The PJ Tatler

Guess Who’s Responsible for the Sunni-Shiite Carnage in Iraq? (Hint: Starts with a 'J')

The jihadist butchers (see here, here, here) of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)—supported by a much broader Sunni insurgency (see here, here, and here) against the Shiite-dominated, U.S. mid-wived al-Maliki government—continue their Baghdad-bound carnage.

Predictably—confirming obvious trends I documented 8-years ago—Maliki’s longstanding patron (and puppet-master) Iran, has committed (and pledged even more) military assets against the Sunni assault. Eli Lake of the The Daily Beast reported today (6/17/2014):

The offer to help us with everything we need has been made from the highest levels of the Iranian government,” a senior Iraqi official told The Daily Beast.

Lake added,

This official stressed that Iran’s offer to assist Iraq’s fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (ISIS) [the Levant/ (ISIL)] was not conditional on Maliki making any immediate reforms or changes to his government.

An indelible, “unconditional” feature of the Iranian, and indeed the entire region’s “religiously” imbued Muslim mindset, which transcends the bitter, violent Shiite-Sunni divide, was simultaneously on display today: conspiratorial Islamic Jew-hatred. General Hassan Firouzabadi, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, insisted Tuesday (6/17/14, in Tehran) Israel—i.e., in regional parlance, Jews/“Zionists”—had created and supported ISIL, while further claiming,

The ISIL is Israel’s cover up for distancing the revolutionary forces from Israeli borders and creating a margin of security for the Zionists, and the Zionist media have also admitted this fact

One year ago, a Sunni cleric also blamed the Jews—from his own Jew-hating Islamic sectarian perspective—for the internecine Sunni-Shiite bloodshed taking place in Syria. The good cleric, preaching at the renowned Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, invoked conspiratorial Jew-hating themes from the Koran and traditions of Muhammad—i.e., Jews as prophet-killers (which includes being murderers of Muhammad himself), who allegedly violated their agreements with Muslims, driving Muslims astray (from Islam), and sowing “corruption” throughout the world—before inculpating them directly for the carnage in Syria.

Below are relevant extracts from his sermon, which aired on Syrian TV on June 28, 2013.

Let us take a look at the history of mankind, which has recorded the true nature of the Jews, the slayers of prophets and violators of agreements. It shows how they have tried, since pre-Islamic times, to fragment, divide, and rip apart the Arab and Islamic nation. In an effort to gain influence in the world and to realize their desires, the Jews have set two basic goals. Listen, oh Muslims, and beware of what is happening in Syria – in that land with steadfast people and leadership. They have two basic goals. The first is to divide the nations of the world, to pit them one against the other, and to spark war and civil strife among them. The second goal is to rip apart the nations of the world, destroying their notions, moral values, and codes, and making them stray from the path of Allah. That is what they did throughout the ages all over the world. Oh nation of Islam, the Jews have been tearing this nation apart for many years. […]What is happening today in this steadfast fortress [Syria], and in the Middle East in general, is nothing new. It was premeditated. We are a nation in slumber, a nation that does not study the books of history, and has not studied what its enemies are plotting and devising against it. They kindled the spark of civil strife in Palestine and in Afghanistan, and then in Iraq, then in Egypt, and after that, in Syria. […]

Sunnis and Shiites alike, come together, perversely, in blaming a Jew (see here, here) for either Sunni-Shiite sectarianism (the Sunni claim), or “heresies” within Shiism (the Shiite allegation).

Associated with “the birth pangs” of Islam is an unabashedly conspiratorial Jew-hating theme occurring after the events recorded in the traditions of Muhammad (hadith and sira), put forth in early Sunni Muslim historiography (for example, by Tabari): the story of Abdullah Ibn Saba, an alleged renegade Yemenite Jew, and founder of the heterodox Shiite sect. Sean Anthony’s extensive modern analysis of Abdullah Ibn Saba adds another pejorative characteristic conferred upon this ostensible Yemenite Jew in the Muslim literature: his mother was black. Anthony notes that a “favorite derisive handle for him,” was “son of the Black woman.”

According to Sunni dogma, Abdullah Ibn Saba is held responsible — identified as a Jew (and black) — for promoting the Shiite heresy and fomenting the rebellion and internal strife associated with this primary breach in Islam’s “political innocence,” culminating in the assassination of the third Rightly Guided Caliph Uthman, and the bitter, lasting legacy of Sunni-Shiite sectarian strife.

Here are key extracts from Tabari’s account:

Abd Allah b. Saba’ was a Yemenite Jew. . . . He later converted to Islam in the time of [Caliph] Uthman. Then he traveled through the lands of the Muslims trying to lead them into error. . . . [For example] in Egypt he promulgated to the people the [heterodox] doctrine of the Return [of Muhammad as Messiah]. So the Egyptians discussed this idea. Then, after that, he said that there were one thousand prophets, each of whom had an agent; and that Ali was Muhammad’s agent. Then he said, Muhammad was the Seal of the Prophets and Ali was the Seal of the Agents. Also, he asked: “Who is more evil than those who denied Muhammad’s designation of Ali as his agent-successor, pounced upon this successor- designate of Ali’s messenger and seized (illegitimately) the rulership of the Muslim community?” [In answer to this question as it were,] he told the Egyptians that Uthman had seized power illegitimately while Ali was, in fact, the agent-successor of Allah’s messenger. “Rebel against this illegitimate rule, provoke it, and challenge your rulers . . .” [said ‘Abd Allah b. Saba’].

Over a millennium later, the momentous international gathering of Muslim religious authorities, sponsored by Sunni Islam’s Vatican, Al-Azhar University, the Fourth Conference of the Academy of Islamic Research, September, 1968, included Al-Azhar Professor Muhammad El-Sayyed Husein Al-Dahabi’s paper, which declared,

Among the leading figures of heresy and sectarianism was Abdullah ibn Saba the Jew, who feigned to be a Muslim, disguising his unbelief, making a show of supporting the Prophet’s offspring (Alu-l-Bait), so as to deceive Muslims and to propagate among them his heretical and noxious views… [T]he earliest heresiarch, Abdullah ibn Saba, who was the foremost leader of sedition and heterodoxy. He, with his adherents,… feigned to be devout Muslim, and went to all lengths in their deceitfulness, by simulating to be the most fervent supporters of the offspring of the Prophet, so as to corrupt the beliefs of Muslims.

Circa 2008, a Hudson Institute Center for Religious Freedom review of Saudi Arabian textbooks, (“Update: Saudi Arabia’s Curriculum of Intolerance”), demonstrated that this traditionalist, mainstream example of Sunni Islam’s conspiratorial Jew-hatred was still being inculcated amongst Muslim youth:

The cause of the discord: The Jews conspired against Islam and its people. A sly, wicked person who sinfully and deceitfully professed Islam infiltrated (the Muslims). He was ‘Abd Allah b. Saba’ (from the Jews of Yemen) began spewing his malice and venom against the third of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, ‘Uthman (may God be pleased with him), and falsely accused him.” (Tawhid: Literature, Science, and Qur’an Memorization Section, Twelfth Grade. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Ministry of Education. Education Development, 1428-1429; 2007-2008, p. 78.)

But what is the Shiite position on Abdullah Ibn Saba? Is this literature “silent” on the subject, for example, conceding the discussion to Sunni polemicists? In fact authoritative Shiite authors claimed he was guilty of perverting and warping the message of Caliph Ali’s true (Shiite) followers. Mainstream Shiites thus designated Abdullah Ibn Saba an archetypal avatar of extreme, heretical beliefs, notably, the profession of Ali’s divinity. This profession was an egregious heresy for which Caliph Ali purportedly had Ibn Saba burned alive, as described in a Shiite hadith:

Muhammad b. Qūlawayh al-Qummī—Sa‘d b. ‘Abd Allāh b. Abī Khalaf al-Qummī—Muhammad b. ‘Uthmān al-‘Abdī—Yūnus b. ‘Abd al-Rahmān—‘Abd Allāh b. Sinān—his father (Sinān b. T{arīf)—Abū Ja‘far (Muhammad al-Bāqir) said: “‘Abd Allāh b. Saba’ made a claim to prophecy while asserting that the Commander of the Faithful (‘Alī) is God. This reached the Commander of the Faithful, and he called for him and questioned him. (Ibn Saba’) reaffirmed this and said, ‘Yes, you are he! It was cast into my heart that you indeed are God, and I am a prophet.’ The Commander of the Faithful said to him, ‘Woe to you, for Satan mocks you! Turn away from this, lest your mother be bereaved of you, and repent!’ (Ibn Saba’) refused. (‘Alī) imprisoned him and urged him to repent for three days, but he did not repent. Then ‘Alī burned him alive with fire and said, ‘Satan led him astray with false imaginings He would come to him and cast such things into his heart.’”

Caliph Ali is also claimed to have denounced Ibn Saba’s blackness, allegedly declaring,

What do I have to do with the vile, black man?

Both Iraq and Syria were ethnically-cleansed of their indigenous, pre-Islamic Jewish populations during earlier convulsions of jihadism and Islamic Jew-hatred, which punctuated the initial 25-years after the creation of Israel, and the liberation of a portion of the Jews’ ancient homeland from 13-centuries of Sharia-imposed dhimm­itude. Iran’s vestigial remnant population of dhimmi Jews—reduced in number by over 93% since the end of World War II—still suffers grinding persecution under the revitalized theocracy of Khomeini and his currently ruling heirs. Such brutal “recompense” notwithstanding, the warped, mea culpa-free, and eternally bigoted Middle East Muslim “ethos” still blames Jews for Islamdom’s own horrific present day internecine Sunni-Shiite carnage.

Given Islamdom’s ugly history, even if the devoutly cherished jihad genocide of Israel and its Jewish population transpired, Sunnis and Shiites would continue to slaughter each other with gusto. Hence, to help preclude not only Israel’s destruction, but larger, global cataclysmic outcomes for non-Muslims, I concur with Mike Konrad’s wise, cultural relativism-free prescription, “Let Them Kill Each Other”:

Iraq’s president, Maliki has asked for US assistance. Oh really? Iraq insisted on setting up its country with an Islamic constitution; against our advice, and now he wants American help.  For what?  So Iraq’s Shia can continue to run arms to Syria and Hezb’allah in Lebanon? If our State Department had men and women with intelligence instead of a love of the Qur’an, they would tell Maliki that our help would be predicated on four conditions: 1) Get rid of the Islamic constitution, and set up a secular state; 2) Recognize Israel; 3) Naturalize the Palestinians in your state; 4) Break off ties with Iran

[T]ell the Jordanians (and Saudis, too) [i]f they want our help:1) Saudis and Jordanians have to start naturalizing Palestinians; 2) Set up truly secular states; 3) protect their women;

Of course, they won’t agree.  So let them shoot it out. Heaven has offered the administration one last chance to redeem itself by doing nothing.  If it does intervene, it will be clearly seen as an attempt to prop up Islam, once again. Let the Shia and Sunni kill each other.  In the words of the late Mayor Ed Koch, “root for whoever is losing.”

Konrad’s conclusion at least may well be shared by the vast preponderance of Americans, 74% of whom now “oppose sending combat troops to Iraq.”