Better Know a Muslim
You may have read about incoming House Intelligence Committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes' stunning ignorance of the nature of the terrorist threat, but there's a lot more complexity to the interplay of Sunnis and Shiites than just "Which predominates al Qaeda?"
Complexity that the average American, even a well-informed observer, heck, even Congressman Reyes himself might find illustrative.
Dean Barrett at Townhall lays down the FAQ. A snippet:
Historically, they suffered their fissure 13 centuries ago when they differed over who the rightful heir to Muhammad was. Beyond that little nugget, the typical congressman shouldn’t have to worry his pretty little blow-dried head about the origins of the two sects.
The Sunnis historically were much more political than the Shiites. Devout and fundamentalist Sunnis felt (and feel) that there can be no law above the Koran. That means they feel that government by necessity must be a theocracy. Also, fundamentalist Sunnis consider Shiites to be apostates. An apostate is an even worse thing to be than an infidel.
Shiites traditionally were relatively non-political. You’ve seen this kind of Shiite philosophy in action in Iraq where Ayatollah Sistani supported the formation of a secular government and declined to claim the reins of leadership himself.
There's plenty more at the link. It's really quite a good primer. And once you finish reading it, you can delight in the fact that you know 15 things the new Intel Chair doesn't know.
Handcrafted by Flip on December 12, 2006 |
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