January 16, 2007

THEY MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE:

Islam's Sunni-Shiite split: A look at the historic divide within the Muslim world. (Dan Murphy, 1/17/07, The Christian Science Monitor)

The fact that Shiites have long been oppressed - first under the Ottoman Empire, later under states like Iraq and Saudi Arabia - has led to a strong identification with the injustices suffered by Hussein, and have lent a political dimension to Shiite worship. Ashura celebrations, for instance, were banned under Saddam Hussein, who feared they could lead to spontaneous uprisings. [...]

Most Shiites believe that there were 12 legitimate successors to Muhammad as caliph, and that the final imam, now called the Mahdi, disappeared when he was taken up in the arms of God. Many Shiites believe the Mahdi will return to earth one day and play the role of savior. A battle between the forces of good and evil will ensue, ending in a thousand-year reign of peace and the end of the world.


These are the two elements that make Shi'ism the ideal third foundation of liberal democracy.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 16, 2007 8:56 PM
Comments

Perhaps not.

Support for the Shi'ites appears to many as foolishness and a stumbling block*; from a truly monstrous geopolitical perspective it is surpassing wisdom--the acme of excellence.

Confusion to the enemy. Maximize the contradictions.
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*Christianist code-words.

Posted by: Lou Gots at January 17, 2007 7:57 AM

"Many Shiites believe the Mahdi will return to earth one day and play the role of savior. A battle between the forces of good and evil will ensue, ending in a thousand-year reign of peace and the end of the world."

That sounds vaguely familiar...

Posted by: Jay at January 17, 2007 4:20 PM

Of course it sounds familiar. It was made up by cribbing together various lines from various traditions, sort of like a Robert E. Howard or John Norman fantasy tale.

Posted by: Lou Gots at January 17, 2007 4:50 PM

Jay:

Not to mention their notion that the government can't be perfected by men.

Posted by: oj at January 17, 2007 6:02 PM
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