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Chaos in Iraq, Syria setting stage for the Twelfth Imam, says Ayatollah, but more must be done. Iranian leader reveals thoughts on Shia eschatology.


June 16, 2014

Wars in Syria and Iraq mean the Twelfth Imam is coming soon, says Ayatollah Khamenei.

Wars in Syria and Iraq mean the Twelfth Imam is coming soon, says Ayatollah Khamenei.

(Washington, D.C.) — What are the End Times implications of the enormous upheavals we’re seeing in Iraq and Syria?

In the days ahead, I’ll post some observations from a Biblical perspective.

But first you should know that the highest ranking Shia Muslim leader in the world believes events in the epicenter are preparing the way for the soon arrival of the so-called Islamic messiah, but that more preparations are needed.

As I wrote about in my novel, The Twelfth Imam, Shia leaders — and especially the leaders of Iran — are trying to actively accelerate his arrival by gaining control of Iraq and Syria and preparing for the annihilation of Israel and the United States.

This week, the Ayatollah Khamenei revealed his latest thinking on the subject.

“Iran’s supreme leader is promising a world free of infidels and nonbelievers with the coming of the Islamic messiah, Mahdi, a 9th-century descendant of the prophet Mohammad whom the Shiites refer to as the 12th Imam,” writes Reza Khalili, the former Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps operative who became a double-agent against Iran for the CIA.

“The coming of Imam Zaman (Mahdi) is the definite promise by Allah,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a speech Wednesday on the anniversary of Mahdi’s birthday at an exhibition of research and historical documents on the 12th Imam.

“Khamenei said one of Allah’s promises was that an Islamic revolution would come to Iran,” notes Khalili.

“Who would have thought that in this sensitive region and in this important country, with a regime (run by Shah Pahlavi) and supported by the international powers, a revolution based on religion and Sharia (law) would take place?” Khamenei asked.

Excerpts from the article:

  • The Shiite clerical establishment ruling Iran believes that Iran’s 1979 revolution was a precursor to the coming of Mahdi, during which all infidels will be killed and the flag of Islam will be raised in all four corners of the world.
  • “The caravan of humanity from the day of creation has been moving through the windings of the hard maze (of life) … to reach an open path, (and) this open path is that of the time of the coming of Imam Mahdi,” he said. “The awaiting for the coming is a hopeful and powerful wait, providing the biggest opening for the Islamic society.”
  • The supreme leader’s representative in the Revolutionary Guards, Ali Saeedi, in a meeting with Guard commanders on Friday, said the coming of Imam Mahdi cannot take place under the current circumstances, and in order for that to happen the Middle East needs to witness major changes. To create those changes, there is a need for “regional preparedness” and that the Islamic revolution in Iran “without a doubt will be connected to the worldwide revolution of Imam Mahdi.”
  • The secret documentary “The Coming Is Upon Us,” produced by the regime for the preparedness of its forces, Hezbollah and other Shiite jihadists and revealed in 2011, covers the centuries-old hadiths by Mohammad and his descendants in providing a timeline of events and what needs to happen for the coming of Mahdi.
  • Iran’s clerical rulers believe the figure “Seyed Khorasani,” who at the end of times facilitates the coming and passes the flag of Islam to Imam Mahdi, is the current supreme leader of the regime, Ayatollah Khamenei.
  • In the documentary, close associates of Khamenei reveal that he personally has acknowledged his role as the facilitator of the coming. Khamenei has also stated openly, “I can tell you with utmost confidence: The promise of Allah for The Coming and the establishment of a new Islamic civilization is on its way.”
  • The Obama administration is currently engaged in intensive negotiations over the regime’s illicit nuclear and missile programs. Iran insists on its right to enrichment and the expansion of nuclear research and development, but international analysts believe the goal is to acquire nuclear weapons to use against Israel and the United States.
  • The supreme leader, in another recent statement covered by The Daily Caller, bluntly said that jihad will continue until America is destroyed.
  • “This battle will only end when the society can get rid of the oppressors’ front, with America at the head of it, which has expanded its claws on human mind, body and thought. … This requires a difficult and lengthy struggle and need for great strides,” he said.

—————–

Posted on 16 Jun 14 by Joel C Rosenberg’s Blog

—————–

[Editor’s Note: This does not necessarily entail the beliefs, thoughts, or theories of the local Act chapters or the National Act office…they are my beliefs, thoughts and/or theories. Here is a Biblical insight…the Lord has started His four lunar eclipses and one solar eclipse sequence…in Rabbinical teachings, lunar eclipses are bad things that happen to Israel, doesn’t mean they were bad, just bad things happen to them…solar eclipses are bad things that happen to non-Israelite people…doesn’t mean the whole world, but could entail the whole world, or partial world countries, or individual countries. With the Psalm 83 prophecy coming up (I feel it will happen within the next year to year and a half), and with Barack Hussein Obama doing what he can to spread the Islamic faith against all non-Muslims (per his Muslim Brotherhood handlers/co-members by destroying the Constitution, aiding and abetting terrorist groups {all associated with the Muslim Brotherhood}, making America a defenseless country, allowing Iran to proceed with their nuclear bomb manufacturing, etc., Iran, while staying in international waters, float their warships close to American soil, Iran and other Muslim countries vow to annihilate American [the “great satan”] and Israel [the “little satan”]). After this Psalms 83 war, with Saudi losing the North West part of their country, Egypt losing, Palestine losing, Syria losing, Jordan losing (all will lose part to all their land), this will go with the first set of blood moons (lunar eclipses), the second set of blood moons, and another bad omen for non-Israelite countries, there will be another total solar eclipse in Mar 2016, will bring about the Ezekiel 38 war…known as the Gog and Magog war. In this war, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Germany , Libya, Ethiopia, all led by Russia, will attack Israel. They will also suffer the same results as the attackers in the Psalms 83 war.]

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Pope Francis’s unfriendly visit


Pope Francis’s unfriendly visit

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

pope security barrier

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman were right when they blamed the noxious anti-Israel incitement rampant in Europe for Saturday’s murderous shooting attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels and the assault and battery of two Jewish brothers outside their synagogue in a Paris suburb later that day.

Anti-Israel incitement is ubiquitous in Europe and is appearing in ever-widening circles of the Western world as a whole.

Until this week, the Catholic Church stayed out of the campaign to dehumanize Jews and malign the Jewish state.

Pope Benedict XVI was perceived as a friend of Israel, despite his childhood membership in the Hitler Youth. His opposition to Islam’s rejection of reason, eloquently expressed at his speech at the University of Regensburg in 2006, positioned him as a religious champion of reason, individual responsibility and law – Judaism’s primary contributions to humanity.

His predecessor Pope John Paul II was less willing to confront Islamic violence. But his opposition to Communism made him respect Israel as freedom’s outpost in the Middle East. John Paul’s visit to Israel in 2000 was in some ways an historic gesture of friendship to the Jewish people of Israel.

Both Benedict and John Paul II were outspoken champions of the Second Vatican Council and maintained doctrinal allegiance to the Church’s rejection of anti-Judaism, including the charge of deicide, and its denunciation of replacement theology.

Alas, the Golden Age of Catholic-Jewish relations seems to have come to an end during Francis’s visit to the Promised Land this week.

In one of his blander pronouncements during the papal visit, Netanyahu mentioned on Monday that Jesus spoke Hebrew. There was nothing incorrect about Netanyahu’s statement. Jesus was after all, an Israeli Jew.

But Francis couldn’t take the truth. So he indelicately interrupted his host, interjecting, “Aramaic.”

Netanyahu was probably flustered. True, at the time, educated Jews spoke and wrote in Aramaic. And Jesus was educated. But the language of the people was Hebrew. And Jesus preached to the people, in Hebrew.

Netanyahu responded, “He spoke Aramaic, but he knew Hebrew.”

Reuters’ write-up of the incident tried to explain away the pope’s rudeness and historical revisionism, asserting, “Modern-day discourse about Jesus is complicated and often political.” The report went on to delicately mention, “Palestinians sometimes describe Jesus as a Palestinian. Israelis object to that.”

Israelis “object to that” because it is a lie.

The Palestinians – and their Islamic and Western supporters – de-Judaize Jesus and proclaim him Palestinian in order to libel the Jews and criminalize the Jewish state. It seems like it would be the job of the Bishop of Rome to set the record straight. But instead, Francis’s discourtesy indicated that at a minimum, he doesn’t think the fact of Jesus’s Judaism should be mentioned in polite company.

Francis’s behavior during his public meeting with Netanyahu could have been brushed off as much ado about nothing if it hadn’t occurred the day after his symbolic embrace of some of the worst anti-Jewish calumnies of our times, and his seeming adoption of replacement theology during his homily in Bethlehem.

Consider first Francis’s behavior at the security barrier.

Reasonable people disagree about the contribution the security fence makes to the security of Israelis. But no one can reasonably doubt that it was built to protect Israelis from Palestinian terrorist murderers. And Francis ought to know this. Francis’s decision to hold a photo-op at the security barrier was an act of extreme hostility against Israel and the Jewish people.

As the former Cardinal of Buenos Aires, Francis may have heard of the November 2002 massacre at Kibbutz Metzer. Metzer was founded by Argentine communists in the 1950s. Metzer is located 500 meters from the 1949 armistice lines which made it an obvious beneficiary of the security fence. But true to its radical roots, in 2002 members of the kibbutz waged a public campaign against the planned route of the security fence. They feared that it would, in the words of Metzer member Danny Dovrat, “ignite hostility and create problems” with the kibbutz’s Palestinian neighbors.

Thanks to that concern, on the night of November 10, 2002, a gunman from the “moderate” US- and EU-supported Fatah terror organization faced no physical obstacle when he entered the kibbutz. Once there he killed two people on the street and then entered the home of Revital Ohayon and executed Revital and her two sons, Matan, 5, and Noam, 4 years old.

Fatah praised the attack on its website and pledged to conduct more assaults on “Zionist colonizers,” and promised to continue “targeting their children as well.”

Had he actually cared about the cause of peace and non-violence he claims to champion, Francis might have averred from stopping at the barrier, recognizing that doing so would defile the memory of the Ohayons and of hundreds of other Israeli Jewish families who were destroyed by Palestinian bloodlust and anti-Semitic depravity.

Instead, Francis “spontaneously” got out of his popemobile, walked over to a section of the barrier, and reverentially touched it and kissed it as if it were the Wailing Wall.

The graffiti on the section of the barrier Francis stopped at reinforced his anti-Semitic position. One of the slogans called for the embrace of the BDS campaign.

Although the economic consequences of the campaign of economic warfare against Israel in the West have been negligible, BDS’s goal is not economic. The goal of the movement is to dehumanize Israelis and set apart for social ostracism anyone who refuses to embrace the anti-Jewish slanders that Jews have no right to self-determination and are morally inferior to every other religious, ethnic and national group in the world.

And that is nothing compared to the other slogan on the barrier. That one equated the Palestinians in Bethlehem to the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. In other words, it denied the Holocaust.

By standing there, kissing the barrier with its Holocaust denying slogan, Francis gave Vatican license to Holocaust denial.

And that was just the beginning.

Pope Francis met with Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas at his presidential palace in Bethlehem. When Israel transferred control over Jesus’s birthplace to Abbas’s predecessor Yasser Arafat in 1996, Arafat seized the Greek Orthodox monastery next to the Church of the Nativity and turned it into his – and later Abbas’s – official residence.

Standing next to Abbas on seized church property, the pope called Abbas “a man of peace.”

Abbas returned the favor by calling for Israel to release all Palestinian terrorists from Israeli prisons. And the pope – who interrupted Netanyahu when he told an historic truth – said nothing.

At mass at the Church of the Nativity on Sunday, Pope Francis prayed with Latin Patriarch Fuoad Twal. In his sermon Twal accused Israelis of being the present-day version of Christ killers by referring to the Palestinians as walking “in the footsteps of the Divine Child,” and likening the Israelis to King Herod.

In his words, “We are not yet done with the present-day Herods, who fear peace more than war… and who are prepared to continue killing.”

Rather than condemn these remarks, Francis echoed them.

“Who are we, as we stand before the Child Jesus? Who are we, standing as we before today’s children?” the pope asked.

“Are we like Mary and Joseph, who welcomed Jesus and cared for him with the love of a father and mother? Or are we like Herod, who wanted to eliminate him?”

