The PJ Tatler

Sunni and Shiite Clerics Meet to Discuss Ways to Combat Extremists…in Iran

How about taking a look at your hosts…

QOM, Iran (AP) — Shiite and Sunni clerics from about 80 countries gathered in Iran’s holy city of Qom on Sunday to develop a strategy to combat extremists, including the Islamic State group that has captured large parts of Iraq and Syria.

Shiite-majority Iran has been helping Iraqi, Syrian and Kurdish forces battle the Sunni extremist group on the ground while the U.S.-led coalition has been bombing it from the air. The Islamic State group views Shiites as apostates deserving of death and has massacred hundreds of captured Syrian and Iraqi soldiers, as well as Sunni rivals.

Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi, the chief organizer of the conference, appealed for consensus among Islam’s two main branches, urging all Muslim clerics to work to discredit groups espousing extremism.

Such as, the regime that routinely calls the United States the “Great Satan,” Israel the “Little Satan,” and calls for the latter to be wiped off the face of the earth? No?

Some of the clerics there said helpful things about taking ISIS down. Others…not so much.

Others repeated widely-circulated conspiracy theories holding that the United States and Israel created the Islamic State group to sow discord in the Muslim world.

“IS is a pawn whose job is to deepen divisions among Muslims,” said Mahdi Alizadeh Mousavi, a lower-level Iranian Shiite cleric.

Yahoo news helpfully notes that Iran isn’t really the model state for combating terrorism.

Iran is a strong backer of the Lebanese Hezbollah — viewed as a terrorist group in the West — and supports Iraqi Shiite militias that rights groups say have abducted and killed scores of Sunni civilians in reprisal attacks.

Iran also kept the Iraqi insurgency going for years. So there’s that.