GDPR

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Something you are missing out on is that the Shia hold extremely different attitudes towards Christianity, Christians and Classical Philosophy to the majority of contemporary Sunnis which is why a lot of us take a very different attitude towards them. Grand Ayatollah Khomeini for instance was a Plato scholar. Also the Shia tend to be more tied to a sense of homeland and nationalism (I know nationalism is a double edged sword capable of being both very destructive and very creative) while as radical Sunnis eschew any patriotism outside of that for Muslims as a whole. The Shia in terms of inner mentality are over all much closer to us Christians than the Sunnis are.
 

Cynicist

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Nobody will fall for offhisRocker's propaganda and who in any case would be bothered to read such an exhaustively long post saying nothing.
 

ne0ica

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What we do know is that the USA has never supported any Shia group but have armed and funded numerous Sunni groups such as ISIS and al Qaeda.
I seen Irish lefties often mention this. But what proof do you have. The US armed and supported Mujahideen in Afghanistan to fight the Soviet Invasion. Many of the Mujahideen Veterans like Ahmad Shah Massoud led the fight against the Taliban and Al Quaeda in the Afgha Civil War.

So I ask where is the proof that the US funded either ISIS or Al Qaeda.
 

roc_

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Something you are missing out on is that the Shia hold extremely different attitudes towards Christianity, Christians and Classical Philosophy to the majority of contemporary Sunnis which is why a lot of us take a very different attitude towards them. Grand Ayatollah Khomeini for instance was a Plato scholar. Also the Shia tend to be more tied to a sense of homeland and nationalism (I know nationalism is a double edged sword capable of being both very destructive and very creative) while as radical Sunnis eschew any patriotism outside of that for Muslims as a whole. The Shia in terms of inner mentality are over all much closer to us Christians than the Sunnis are.
We're talking about Jihadism. Again, let's not conflate ordinary Muslim people and how the vast majority live out their lives, with Islamism (that link is to an Iranian who escaped the regime expressing her views on this question).
 

GDPR

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This is a very interesting and non-polemical essay by a Sunni Sufi scholar that gets to the essence of the Shia/Sunni schism.

"Seeds of a Divergence" (re-titled: "Images of Islam") by Frithjof Schuon


"But let us now return to the question of denominational divergen­ces: for Shiites, and according to a perspective that is at once symbolic and schematic, hence simplifying and abstract, protagonists of the “dry” dimension—that of earthly efficacy—become personifications of the “world”; only the family of Ali represents the “spirit”. No doubt this makes no difference from the point of view of pure mysticism, but on a more outward level it does render more plausible the polemics against the great figures of Sunnism, especially since Sunni doctrine renders homage not only to Ali and Fatimah but to the great “Imams”, to whom precisely the Shiites refer;[11] in short, it is at the very least paradoxical and tragic that a denominational branch that aims to identify itself with esoterism would at the same time include a particularly virulent and problematical exoteric ostracism. Shiism on the whole is a mysticism of the providential and provisional defeat—ultimately changed into triumph—of the Logos in its earthly exile, and in this way it rejoins the mystical geometry expressed by Saint John: “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not”; thus we are far from the idea of an immediate victory, one necessitated by the divine origin of the message. The criteria are now inverted in that the minority status of Shiism is a sign of superiority from their point of view: for Sunnism, which is the perspective of the necessarily victorious divine message—a perspective that must therefore be held by the majority—to be in the minority is a sign of heresy, but for Shiites it amounts to a criterion of orthodoxy since lux in tenebris lucet et tenebrae eam non comprehenderunt. This criteri­ology applies unquestionably to esoterism, and in this respect the two denominational points of view of Islam coincide; Sunni Sufism is necessarily a minority in the context of the common religion, and Shiism claims the same quality of “inwardness” that Sufism aims to represent. Nonetheless what Shiites seem to want to say is basically this: “Islam is esoterism”; and Sunnis seem to reply: “First allow it to exist on earth.” Or again, to the Shiite assertion that esoterism is Shiism, the Sunni reply is basically that esoterism cannot be a religion and furthermore that esoterism is found where exoterism is found. The fact that Shiism in its fashion recognizes the distinction between the “outward” (zāhir) and the “inward” (bātin) does not modify its basically esoteric claim, as is proved by its theory of the imamate.[12]"
 

GDPR

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We're talking about Jihadism. Again, let's not conflate ordinary Muslim people and how the vast majority live out their lives, with Islamism (that link is to an Iranian who escaped the regime expressing her views on this question).
Hezbollah you would count as Jihadist no? Well they fight side by side with Christians and have a very close relationship with the Syrian Social Nationalist Party which represents the best Christians in El Sham/Full Syria (Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and the nation state Syria). They also have a deep connection to the soil of their fatherland which is impossible for a Jihadist Sunni to have. So yeah Shia Jihadism is different from the Sunni version on those grounds.
 

razorblade

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This warmongering attitudes from the west needs to stop, Iraq, Libya and syria have already been destroyed leading to the deaths of millions and the rise of jihadism, how much more damage to they want to inflict over the ME.
 

former wesleyan

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Here's a little list.


 

Truth.ie

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I seen Irish lefties often mention this. But what proof do you have. The US armed and supported Mujahideen in Afghanistan to fight the Soviet Invasion. Many of the Mujahideen Veterans like Ahmad Shah Massoud led the fight against the Taliban and Al Quaeda in the Afgha Civil War.

So I ask where is the proof that the US funded either ISIS or Al Qaeda.
They also openly armed the KLA in Kosovo which was Al qaeda's wing in Europe.
They then supported groups in Libya which were part of or had links to Al Qaeda.
And then of course they did the same in Syria.
 

Levellers

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I seen Irish lefties often mention this. But what proof do you have. The US armed and supported Mujahideen in Afghanistan to fight the Soviet Invasion. Many of the Mujahideen Veterans like Ahmad Shah Massoud led the fight against the Taliban and Al Quaeda in the Afgha Civil War.

So I ask where is the proof that the US funded either ISIS or Al Qaeda.
"The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda."

http://www.globalresearch.ca/how-the-us-supports-the-islamic-state-isis-one-accidental-airdrop-vs-billions-in-covert-military-aid/5409449

Of course this all started with Operation Cyclone and 35 years later they still haven't learned the lesson.
 

Truth.ie

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I really don't get the hostility towards Iran.
I'm guessing it has to do with the control of the Straits of Hormuz.
Or foreign pressure from the Zionist of Saudi lobbyist.
 


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