Faith

Sunni or Shi'a? Saudi Imam Says Iranians Are Not 'Real Muslims'

Post 9/11, when a largely Saudi group of terrorists wantonly attacked the United States, we’ve all had to hear and learn much, much more about Islam than we ever wanted to. But we in Christendom do have one thing going for us in our centuries-old battle with the anti-faith: Muslims generally hate each other even more than they hate us. Enjoy:

Saudi Arabia’s top cleric intensified the kingdom’s rhetoric against Iran, saying in comments published on Tuesday that Tehran’s leaders are “not Muslims” in response to rancorous remarks from Iran’s supreme leader. The remarks by Grand Mufti Abdulaziz Al Sheikh came a day after Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused Saudi authorities of killing Muslims injured during last year’s crush of crowds at the hajj pilgrimage.

Their confrontational comments mark a sharp escalation in the countries’ face-off as their spat plays out across the region.

Khamenei, in remarks published on his website Monday, said the “heartless and murderous Saudis locked up the injured with the dead in containers—instead of providing medical treatment and helping them or at least quenching their thirst. They murdered them.” Mostly Sunni Saudi Arabia and majority Shiite Iran back opposite sides of the wars in Syria and Yemen, and support opposing political groups in Iraq, Bahrain and Lebanon.

“We must understand they are not Muslims, for they are the descendants of Majuws, and their enmity toward Muslims, especially the Sunnis, is very old,” the Saudi cleric said. The September 2015 stampede and crush of pilgrims killed at least 2,426 people, according to an Associated Press count. Iran had the highest of death toll of any country, with 464 Iranian pilgrims killed.

In the right circumstances, anathema can be a wonderful thing.

The BBC played it this way:

Saudi Arabia’s top cleric has said Iranians are “not Muslims,” a day after Iran’s supreme leader denounced its management of the Hajj pilgrimage. Abdul Aziz Al Sheikh, the grand mufti, said Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s accusations were “not surprising”.

“They are the sons of the Magi,” he said, referring to Zoroastrianism, a religion that once dominated Iran. Deep suspicions exist between predominantly Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and its mainly Shia Muslim neighbour.

Did somebody say Zoroastrianism?

The Shah tried to do for Iran what Ataturk had done for Turkey — de-Islamify the country — but in the end, both failed. Still, Persia could go a long way toward restoring its great and ancient civilization by casting off the spell of Islam and returning to its roots, this time in partnership with the West (like India) instead of its enemy. We should give freedom-loving Iranians all the help we can — but of course, president Obama simply won’t have it.