During his visit Monday to Jerusalem, Francis embraced the Palestinian mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhammed Hussein. Departing from his scripted remarks which called for the pope to refer to the mufti and his associates as “dear friends,” Francis called them his “dear brothers.”

Hussein has been condemned by the US and the EU for his calls for the annihilation of Jews in the name of Islam.

In 2012, Hussein said it was the destiny of Muslims to kill Jews, who he claims are subhuman beasts and “the enemies of Allah.” He has also praised suicide bombers and said their souls “tell us to follow in their path.”

Francis didn’t condemn him.

Francis stridently condemned the anti-Jewish attacks in Brussels and Paris. And during his ceremonial visits to Yad Vashem, the Wailing Wall and the terror victims memorial he said similarly appropriate things. But all of his statements ring hollow and false in light of his actions.

Israelis and Jews around the world need to be aware of what is happening. Francis is leading the Catholic Church in a distressingly anti-Jewish direction.

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post. 

Posted on 28 May 14 by Caroline Glick

[Editor’s Note: This does not necessarily entail the beliefs, thoughts, or theories of the local Act chapters or the National Act office…they are my beliefs, thoughts and/or theories. This goes back to two prophecies…

1 Revelation 13:1-18 tells us about a false prophet that is the “spiritual” leader of the anti-Christ.

2. The “Pope Prophecies” of Saint Malachi of 1139 stated that the 112th Pope after St Malachi wrote the prophecy would be the false prophet…and that 112th Pope is….Pope Francis…who is working on merging Islam with Catholicism…

And the global religion in the tribulation time will be Chrislam and the anti-Christ himself will be Muslim, Shi’a Muslim based on the context and symbolism in the true scriptures. Although Barack Hussein Obama is a Shi’ite Muslim, he is not the anti-Christ…he is a forerunner to him, but not the one. Even though Christian Pastors believe the Pope will be the anti-Christ, and most Pastors do not believe satan can “know the future”, they are wrong…satan does know at least part of the future…and in this case…satan predicts the mahdi (Muslim savior) will come from Iraq, so I look at the anti-Christ coming from Iraq as well…reason is because the mahdi and the anti-Christ are the same person when you read what the mahdi, as well as what the anti-Christ will do…they will do the exact same thing…so based on that, the Bible doesn’t tell us the anti-Christ will come form Babylon (historically Iraq), but the mahdi, satan’s son, will come from Iraq, so that is my belief.]

Sunnis and Shi’a: Fitna From the Start, by Clare M. Lopez


“Whether involving modern nation states or the enduring influence of ancient tribes, the continuing conflict between 21st century Shi’a and Sunni Muslims is, at its roots, about ambition, domination, and greed for political power.
With nuclear weapons, oil, and terrorism in the mix, the eschatological elements of Islam’s 7th century feud are magnified with strategic-level ramifications that could affect international security and stability on a global scale.”

Sunnis and Shi’a: Fitna From the Start

by Clare M. Lopez
inFocus Quarterly
Summer 2012

http://lopez.pundicity.com/12081/sunnis-shia-fitna

Even with the intense international focus on Iran, its nuclear weapons program, support for jihad and Sharia, and horrific human rights abuses, there is relatively little attention paid to the ideology that infuses the mullahs’ regime with such hostility. That ideology is firmly rooted in both historical Shi’a Islam and the deep personal antagonism of the late Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini towards Jews, non-Muslims, and all things secular and Western.

Ayatollah Khomeini’s seminal doctrine on Islamic governance, velayat-e faqih, described his vision of a just society ruled by a Shi’a jurist in strict adherence to Islamic law, or Sharia. The model for such a ‘perfect’ society exists forever in the minds of both Shi’a and Sunni Muslims as the idealized community of Islam’s early years, when the Muslim prophet Muhammad and his immediate successors ruled as the political and theocratic supreme authority. As Supreme Leader of Iran, Khomeini cast himself in the role of modern-day successor to the Twelve Imams whom the Shi’a believe inherited the mantle of leadership directly from Muhammad, solidifying the Supreme Leader of Iran’s role as ruler of today’s world Shi’ite community, and the Islamic Republic’s position as the modern Shi’ite state.

