Shi’ite and Sunni

Given an ominous escalation in this divide as Saudi Arabia outrageously executed 47 men including a notable Shiite cleric.  This is a good time for us Americans to re-re-re-educate ourselves about who the people in this region are.

This divide seems to me to be an important frame to wrap one’s head around.  Arguably it is even more important than the Muslim/Christian or even Muslim/Jewish divides that are so obvious to us as outsiders.

Here is the article for those who would like a very short and sweet summary.

How Do Sunni and Shia Islam Differ?

Here is the news of the current status of the escalation between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Saudi Arabia Cuts Ties With Iran Amid Fallout From Cleric’s Execution

Here is another article which I found interesting while trying to understand this sentence in the second article above.  “Further straining tensions are Saudi concerns that the Iranian nuclear agreement could increase Tehran’s ability to spread its influence.”

How a US-Iran nuclear deal might transform the balance of power in the Middle East

Consider this another small “information inoculation” as the hawks on the right invariably will continue their rush to politicize this already extremely dangerous situation.  Without an international crises, the GOP can’t win the presidency in 2016.  With a crisis they will say is the result of soft (and imho, smart) diplomacy by the Obama administration that does not necessarily subjugate itself to Israeli foreign policy, well, then, the GOP and the media might have a race.

If there is any question KINS’s Bill Bennett on his radio show this morning said this:  “The other story, the big headline, is this Iran-Saudi Arabia thing which I’m desperately trying to interest people in”. (Intro to 3rd hour)

Yes, the right will be desperate to interest Americans in further escalating violence in the Middle East. I think it’s time we realize we have done enough to maximize the violence “over there” and we understand who those people on the receiving end of our military stockpile really are.


Other links related to Islam in our media:

“Protesters gathered in Tehran on Sunday to denounce Saudi Arabia’s execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, an outspoken Shiite cleric”  From Reuters via the NYT.


2015 in Islamophia from Media Matters.


Media Matters:  Conservative Media’s Demand That Muslims Atone For Terrorism Is A Rigged Game

“Eleven months earlier, in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, religious scholar Reza Aslan said “anyone who keeps saying that we need to hear the moderate voice of Islam, why aren’t Muslims denouncing these violent attacks, doesn’t own Google.”

–   Reza Aslan



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