Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Michael, Mar 18, 2008.
any then you get muslims like me who do not really care
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Do you know any Bahais? Or Shias? Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
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i know a shia, i dont know any Bahais, never heard fo them let alone know anyone - thats why i dont reeally care...
ol' Michael seems to be more concerned with Islam then me, which is enlgihtening Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
When your politics is organized around your religion, and differences in sectarian beliefs describe the boundaries of political systems which are at each others throats, you have a split in the religion.
Whether they are small differences in belief is not determined a priori, but by their effects. If people kill each other based on mutual recognition of those differences as labeling "enemy", as they manifestly do in Iraq (and did in Ireland), they are not small differences.
However, there remain significant differences between the two forms of Islam and these are what tend to be emphasized. Many Sunni's would contend that Shias seem to take the fundamentals of Islam very much for granted, shunting them into the background and dwelling on the martyrdoms of Ali and Hussein.
The difference between the Shia and Sunni forms of Islam purportedly is that Sunnis do not believe in nepotism as succession and Shias do not believe in elected representatives. Of course, in reality Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries are kingdoms and Iraq and Iran elect their representatives.
Theoretically speaking, even the Queen of England is a descendant of Mohammed and could be nominated for the post of Ayatollah! Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
Sounds typical of religious split. Protestant Christianity can furnish you with dozens of similar examples, some of which (the Puritan/Presbyterian/ Anglican divisions, for example) provided excellent motivation for the Founders of the US to specifically ban any religion from access to governmental coercive force in its behalf.
It's too bad Muslims don't drink - there's an excellent lesson to be learned from observing the experiences of people who try to avoid hangovers by maintaining a controlled level of constant alcohol infusion, and many other metaphorically relevant situations involving booze.
And yet again surprisingly, Sunnis who are supposed to avoid spiritual leaders and priests have Saudi Arabia while the Iranians were doing pretty well with Mossadegh's version of Iran until the Shah stepped in. Even today, if you meet an Iranian vs a Saudi, you can clearly see that the Shia Irani (who is supposed to be following religious authority, does not care as much for it).
Perhaps you should try it on your own society first.
Try what, the metaphorical gain in wisdom ? Already common.
Nothing surprising about that. That's what religious splits look like. Like I said, if you want examples of similar religious splits, Protestant Christianity has many to study.
And they would be easier for you to learn from, being sufficiently alien that you wouldn't have to start throwing up defensive screens to avoid seeing the lessons.
Doesn't seem like it considering how they never learn from experience. Or perhaps their intent is evil to begin with?
Yup and Sunni Islam is like Protestant Christianity, with no priests and only follow the book. And yet they have muttawwas chasing women in Arabia.
And Shia Islam is like Catholicism with Supreme Ayatollah and attached parapharnelia. And yet the Ayatollah was speaker of the house under Mossadegh rather than Supreme Big Shot.
You mean how to become a crash test dummy? We get those lessons in daily doses from the west.
Some do. The writers of the Constitution, for example.
Up to you, which lessons you choose to learn from the West.
It's a little surprising to me that the influence of religion on US political structure has not served as more of a wake-up for the Islamic East - the information necessary for analysis, recognition, etc, is broadcast world wide. But then I suppose it's like the Irish Catholic under the boots of Cromwell's Puritanism - hard to see the bad guy in the mirror, when he's stomping into the living room.
Nothing to do with the US propping up a Sunni dictator in Iraq and selectively funding and arming Sunni extremists/insurgents/allies then?
Its not like its a new program, it was the same strategy they used when they propped up Catholic Diem in a mostly communist Vietnam and you saw how that ended.
Most of these "splits" are contrived and artificially created and sustained (e.g. the enclosure to "protect" the above paid Sunnis in Iraq, while simultaneously arming and funding them). Its the ole divide and rule.
Absolutely everything to do with it - the ability of one's enemies to take advantage of religious splits is yet another lesson to be learned by the fundies of the world.
And the perils of it, on the aggressor's part.
But the religious have a hard time seeing the pattern - the ones in the US, the ones in Iraq, alike. Witness:
The US did not "contrive" the Shia/Sunni split. It was there for the use, and was in political use, from before Saddam was a twinkle in his father's eye.
The current Sunni Shia split is a wholly political contrivance. Perhaps you should take your own advice and step out of your entrenched views about Protestants and Catholics. In Islam, as long as you follow the general rules of any of the Madhabs, there is no wrong way, so all discussions about differences between Sunnis Shias Wahabis Sufis etc are just academic. Islamic scholars study all all Sunni and Shia Madhabs as relatively equivalent forms of worship, rather than as unique and separate instiitutions. In fact, of all the forms of thought that have originated, including the Bahai (who keep insisting they are not Muslims, in vain), no one has yet been considered as not sufficiently Islamic. Even apostacy as a "crime" is a fairly recent issue that has gained prominence due to mischief. Eminent and highly conservative Islamic scholars like Maudoodi have frowned on takfiri or declaring people as not "real" Muslims. The entire situation is one that exists because of the external manipulation of societies in the ME, since in the last 800 years before that, they were political non-issues.
Personally, I would prefer to do away with the denominations altogether, except they represent the rich diversity of thought in Islamic opinions and we may end up the poorer for it if we did attempt standardisation.
Not true. The Sunni-Shi'ite relations were actually going very well from the fall of the Ottoman Empire up until ~'70s. The Sunnis and Shi'ites were not of any political use by outsiders, mainly because for the first time in a long time, they had reached some level of unity and understanding. The Sunnis and Shi'ites didn't make up the Islamic divide a few decades ago - it was pan-Arabism that did. Today... well, that's a different story. It's unfortunate that the Sunnis and Shi'ites cannot put politics aside and embrace their religious unity.
What were the political issues between Sunnis and Shias under the Ottomans?
Iran for example had a painless(?correct me if I'm wrong, but was it not the change from the Abbasids to the Buyids?) conversion from Sunni Islam after 600 years to Shia Islam and Iranians did extremely well under the Ottomans (in fact they were the first country to implement parliamentary democracy in 1905)
Recall: Ottoman-Safavid wars. I'm not so sure about your description of "painless conversions" - the Safavids imposed the Shi'ite branch on the Iranians during their rise to power. If I'm not mistaken, it was this sequence of unfortunate events which left bitter feelings amongst the politically-derived denominations. What do you think?
Are you certain? I believe it was the weakening of the Abbasids who were replaced by the Iranian Buyids (supporters of Shia Islam) in both Iran and Iraq.
edit: you are right, while the Saffarids and Buyids were Shiites and ruled over Persia for some time, it was the Safavid king Shah Ismail (who at 14 years of age) declared himself to be a descendent of the Imam and made Shia Islam the state religion. Pretty smart for a 14 year old. Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!
I missed your edit.
Seems plausible. We're all permitted a different view on the topic, eh? I feel that the forceful conversions of Sunnis into Shi'ites and extermination of the Sunni clergy at the hands of the Safavids were the main reasons the two parties became hostile to one another. Surely, however, there were other factors as well. I'll read up on your viewpoint later.
see further edit.
Also what happened after the Safavids lost to the Ottomans?
Separate names with a comma.