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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Keeping Score on Muslim Adversaries

Nadene Goldfoot
It's hard to keep up with what Muslim faction is either friendly or enemies with other Muslims.  One big player is the Muslim state of Iran who happens to follow the Shi'a -Jafari Muslim path. They happen to have the 6th largest Muslim population in the world with more than 98% of  their 76,923,300 people.

 Some people from Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria,  Azerbaijan Lebanon, Kuwait and Bahrain have players that are either Shi'a or Sunni.  The rest of the states follow the Sunni traditions. The state religion of Egypt's 90% of a population of 79,089,650, the 5th largest Muslim population in the world, are Sunni following the Shafi'i teachings.

President Morsi went to Iran in August of last year for a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement.  So it's news that Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad just came to Cairo, Egypt on a visit.  It's a first since the 1979 revolution,when Iran's secular Shah was replaced by the religious Ayatollah Khomeini.   Morsi and Ahmadinejad smiled, shook hands and kissed, probably because of Egypt electing a Muslim Brotherhood leader.   Ahmadinejad will meet today with the Grand Sheikh of the al-Azhar Mosque which is 1,000 years old,. one of the oldest seats of Islamic learning in the Sunni world.  Last month, Iran's foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi met the sheikh and stressed the importance of Muslim unity.

 Iran and Iraq had a war from September 22, 1980 to August 20, 1988 called the First Persian Gulf War,  so peace is not always the mode between Shi'a and Sunni Muslims.  They had some hot and heavy disputes over their borders. The attacker that time was Iraq.  Syria's ruler is not hesitant to kill its own people and neither has Iraq who gassed its Kurdish citizens on March 16, 1988 when they gassed and killed from 3,200 to 5,000 people and injured from 7,000 to 10,000.  They used bombs with chemicals.  .The idea of Iran being able to manufacture atomic weapons is making Saudi Arabia very nervous.  They are the 14th largest Sunni population with 27,601,038 people that follow Sunni's Hanbali teachings.  .  

For the past 30 years Israel and Egypt have been at peace which was started by Sadat.  Now, it looks like the only thing holding it together is the $1.3 billion in aid each year from the USA for the Egyptian military.  Morsi's government stands for wiping out Israel being that's the Muslim Brotherhood charter's goal.  They've established close ties with Hamas which is backed by Iran.  Hamas also shares that goal.  Egypt is lacking money, so that might be their first priority.

Ahmadinejad came to Cairo for Wednesday's Islamic summit.  Besides wanting to be the first astronaut in Iran, Ahmadinejad wants to visit the Gaza Strip to visit with the people on this trip.  Iran is backing Hamas financially and with weapons.   In November of last year Iran was preparing a shipment of missiles for Gaza at the same time a cease fire took place.  Sudan has been a transit site for Iranian arms to get to Gaza. They've been aiding and abetting terrorism.

One thing that bothers Egypt is Iran's support for President Bashar Assad of Syria.  An uprising that crushed the former President Mubarak and put Morsi into power is being crushed by Assad to the tune of killing 60,000 revolutionaries..  Though Egypt's revolt caused Morsi to be elected, the people are now having a change of heart and have been rebelling against him after just realizing what Sharia law is all about.  Christians are under attack.

Morsi's Egypt also maintains good relations with Gulf Arab states that supplement Cairo's finances and they are not that friendly with Iran.  Morsi also wants to remain friends with the USA in order to continue receiving their financial aid.

Hamas and Egypt have established close ties with each other that makes Iran happy but not the West as Hamas had been shooting rockets, mortars and missiles at southern Israel since 2006 and only recently stopped when Israel finally retaliated but good.  It would be a bad move if Egypt restores full relations with Iran now, the state that calls Israelis descendants of monkeys and pigs.  You can laugh off children's name calling of each other, but when a Muslim adult does it, you take their threats quite seriously.

Shi'a and Sunni are followers of different leaders.  Muhammad had a daughter, Fatima, but no son to take his place when he died, so the Shi'a are followers of his son-in-law who also happened to be his nephew.  Sunnis are followers of  Muhammad's good friend, Abu Bakr. "The fundamentals of the Islamic faith are agreed upon by all Muslims. These fundamentals include the belief in the oneness of God, the role of the Prophet Muhammad as his final messenger, prayer, the requirement to perform Hajj once in one's lifetime, and the requirement to give to charity."

Resource: Iran's Ahmadinejad lands in Egypt on historic visit by  Reuters Satellites show Iran moving quickly to rearm Hamas

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