We need to talk about the sectarian rift

Stop simply calling them bombings of Beirut and Baghdad. Be a bit more specific. Call them for what they are. Call them concerted sectarian killings of Shias. At a time when Shias are being persecuted as vehemently as Jews were in another, it becomes our duty to acknowledge the fact, to throw a semblance of a spotlight upon it. It’s the least we can do.

Those Muslim clerics calling for peace would do more good and be more useful if they were to just declare and accept Shias as Muslims. This Saudi-Iran Sunni-Shia conflict is even more embedded than the Israel-Palestine conflict, how else would you explain Saudi and Israel ganging up on Iran?

The Sunni-Shia conflict, like any battle between ideologies, is a major detriment to world peace. Would the situation in Syria have deteriorated as much had Iran and Saudi not had their own agendas? Assad and his Russian backers were willing to strike a deal early on but the Americans and Saudis were unwilling to strike up any deal with Assad, simply because he was an Alawite and close to Iran and Russia. These crusaders for freedom and democracy didn’t give a damn about the Syrian people, they just wanted the “Shia axis” broken. So, from that moment on the West and the Gulf monarchies with a little bit of help from Turkey got busy funneling weapons and resources to whoever willing to fight Assad. Many of these weapons unsurprisingly ended up in the hands of ISIS because that’s what happens when you arm militias. Now, France too was part of the Western coalition that backed Assad’s opponents, and thereby to a certain degree responsible for the clusterfuck in Syria. And when the refugees borne out of this ill-advised interruption and escalation turned up at the European borders, those in the know termed it a case of the chicken coming home to roost. The refugees were what the Europeans reaped for the crisis they deepened. Maybe if America was reachable by boats, the Yankees would be a little less arrogant about stirring up shit?

What happened in Paris has nothing to do with refugees of course. They are both victims. Anyone saying otherwise has a political party that wins votes when people feel xenophobic. What happened in Paris is what’s been happening to Shias at the hands of intolerant Wahhabism. Wahhabism holds that anyone not a Wahhabi is an infidel and deserves to die. The Saudis love to spread this message and fund madrassas around the world for this purpose. Teaching hatred it seems is a basic tenet of Wahhabism. I am not saying that all madrassas are bad, I am just saying that every madrassa connected with Wahhabism is bad.

In a world straining under the violence caused by extremist Sunni groups, it is the Shias who act like canaries in a coal mine. A world where Shias are safe is a world where all of us are safe.

Going back to Paris, it’s natural that some of us feel a tighter bond with Paris than with Beirut or Baghdad or any other city, for that matter. Paris after all is a modern day civilizational beacon. A city so iconic, not even the Nazis could bring themselves to bomb it. They had no trouble bombing London.

People who look at Paris just as a western city where white people reside are betraying their cultural ignorance. They don’t know what it is to be human. Paris is the best of us. Paris should always be the last city standing. Protect Paris. Be outraged for Paris. Hurl yourself in harm’s way for Paris!

This has been a fifth grade production.


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