Tuesday, January 5, 2016


You can google the theological differences between Sunni and Shia Muslims if you like but in essence they distill down to the differences that divide Catholicism and the Protestant religions and everything associated with the two faiths evidenced German Peasants' War of 1524-25; the Schmalkaldic War of 1546-47, the Thirty Years War 1618-48 and the Wars of the Three Kingdoms 1639-51.

Since then that divide has been largely healed (with notable exceptions) including that of my great aunt who, in the late 19th century, and on her way to Australia was spirited off the ship by her Irish nanny and taken to the Catholic Cathedral in Cairo where she was baptized in order to save her 'black Protestant soul'.   Family history has it that the Nanny was dismissed from service and left languishing on on dockside at Suez when the ship sailed.

The simple reality is that, in the context of western civilization, Sunni and Shia remain rooted in the 16th century (and earlier)   It will require another five centuries at least for them to reconcile their differences and, in the intervening period, much blood will be shed.


Anonymous said...

The bloodshed will continue as long as the two power bases have uneducated and compliant populations to do their will. During the crusades the population was whipped into a frenzy of religious fervour by the Catholic church from whom all news and education stemmed. If somebody had said "Come on Lads, the Kings of Spain and France want to add a few Mediterranean trading ports to their portfolio" there would not have been many volunteers but a piece of the true cross did wonders.

There is a power vacuum in the Middle east and we all know what nature thinks about a vacuum. It suits all those involved to use their religion to recruit or to excuse atrocities. If Iran was Protestant and Saudi Catholic they would still be at each others throats. Education and a fair distribution of wealth is the answer. Islam like the catholic church up until the 1950's recruit from the poor and dispossessed.

Lord Egbut Nobacon

Anonymous said...

Why is wealth redistribution always the solution?
Ford Anglia

JC said...

Sunni and Shia.. there's a song in there.


The Veteran said...

MiLord ... the first sentence of your post is right on the money.

There is also some truth in your contention that religion is but a proxy excuse for the resolution of perceived inequalities (with perhaps Northern Ireland being the prime example). In the Sunni vs Shia fight it might be argued however that rather than 'inequalities' it's a case of the 'haves' vs the 'haves' with both wanting more ... oil rich Iran & Iraq (Shia) vs oil rich Saudi (Sunni) and each with their own proxy surrogates as evidenced in say Syria where Shia from Hezbollah in Lebanon and Asaib Ahl al-Haq and Kata'ib Hezbollah militias from Iraq have backed the Syrian government while Syrian Sunnis (backed by Saudi) fight on the rebels side.

The argument is certainly not right vs wrong ... it's two power blocks each seeking dominance over the other and using religion as their excuse. The likely outcome is more losers than winners.

Andrei said...

Wrong Veteran the oil rich region in Iraq is Kurdish and the British were bombing them in the 1930s in order to steal their oil

The British even used mustard gas against them dropped from the air for goodness sakes

But of course English speaking people are paragons of virtue compared to those wogs and slavs

What a joke

Andrei said...

Oh and by the way there are lots of Sunnis fighting with the SAA against the terrorist menace inflicted upon their nation by malignant outside forces

Did you know the USA has put $500 million dollars worth of weapons into terrorist hands in Syria

Its not a secret just an inconvenient fact

I wonder how we would react to some outside power giving arms to the mongrel mob and black power etx?

Anonymous said...

Ah, great sport "Bombing the Bedouin" in their Biplanes Andrei. But that is what imperial powers do and as the Persians had been an imperial power for a millennium by subjugating their neighbours (Iraq etc) they can't complain.

If it comes to choosing sides I would certainly want to be on the side of the Persians, who are not Arabs, as they have a military pedigree going back to the Greeks then Romans who they gave a good seeing to, where as from personal experience I know the military expertise and application of Saudi is to be found wanting and would collapse without western contractors to maintain their high tech kit. They think everything is for sale so there is no need to apply themselves. Arrogance on Steroids, but that's what money does.

Lord Egbut of Khartoum.