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Understanding Islam

Source: Art Sadlier, Tuesday March 1st 2011

The world of Islam is a divided world; the two main groups are Sunni and Shia.  Religion permeates every aspect of life in the Muslim world. To better understand the events which are now reshaping our world, we need a better understanding of Islam.

The division between Sunni and Shia began shortly after the Prophet Muhammad’s death. The division was over who should succeed the prophet.

The Shia's believe their imams have special qualities that have been granted not only to Muhammad but also to other imams. They believe that their imams are immaculate from sin and human error and can understand and interpret the hidden inner meaning and teachings of Islam.

Islam has an end time theology, they believe that a saviour (known as the Mahdi) will come to deliver Islam and set up a perfect and just Islamic society, a world-wide caliphate or Islamic kingdom. While the Sunni differ from the Shia on the nature of the Mahdi, they also expect his coming.

The Shia's believe that the Mahdi will come in a time of great cataclysmic war and rescue Islam. The former president of Iran, Ahmadinejad, was preparing for the coming of the Mahdi and was prepared to initiate a cataclysmic war to facilitate the return of the Mahdi. The great fear is that this Shia conviction removes all restraints to the use of nuclear weapons, which the Iranians are soon to possess.

The Sunni’s have, over the years, become complacent with regard to their Islamic practices. A movement from within the Sunni’s is striving to return them to their roots. This drive to return to fundamental Islam is called the Wahabi movement. Al Qaida are a part of the Wahabi movement and it drives them to war against Muslims who are complacent about Islam and the establishing of a world-wide Islamic caliphate. ISIS are an extension of that movement.

Although the Sunni's and Shia's agree on the core fundamentals of Islam there is strife between them. The clash between them across the Arab world is the greatest single cause of conflict around the globe. This Sunni-Shia conflict is taking place within countries and between countries. I believe an understanding of this conflict will shed light on the political and power alignments now being so drastically reshaped. I believe within this issue of the Sunni-Shia conflict we will find the explanation for the raging conflicts being waged within and without the Muslim world. This conflict has been on going for a thousand years

We need to look at the alignment of the Sunni's and the Shia's in Arab countries. The Shias make up approximately 10-15 % of the Muslim world. The Sunni represent about 85 %. It is the alignment of these two groups that is of great significance.

Iran is the main Shia stronghold with 89% Shia. The real Mideast problem is found in the attempt by Iran to extend its influence over other countries. Iraq is 63% Shia, but until the fall of Sadam Hussein it was dominated by a Sunni government. A Shia government is now in place and Iran is working to exploit this to bring Iraq into the Shia camp.

Lebanon, apart from the Orthodox Christians, is 38% Sunni and 23% Shia. Through the efforts of Hezbollah, which is Shia and also an Iranian proxy, Lebanon now has a Shia government.

Two years ago the king of Jordan warned that a “Shia crescent” was being established across the region. He was referring to Iran, Iraq and Syria (Which is Sunni but entering into an alliance with Iran) and also to Lebanon, although it is more Sunni than Shia, it now has a Shia dominated government.

Egypt is a Sunni country that has been controlled by a secular government and is now headed for a Muslim controlled government. I say this because when elections are held 95% of Egyptians are Muslim and a recent poll indicated that 95% of those surveyed said they want an Islamic government.

There is high probability that an Islamic Egyptian government will become a radical Fundamental Islamic State, similar to Iran. In a recent You Tube video two million Egyptians in Tahrir Square chanted, “To Jerusalem we are heading; martyrs in the millions.” These revolutions are not democratic but are Islamic in nature. In Tunisia demonstrators shouted, “Death to the Jews.”

Let me set the scene. The majority of Islam is Sunni, 85%, the Sunni’s, apart from the Wahabi movement, are, and have been more aligned with the western nations. I believe the Obama administration is of the opinion that the best way to neutralize Iran and the aggressive Shia move to dominate the Mideast is to work to strengthen the Sunni alliance. That explains why Obama wants a Sunni Muslim government in Egypt. It also explains why Obama is working so hard to draw Syria out of her alliance with Iran. Syria is 74% Sunni and Obama is betting that he can draw Syria back into the Sunni camp. The Sunni alliance that Obama is dreaming of is Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan, Turkey, the Palestinians, Egypt and the rest of the Gulf States; which are predominately Sunni. Hamas are also Sunni, though they are in alliance with Iran, the hope is that Hamas can yet be split from Iran because they are Sunnis.

In all of this Israel is, and will be at some future point, the bargaining chip for Obama to win over the Arabs who hate Israel with a demonic passion.

Behind all of this is another factor. Saudi Arabia is the recognized leader of the Muslim world. The Iranian revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Khomeini attacked Saudi Arabia by calling it “An unpopular and corrupt dictatorship and an American lackey ripe for revolution.” It seems that Iran aspires to become the superpower of the Mideast and that Saudi Arabia stands in its way.

It has been stated that one of the reasons that Iran wants a nuke is to intimidate the Saudi’s. In view of that, it is interesting that Saudi Arabia has acquired two nuclear weapons from Pakistan, another Sunni country. The potential exists for a war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. In the event of an Iranian victory or in the event of an uprising and the overthrow of the Saudi rulers, Iran would be the undisputed leader of the entire Islamic world.

Iran is also seeking to gain power by controlling the world’s oil supply. Iran is making inroads into a weak and divided Iraq. Iraq is 63% Shia and most of them are in the eastern part of Iraq where 80% of the oil is located. If Iran could take over this area (the intimidation of a nuclear weapon would make it possible) she could control the Strait of Tears, at the bottom of the Red Sea. Iran would then control both the Strait of Hormuz and the Strait of Tears which could effectively shut off the world’s oil supply from passing through the Suez Canal. There are not enough ships available to transport the world’s oil around the southern tip of Africa. Iran could totally control the world’s oil supply.

We know two things; first Israel is the focus of all of the nations of the world. The goal is to deliver her to her Arab enemies for destruction. The UN Security Council voted unanimously to remove Israel from Judea and Samaria. The US vetoed the motion, I believe they are just waiting for the right moment to play the Israeli card and hand Israel over to her antagonists.

We believe that the war of Psalm 83 will factor in this coming scenario.

We also know that there will be a peace treaty, which will be a false treaty and will only be a temporary respite for Israel.

We do not know the details as to how all of this will work out; we do know that the Lord has a plan to deal with the rebellious nations as the age comes to a climatic end.