There is no doubt that one of the most cunning and dangerous techniques employed by deep global forces in the scope of the project aimed at dividing the Islamic world into small, weak and ineffective subcomponents is "the incitement of sectarian differences.”
Bloody and provocative sectarian-based acts recently perpetrated in various Islamic countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Yemen, have once again shown that this cunning stratagem is always afoot.
Efforts are being made unceasingly to create a climate of artificial enmity and conflict between Shiite and Sunni Muslims through such acts of provocation and then to spread it throughout the entire Islamic world. Some examples of provocative sectarian actions that have occurred in recent months are as follows:
– Twenty-one people were martyred and dozens more injured in an attack on a Shia mosque in the Saudi Arabian city of Qatif last May. At least four Muslims were martyred in a suicide bombing of another Shia mosque a week later.
– The following month, sectarian provocation spread to Kuwait. A suicide bombing was perpetrated against the Shia al-Imam al-Sadiq Mosque while some 2,000 people were at prayer; 24 Muslims were martyred and at least eight more injured.
– A 14-year-old boy was martyred when a Shia mosque in the Bangladeshi city of Dhaka was bombed last October, and a further 80 people were injured.
– In that same month, three separate sectarian terror attacks took place in Pakistan in the space of a single week. Twenty-two people were martyred in a suicide attack on Shiite Muslims assembled for the Karbala ceremonies in Sindh’s Jacobabad district.
– In the same week, 10 Muslims were martyred in an attack on a Shia mosque in Balochistan and another 11 when a bomb exploded in a passenger bus in the capital of that province, Quetta.
These recent acts of provocation are just a few instances of sectarian violence and terror that has been going on in the Islamic world for more than a decade and is intended to set brother against brother. To turn to when these acts of provocation first began:
Some 2,000 Muslims have so far been martyred as a result of Shiite-Sunni violence and terror in the province of Balochistan on the Iranian border. The interesting thing is that although there were differences of opinion between Shiites and Sunnis, they lived as brothers with no notable acts of violence up until the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.
Similarly, bombings in Mosul, Baghdad and Basra in the wake of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 raised Sunni-Shiite tensions to the highest levels. Tens of thousands of Muslims, both Shiite and Sunni, were martyred.
The growing tensions between the Shiite Hizbullah and Sunni Hirari groups in Lebanon that began in the early 2000s reached a peak with the assassination of Prime Minister Rafic Hariri in 2005. In 2013, former minister of finance, Mohamad Chatah, was also assassinated. This was intended to set Hariri's supporters against Hizbullah once again.
It is also a known fact that the power struggle in Bahrain following the Arab Spring was between Shia and Sunni groups.
Sectarian differences, particularly between Shia and Sunni, in almost all countries in the Islamic world have been used to set Muslims against one another and to incite civil strife and disorder in Islamic nations; they are still being used to that end. Some politicians in Islamic countries, so-called religious preachers and media figures play a prominent role in such acts of provocation.
The latest instance in Yemen is significant in showing how the sectarian factor has now transformed from causing internal disorders within a country to setting Islamic countries fighting against one another.
In brief, there are two main aims behind these foul acts of provocation intended to sow the seeds of hatred between members of different Islamic sects:
First, to destabilize and weaken Islamic countries by inciting conflict and domestic turmoil and thus to prepare the way for them to fall apart and cease to exist.
Second, to incite enmity among Islamic countries by polarizing them on the basis of sectarian divisions and to divide Muslims into two opposite poles aiming to do away with the other, a Shia front led by Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, and a Sunni one including such countries as Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. The current conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Yemen are essentially prototypes for such a global conflict.
At this point, religious and political leaders of the Islamic world have important responsibilities in terms of unification, moderation and showing the way. We can cite the words of two major leaders as examples of this approach:
During a visit to Iran last April Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said:
"I don't make any discrimination, I don't say, ‘Shia people died, Sunni people died'. For me, there are only human beings - Muslims - dying there."[ii]
Iran’s religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued the following significant message in an address last May:
"Enemies of Islam are trying to create ethnic and religious discord between Muslims... To the enemy; there is no any difference between Shia and Sunni."[iii]
Muslims who believe in the same God, Book and Prophet, who pray in the same direction and in the same mosques, are all brothers, irrespective of their views, sectarian membership or ethnic group. God makes it a sin for them to be enemies. The reward for slaughtering one another in such enmity is everlasting hell, a terrible end.
The disasters currently afflicting Muslims stem from their being divided and fragmented, in blatant contravention of God’s commandment. The only salvation lies in their abandoning that sin and acting as a single body by binding themselves to one another with ties of love and brotherhood.
Adnan Oktar's piece in Jefferson Corner: