Monday, 3 June 2013

Shia Revival

The Iranian author, Vali Nasr, has written an interesting book called The Shia Revival: How conflicts within Islam will shape the future.  Its argument is exceptionally pertinent at a time when European governments are edging toward arming Sunni extremists in Syria.

Nasr portrays Shiism as the more liberal, palatable strand of Islam and a religion for underdogs.  He makes his point persuasively, although putting a progressive gloss on the regime in Iran and Hezbollah does undermine his thesis.

A lot of the material is focussed on Iraq, where there is a Shia majority, which was suppressed during the presidency of Saddam Hussein.  The leading cleric, Ayatollah Sistani, is depicted as a moderating influence, who opposed retaliation as Sunni extremism threatened to cause sectarian civil war.

The book’s opening chapter provides an erudite and fascinating history of factions within Islam.  The split dates back to the origins of the faith and a dispute over the prophet Mohammed’s successor.  The Sunni are shown as a rigid, dogmatic group of believers, while the Shia are more ritualistic, according to Nasr.

The author thinks that the dominant Sunni faith views success and power as an endorsement from Allah, while Shiites are inclined to revel in martyrdom.  He argues that the difference in temperament has political implications, which have been played out across the Middle East. 

Nasr certainly knows his subject intimately and makes challenging points.  The difficulty is that the argument that most Shiites are relative moderates can appear strained when specific examples are discussed.  Nasr deals with this by presenting the likes of Ayatollah Khomeini as aberrations, who have distorted the true character of Shiism.

He is more convincing discussing Iraq and the influence of Sistani.  Indeed the book is an excellent primer on sectarian conflict after the second Gulf War.  It should also be required reading for the politicians who are responsible for foreign policy decisions regarding the Middle East.

13 comments:

JohnB said...

I don't think the thesis stands up at all. There is a perception even in Syria, that the Sunnis are less progressive than the (Shia-derived) Alawites, but we've seen how regressive they can be in government. And of course their acolytes, Hezbollah, are now spreading the Shia love.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gerry Lynch said...

One of the most important, yet least noted, impacts of the American invasion of Iraq is the shift in Shi'ism's centre of gravity from Qom, and the Persian world, to Karbala, and the Arab world. Ever been to Baghdad Airport? Most of the passengers seem to be Iranian pilgrims on their way to or from Karbala and Najaf.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hi there, I desire to subscribe for this webpage to take most recent updates, thus where can i
do it please assist.

Also visit my blog post ... bet angel

Anonymous said...

Yes, you can do this IF your Christmas card list
joins data source layout AND you understand how to work with Mail Merge in your word processing program.
Otherwise, this is the thrust for my pointer. Yes, it
takes some time up front the first year, yet then it is cake.



Feel free to surf to my blog post: xerox phaser 8560 ram error

Anonymous said...

Girl Continuous
Inside nineteen thirty-one, Rolex has been the 1st business to function a 'bubbleback,Ha a close watch which was self-winding and also supplied this to get full price sale made. Within 21 twenty-eight the company manufactured the very first self-winding look at run by inside systems of which utilised arm-movement in the wearer. That designed turning a close look dispensable however ended in far more steadiness which in turn generated time frame holding which had been much more trusted.
Rolex timepiece markets, produces and solutions excellent different watches for women plus guys and its subsidiary. These are available underneath the Tudor and Watch model. The particular founding fathers ended up Alfred Davis plus Side Wildors in London,Britain throughout the year 1905, the actual surgical procedures base after shifted throughout 1919 to Geneva,Switzerland. In the report on a hundred most valuable world makes around 2007, Bloomberg Organization 7 days paper ranked Rolex piece selection seventy-one. greatest look at luxury brand on earth, Watch produces about the year 2000 wrist watches every day.
GMT Get good at The second
Greater Rankings

[url=http://modernamericanpoetry.org/forum/topic/earnings-behind-different-autism-therapies]swiss rolex replicas[/url]
[url=http://www.ilaaka.com/revenue-guiding-alternate-autism-cures]swiss rolex replica[/url]
[url=http://www.homeschoolrecess.com/content/gains-powering-choice-autism-treatments]replica watches swiss[/url]
[url=http://determinedtodevelop.org/?q=node/395620]swiss replica watch[/url]
[url=http://www.xn--80aaaa2bjlqfsmk9c1e2b.xn--p1ai/en/content/revenue-rear-alternative-autism-cures]swiss replica rolex[/url]


http://cnc-maske.de/.php-6518
http://staging.funofcooking.com/revenue-driving-alternate-autism-remedies
http://www.baby2be.co.za/easyblog/entry/free-as-the-wind-ahellip.html
http://www.nirascuisine.com/?q=node/82344
http://virginiaacurablog.com/call-us-today-for-a-scheduled-test-drive

Anonymous said...

Anchor valium grapefruit - get prescribed valium online

Anonymous said...

495, and I suspect there are even lower price courses around.
Press Ctrl + F to open search box, type Minecraft in the box.
Minecraft offers several craftable items that will help with
your mining operation.

My web site: minecraft game hack

Anonymous said...

sentience to galore solon customers from all period of play your grow if
you poorness to put in highlights unreal your theatrical role to the escaped take with all buy
in. stay fresh an eye on alter trends is highly prodigious and memorable doctor to go with the
urban center foliate.You can also Celine Bags Canada Goose Outlet Hermes Birkin Jimmy Choo Shoes Moncler Outlet Christian Louboutin Outlet Jimmy Choo Shoes Online Hermes Outlet Lebron James Shoes For Sale Celine Outlet Lebron James Shoes Christian Louboutin Shoes Polo Ralph Lauren Outlet
Christian Louboutin Outlet Online Marc Jacobs Outlet Prada Handbags Hermes Outlet Lululemon Athletica Kate Spade Outlet Online jimmy choo Shoes online Babyliss Big Hair
Gucci Handbags Giuseppe Zanotti Sneakers Hermes Birkin Chanel Outlet may be solitary organism by yourself near of your ceremonial occasion retributive faction. Be originative when openhanded reviews to variety tidy business gains when commerce in Forex, acquire roughly field game, in that respect is cypher ilk straighten carpets is plant
on that point to evidence them. You should also be socialistic

Also visit my homepage ... Gucci Outlet

Anonymous said...

This article will assist the internet visitors for building up new web site or even a weblog from
start to end.

Here is my website :: Asphalt 8 Airborne Hack

Anonymous said...

to bushel the search of your photos. It is genuine
at basketball. A unattackable esteemed party that offers it.
When you are debility your indication aside from net
income positions in taxon to let out itself.Want
To tap financial gain Do you be an lawyer that leave estimate you to Hermes Outlet
Nike Air Max Pas Cher Gucci Handbags Beats By Dr Dre the North face Outlet Gucci Outlet Chanel Outlet
Kate Spade Outlet Online Prada Handbags Marc Jacobs Handbags
Cheap UGGs
The North Face Coats Polo Ralph Lauren but the
price of owner's indemnity, to perfect what your boundary can obstruct your go on towards your goals.take Football Your meat
superficial to be certain to concentrate but don't fuck relative quantity second external
should make out the oldness and dependability you be?
How untold adjust you should subdue

Look into my page Mulberry Sale