Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Islam's 'enemy within'

Across the Sunni world, growing fear of Shia influence exposes the cultural schism that exists between the two traditions

Brian Whitaker
guardian.co.uk, Monday 24 August 2009

"Six Shia Muslims have gone on trial in Jordan, accused of "promoting Shia ideology and instigating religious sectarianism". Their case – the first of its kind in Jordan – is being heard behind closed doors in a military court.......

There is no suggestion that the accused did anything more than a bit of missionary work – holding meetings, issuing membership cards and raising funds – but the case reflects a growing fear of Shia Islam among the Middle East's Sunni regimes.

Regardless of what the Iranian government does, though, Shia Muslims in Sunni countries have every right to practise their faith and, if they wish, to try to convert others.

It may worry the Sunni regimes but it also worries the Wahhabi/Salafi elements whose ideology has often gone unchallenged in the public discourse. Exposing Arab Muslims to alternative interpretations of their faith will open their eyes to new ideas and possibilities. And, in the long run, that can only be beneficial."

No comments: