Showing posts with label Shia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shia. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

The Sunni-Shia Cold War: The Origins and Evolution of the Saudi Hegomony

    Tuesday, November 15, 2022   No comments

There has been a Sunni-Shia cold war going on since 1979, but hardly anyone talked about it in those terms. That is because, in part, the rulers of Saudi Arabia chose to conduct this cold war through proxies or from the shadows. Then, Wikileaks ended the Saudi rulers' abilities to project power and influence, especially as a Sunni moderate power, in secret and the rise of the young, ambitious prince, MBS as he is known, to power while his father is still the nominal figurehead allowed them to deflect blame for any and all missteps. However, during a long tv interview in 2017, MBS revealed all the cards: He described his clash with Iran as an existential one because he sees Iranian leaders and Shia, in general, as irrational actors who hold on to messianic belief about the coming of a savior--which makes them unworthy of dialogue and diplomacy.

Wikileaks' documents described the Saudi war on Iran from behind the scene succinctly and clearly. The Saudi leaders, according to the diplomatic cables, while publicly expressing dialogue with Iran, pushed US and European leaders to go after the "head of the snake", instead of fighting Iran's proxies. The framed it as a need to liberate Iran, as Biden said recently, they wanted the West to unleash a direct war on Iran, not rely just on sanctions. Those revelations forced Saudi and Emariti leaders to emerge from the shadows and attack Iran directly--but not militarily of course. They focused instead on a strategy that aims to unravel the entire political system of Iran from within. 

The new "leak" of documents from UAE shows how the strategy was developed and executed. The Lebanese newspaper, Alakhbar, produced a dossier about these developments. Other researchers and observers have compiled more evidence about the Saudi investment in media assets to realize their goals: the paralysis and destruction of the Iranian system of governance through internal Iranian actors.

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From Alakhbar Dossier about Saudi-UAE Leaks: When Mohammed bin Salman stated the above sentence, in answer to Dawood Al-Sheryan's question about dialogue with Iran, he was announcing what was not usual in Saudi foreign policy, in what was termed "transferring the battle to the Iranian interior." Many at the time, when interpreting what Ibn Salman said, said that Riyadh would resort to what it used to do in terms of employing ISIS cells and the operations that separatist movements in Sistan-Baluchestan had long carried out in the Iranian depths. However, in the documents obtained by Al-Akhbar, it becomes clear that Ibn Salman meant targeting the Iranian interior, through a plan to influence the Iranian youth group, in parallel with the intensification of the discourse of demonizing Iran, directed at the Arab and Islamic audiences.


“We will not wait for the battle to be in Saudi Arabia, but rather we will work so that the battle for them is in Iran and not in Saudi Arabia.”
Deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia
Mohammed bin Salman

3 May 2017

On the morning of January 2, 2016, the world woke up to the news of the execution of Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr and a group of al-Qatifi youth, along with a group of Saudi officials and cadres of al-Qaeda. Angry reactions continued inside and outside Salman’s kingdom, and the night of that day closed. On the scene of the burning of the buildings of the Saudi diplomatic mission in Iran by angry Iranian youths.


Four days later, on January 6, the Emirati National Media Council was presenting to representatives of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain a proposed plan that he called the “media strategy for dealing with the Iranian file”, which developed in subsequent years, in coordination with the Americans, to become the “plan to undermine Iran.” From the inside.”

The proposal for the media strategy put forward by the Minister of State and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Media Council in the UAE, Sultan Al Jaber, stated that the goal behind it is to “build a public opinion hostile to Iranian policies from the internal and external public,” and that the strategy “centers on the political dimension and away from the sectarian discourse that It may weaken the public media discourse if it is relied upon. And most importantly, “the results of the strategy should be achieved after years.” In the initial proposal, as document No. 1 shows, the target audience is regional public opinion, Gulf public opinion, domestic public opinion inside Iran (the Iranian people and non-Persian Iranian minorities in particular), and the Iranian opposition abroad and at home. It is noteworthy in the “implementation partners” paragraph that the Emiratis mentioned the “Organization of Islamic Cooperation” as a partner in implementing the strategy, along with the official Gulf entities, the League of Arab States, and Iranian think tanks and opposition, noting that the Islamic Republic of Iran is an original member of the aforementioned organization whose decision-making is dominated by Saudi Arabia and harnessed. interests since its inception.

Read full dossier (Ar)...

 

Friday, November 04, 2022

The Sheikh of Al-Azhar calls for a dialogue with Shiite Muslim scholars

    Friday, November 04, 2022   No comments

Today, Friday, Al-Azhar Sheikh Imam Ahmed Al-Tayeb appealed to Shia Muslim scholars to hold an Islamic-Islamic dialogue in order to renounce "sectarian strife," at a time when several countries in the region and the world are experiencing tensions over a sectarian background.

In a speech delivered at the conclusion of the Bahrain Forum for Dialogue "East and West for Human Coexistence", in the presence of Pope Francis at the Royal Palace of Sakhir, Al-Tayeb appealed to "Islamic scholars in the whole world, regardless of their sects, sects and schools, to hasten to hold a serious Islamic-Islamic dialogue." In order to establish unity, rapprochement and acquaintance, the causes of discord, strife and sectarian conflict in particular are rejected.


The Imam of Al-Azhar said: “This invitation, as I address it to our fellow Shiite Muslims, I am ready, along with the senior scholars of Al-Azhar and the Council of Muslim Elders, to hold such a meeting with open hearts and outstretched hands to sit together at one table.”


The Imam of Al-Azhar set the meeting’s goal by “overcoming the page of the past and promoting Islamic affairs and the unity of Islamic positions,” suggesting that its decisions “provide an end to mutual hate speech, methods of provocation and infidelity, and the need to overcome historical and contemporary conflicts with all their problems and bad sediments.”


Al-Tayyib stressed that “it is forbidden for Muslims to listen to the calls of discord and discord, and to beware of falling into the trap of tampering with the stability of countries, exploiting religion by stirring up national and sectarian strife, interfering in the affairs of states, undermining their sovereignty or usurping their lands.”

The Sheikh of Al-Azhar calls for an end to the war in Ukraine

In a separate context, the sheikh of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif called for an end to the war in Ukraine for the sake of world peace and stability, saying: “I add my voice to the voice of benevolent people who call for peace and an end to the Russian-Ukrainian war, and to spare the blood of innocents who have no elegance or utterance in this tragedy, And raising the banner of peace instead of the banner of victory, and sitting in the circle of dialogue and negotiations.”


Al-Tayeb also called for "stopping the fighting going on in various parts of the world by rebuilding bridges of dialogue, understanding and trust, in order to restore peace in a world riddled with wounds, so that the alternative is not more suffering for poor peoples, and more dire consequences for the East and West."



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