Shias: The Arab Spring's Latest Victims
by Raymond Ibrahim
June 25, 2013
The U.S.-sponsored "Arab Spring" continues to expose itself as a Sunni supremacist takeover. While the indicators are many—from the al-Qaeda Benghazi consulate attack to the ongoing persecution of Christian minorities—attacks on Shia Muslims are also on the rise.
In Syria, where foreign Sunni jihadis, supported and armed by the United States, are attacking all non-Muslims—Christians are prime and obvious targets, and reports of church attacks, abductions of Christians, and their slaughter are many—Shias, who are seen as "false Muslims," are naturally also under attack. For example, Salafi Sheikh Yasir al-'Ajlawni recently issued a fatwa saying that those Muslims fighting to topple secular president Bashar Assad and install Sharia law are free to "capture and have sex with" all non-Sunni women, specifically naming President Assad's sect, the Alawites, as well as the Druze and other Shia branches.
Days ago, popular news outlet, Syrian Truth, posted a photo of a toddler living in the Deir ez-Zor Governate in eastern Syria, along the Iraq border, who was reportedly tied with chains to a fence from where she witnessed the killing of her Shia mother and father at the hands of the Sunni jihadis making the ranks of the "Free Syrian Army." Syrian Truth correctly describes them as takfiris, that is, Muslims who, like al-Qaeda, accuse—and slaughter—other Muslims, in this case, Shias, for not being "true" Muslims.
And now in Egypt, where Shias make roughly one percent of the nation, a Sunni mob reportedly numbering in the thousands—also described by Arabic reports as takfiris—attacked the home of the spiritual father of Egypt's Shia, Sheikh Hassan Shehata, killing him and four of his followers, and wounding dozens of other Shias that had congregated at his home. The mob descended on his residence last Sunday, savagely beating him and his followers with sticks, before setting his house on fire.
Watch the graphic video (also embedded below) as the mob beats the men and drags Shehata's bloodied body all over the street. According to the general manager of Hawamdia Hospital in Giza, where the Shia leader was taken after his beating, "when Sheikh Hassan Shehata arrived to the hospital, he appeared to be slaughtered from his neck, in addition to several injuries around his body … the rest of the bodies had several injuries as well as skull fractures." Another report mentions "numerous puncture wounds and severe bruising."
Eyewitnesses told Ahram newspaper that police stood by and did nothing to stop the attack—just as they invariably do when Egypt's Christian Copts and their churches are attacked.
Much of these recent attacks on Shias come in response to Salafi clerics—Salafis are ultra "purest" Sunnis—whipping their followers into frenzies against the Shias, especially in the context of the Syrian war. Countless clerics are calling on Sunni Muslims to go to Syria to join the battle against President Assad, not to mention Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood president himself, Muhammad Morsi, who recently condemned Assad, cutting all ties with Syria.
Thus the "Arab Spring" is proving to be an Islamic takeover by the largest and strongest Islamic faction—Sunni supremacists—who are cleansing the lands of all "non-believers," from indigenous Christians like Egypt's Copts to all Shia branches. While apathetic Americans living a world away may think this has little to do with them, it is well to connect the dots and realize that all this is prelude to the resurrection of the caliphate—the chief goal of Sunni Islam, whether for the "moderate" Muslim Brotherhood or al-Qaeda. And the caliphate exists for one ultimate purpose: to expand, until, in the words of Koran 8:39, "all religion is for Allah," interpreted to mean, until Islamic Sharia law governs the entire world.
Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.
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