AFP -- Iraqi security forces on Thursday arrested a Shi'a
cleric who heads a pro-Iranian group which he claimed was responsible for firing mortar rounds into Saudi Arabia in November, police said.
Sunni Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter and a close ally of Kuwait, has an uneasy relationship with the Shi'a
Muslim-led Iraqi government, which it regards as a pawn of its main regional rival Iran.
The report added that the military units which consist of Shi'as
and Kurds are now controlling the territory that used to be ruled by IS, which can lead to a sectarian strife and the possibility of displacing thousands of Sunni residents.
Quietly dispelling rumors of a Sunni-Shi'a
schism, he was able to establish links between Sunni and Shi'a
extremists, providing them with the unifying goal of attacking the West.
Following the execution of a Saudi Shi'a
cleric, Sheikh Al-Nimr, by the government in Riyadh on January 2, angry mobs in Iran attacked the Saudi embassy and consulate, damaging the diplomatic compound.
Sunni Islam is the largest denomination of Islam, constituting nearly 90% of the world's Muslims, while the Shi'a
constitute only approximately 10-13% of the world's Muslims.
First, it provides an excellent, clear explanation of the theological and historical divide between Sunni and Shi'a
This is not a war between Sunnis and Shi'as
," he said.
The FST reminded Nasrullah that its soldiers are killing the very people who offered them refuge in 2006 and that Shi'a
ought not fight and die for Iran.
That ideology is firmly rooted in both historical Shi'a
Islam and the deep personal antagonism of the late Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini towards Jews, non-Muslims, and all things secular and Western.
Kathleen Ridolfo, "Iraq: Sunnis Say Iran Working to Solidify Economic Control," Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, March 5, 2008; "Iran-Iraq Trade Set to Increase," Press TV, August 12, 2008; and Michael Evans, "Iranian Builders Win Contracts in City That Shi'as
Help to Wreck," Times (London), February 20, 2009, www.
Since then, the Egyptian press has gone into a whirlwind of frenzy, labeling Shi'as
and also -- it must be strongly underlined -- members of the popular Sunni socio-political movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, as "traitors", "agents of Iran", and an "inseparable part of the 'Evil Crescent".
Sunni Muslims claimed general discrimination, alleging revenge by the Shi'a
majority for the Sunnis' presumed favored status and abuses of Shi'as
under the former regime, but also because of the public's perception that the insurgency was composed primarily of Sunni extremists and former regime elements with whom the majority of the Sunni population supposedly sympathized.
Rather for Shiism the opinions of a few high-level divines carry equal weight, even when they disagree, and individual Shi'as
can chose among those opinions.
AlHarbi proceeds to describe Iranian proselytizing efforts among Yemeni tribes along the Saudi border because the Saudi state "is considered by Iran to be its first and greatest enemy to itself and to Shi'as