Origins of the Divide

Shi’ite Muslim belief in the specific identity of the Mahdi as the Twelfth Imam provides a good marker for the dividing line that separates Islam’s two major sects: the Shi’a and the Sunni. That division is the oldest and deepest split in the history of Islam and dates to the reported disagreement over who would succeed Muhammad upon his death in 632 CE. According to Islamic tradition, when Muhammad departed the scene, he left behind a community of believers poised to complete the military conquest of the Arabian Peninsula and spread the new creed by rape, pillage, and slaughter across large swathes of the known world. What Muhammad apparently did not leave behind was a son. Islamic scholars point to the Quran for the explanation of why there could not be a direct male heir: “Muhammad is not the father of any male among you, but he is the messenger of God and the seal of the prophets; and God is aware of all things” (33:40).

While apparently solving one problem, though, the Islamic decision to depict Muhammad as without a son led directly to intractable internecine warfare over who then should be named his successor. In the decades following Muhammad’s death, those closest to him disagreed violently over this question. The family of his daughter Fatima (who married Muhammad’s cousin, Ali, and produced two sons, Hassan and Hussein) asserted a spiritual right of the bloodline, calling themselves the ahl al-bayt (or people of the house—of Muhammad). But others among the close Companions argued for Abu Bakr, who was chosen instead as Caliph by the majority who saw succession as a political issue. Those who supported Abu Bakr came to be known as “Sunni,” meaning “those who follow the Sunnah” (what Muhammad was recorded as having done or said during his life). Those who supported Ali came to be known as “Shi’a,” which is a contraction of the phrase “Shiat Ali,” meaning partisans of Ali. By the 21st century, Sunnis comprised some 85 percent of the world’s 1.57 billion or so Muslims, while Shi’ites largely made up the remaining 15 percent.

Ali was passed over two more times, as the position of Caliph went from Abu Bakr (632-634), to Umar (634-644), and then Uthman (644-656). Finally, when Caliph Uthman was murdered in 656, Ali became the fourth of what Sunni and Shi’a alike call “The Four Rightly Guided Caliphs.” Aisha, Muhammad’s widow, opposed Ali’s appointment as Caliph and accused him of complicity in Uthman’s killing; she even raised an army against Ali, but was defeated at the Battle of Basra in 656, after which she apologized to Ali and withdrew from public life. This didn’t end the strife, however, as Caliph Uthman’s cousin and governor of Damascus, Mu’awiya, refused to recognize Ali as Caliph until Uthman’s killers had been brought to justice. Ali ultimately sought a compromise with Mu’awiya, which so outraged some of his own supporters that one of them assassinated him in 661. Mu’awiya became Caliph and Ali’s older son, Hassan, died within a year (perhaps by poisoning). When Mu’awiya himself died in 680, his son Yazid seized control of the Caliphate and Ali’s younger son, Hussein, led an army against him. Hopelessly outnumbered, however, Hussein was defeated and killed at the Battle of Karbala (in today’s Iraq) in 680. Hussein’s infant son, Ali, survived, however, to continue the bloodline of the ahl al-bayt.

Defining Moments

These momentous events at the very origins of Islam set the Sunni/Shi’a split for the next 13 centuries and also the pattern for what would become an endless series of battles within Islam, mostly over power and succession, but also involving theological differences. Hussein’s last stand at Karbala against the Caliph Yazid immortalized the Shi’a worldview as an oppressed but valiant minority who courageously would choose “martyrdom” over submission to tyranny.

Another seminal event that helped define Shi’ite identity as distinct both politically and theologically was the apparent end of the line of Muhammad in the 9th century. Following the death of Ali and his sons, the Shi’ite succession followed from father to son through a series of 11 Imams, believed to be divinely appointed and infallible; however, when the last Shi’ite Imam, Muhammad al-Muntazar al-Mahdi, disappeared as a young boy, the Shi’as insisted that he had gone into hiding (or “occultation”) and would return. When he failed to reappear after several centuries, the Shi’a ulema (senior scholars) decided that leadership of their community would rest in the hands of pious representatives of the Twelfth Imam until he came back. These so-called “Twelvers” form the largest sect within Shi’a Islam, although some revere others among the first Twelve Imams.

In addition, the Shi’ite conquest of 16th century Persia was important, as it set the conditions for the second forcible conversion of the Persian people, this time to Shi’a Islam. Persians, whose ancient monotheistic faith, