Monday, July 09, 2007

THE SHIA/SUNNI CONFLICT

Last year during the Lebanese vs Israeli conflict I heard a Lebanese Sunni Muslim say he supported Hezbollah's (a militant shia organization) stance against Israel, but that the Shia were still fake Muslims. Now Id been hearing about the Sunni / Shia dispute over the last couple of years and I have been fascinated by some of the details Id been learning. To Someone like me who is committed to Anti-Religion ism and who views the misuse and abuse of religion as one of the greatest problems the world has ever seen, this type of attitude is offensive,neanderthalish and quite frankly retarded. Although I have no love for religion of any form I am a very spiritual person by nature and truth be told if not for religion(s) (which I consider a form of spirituality) something inside of me thinks that, this planet would be even more screwed up than it already is.

After all it is a fact that thousands of Christians missionaries all over the world are feeding and helping to care for sick people. Not to mention the thousands of hospitals all over the world started by christian, Muslim and Jewish people and organizations all over the world . Simply put the church and people inspired by religion are taking care of people 24x7 all over the world in the absolute worse conditions and without any fanfare. Those Christians and other religious folks (although I believe their religions are fairy tales) are often on the front lines of despair and poverty working to bring relief to the poor and suffering that's a fact.

The Sunni/Shea split started right after the the Prophet Muhammad died, one school of thought followed that the new leader of the Islamic world should be chosen by a committee of the most learned and respected Islamic scholars (Sunni), another school of thought was that the Prophet Muhammad had spiritual qualities that would be passed down through his children and descendants (Shea).

Ever since the death of Muhammad Islam has been split by philosophical, ethnic, clan and tribal differences that include the Shea and Sunni divide. Now before anyone goes off and starts Judging Islam please remember that little catholic/protestant conflict or that thousands of English settlers were driven to America (to steal other folks land) to get away from religious persecution or keep in mind the fact that it was not necessarily safe or cool to be a catholic in many parts of the southern united states of America during the early part of the 20th century.

So I am in no way suggesting that this behavior is reflective of what Islam as a whole is. This is what makes it hard to build a strong and self sufficient, modern and democratic society.. If you've got 30 tribes spread out over a land mass the size of say California with lands being separated by lakes, mountains deserts etc. When you add in a paternalistic culture and world view, then my folks, you've got a big ball of confusion and chaos because when members of one tribe/clan seek redress in court or are being held or sentenced under another tribes justice. What is justice to one tribe may be cause for jihad to another tribe/clan/nation, also many of these folks are ultra conservative and fundamentalist in their views of the world.


Over the centuries in the world of Islam their has always been tensions between Shea and Sunni but they have also lived together in peace for over a thousands years as well. After a thousand years of living together those divisions have been further split by clan, ethnic, race, country etc. This fundamentalist strain is found in most religions and most cultures and is still a problem even in America when you think about the Christians trying to force christian school prayer or their ridiculous theory of Intelligent Design on non believers of the christian faith it tells you exactly what is going on. Often times this fundamentalist ideology takes the most narrow and close minded view of religion which is never a good thing for the cause of tolerance and human advancement.


This is yet one more reason why I really dislike all religion, I mean Shea and Sunni have been living together, marrying each other and conducting business between one another for over 700 years in Lebanon but still Islam promotes a brand of religion so backwards that people who have lived together for ages are still referring to each other spiritual beliefs as fake.

Unbelievable, how backwards it is to follow any religion that promotes meaningless divisions when human beings by their nature are flawed and always looking to identify themselves based on the most obvious differences between ourselves. Especially when it comes to something as sensitive and controversial as spirituality. What a shame. What a shame.

15 comments:

Dave said...

Mark,
Wanted to stop in and tell you that I hit you with a meme over at my place.

Hope your Summer is going good for you.

Peace

DJ Black Adam said...

Nice Article Mark, however, I must say that if we took away religion, people would always find something to divide and kill each other over.

The problem isn't religion, it is the heart of man.

mark said...

"The problem isn't religion, it is the heart of man. "

mark bey: What you say is true, but remember the heart of man was created by god and religion are a part of the problem especially when several of them claim that only through them can you get to heaven.

The belief that your particular religion is true above others is a monumental excuse to treat other wrongly. Thats just my opinion though

The Best [ Ghostface ] said...

Many people don't know this but the major difference between sunni and shite (also called shia) is that sunni is the basic teachings and shites follow the esoteric hidden interpretations of the Quran. Shites are followers of Omar and sunnis are followers of the basic teachings of islam. The shites have a lot of Sufis involved in their Islam. Sufis are the equivalent of the kabbalists of Judaism. Sunnis don�t follow Sufism and they view it is non Islamic and consider shites non Muslims sometimes because of this suism.

Take care, Mark, good post you put!!

romancingthecrone said...

Excellent post. Simply excellent. Clarity is your gift.

JustMeWriting said...

I SOOO second dj black adams comment...the whole thing. This is the way of the world.

on a lighter note...where are you?

DJ Black Adam said...

Hey Mark:

You wrote: "The belief that your particular religion is true above others is a monumental excuse to treat other wrongly."

Do people who want to treat other people wrong, really ever need an excuse? And if they do, don't they always generally fabricate one even if they don't have one?

Bullfrog said...

The fact that people use religion, politics, culture, material wealth, you name it, to oppress others or "treat them wrongly" says alot more about people than it does about their means.

Nothing I listed above is inherently bad, in fact, they can all be helpful and useful when used properly.

You see a rich man who is greedy for more wealth and doesn't bother to help others or do anything positive with his means; do you blame money? That wouldn't make sense, just like it doesn't make sense to blame religion for the evil that men are prone to even apart from it.

mark said...

"Do people who want to treat other people wrong, really ever need an excuse?"

mark bey: DJ I cant argue with you on this point you are completely right, however that still does not change the fact that most religionS promote division and justify it based on the "faith" of thier particular followers also nothing you said DJ changes the fact that various different religions all claiming to be the way to salvation by nature will always end up causing conflict and sometimes death.

Because after all when one group or person says that all who dont follow my beliefs are not to be saved they are really saying that only folks who believe what I believe are human beings the way I see it. After this all kinds of crimes and abuses can be created.

Also if god wants folks to rolls christian style then how come he allows other religions such as Mormonism and Islam to even exist if god wants folks to follow his word to heaven.

Dont make sense to me bro, thank you for stopping by DJ

mark said...

"You see a rich man who is greedy for more wealth and doesn't bother to help others or do anything positive with his means; do you blame money? "

mark bey: Bullfrog your beliefs are not consistant in any, way shape or form.

1) YOur god knew that the rich man you were refering would misuse and selfishishly hoard resources and still allowed that man to be rich over others who would have shared those resources with the world.

2)The god you believe in supposedly created every last dynamic responsible for people having money and what they do with that money. Basically if god has the power to change things that he dosent want to happen and dosent then since god is all powerful that makes god responsible for all of the bad things that happen on this planet in my opinion.

dc_speaks said...

ok...i need to play catch up on your posts brother mark.

this one is an area that I would like to get some additional information on before I comment. But as always, you make a good case for all the posts positions that you stand behind.

Peace and love , black man.

mark said...

Brotha DC good to see your back on the net spreading positive vibes.

Bullfrog said...

It always comes back to, "Everything is God's fault". I am not exactly sure what your point is, or what should be done about it. The only value I see in this attitude is that it excuses you from any responsibility for your own actions. Rob a bank or commit some other crime and just tell the judge, "God made me evil and he made banks, so what was I to do?" My guess is you'll be "doing" whatever time that state mandates for committing such a crime.

dc_speaks said...

good to be in here feeling the vibes, Mark!

Anonymous said...

Ur moron
u have to go beneath the things to find out real things

its not muslim sects as a whole think that other sect is non muslim , its a school within these sects which thinks other one has fake beliefs!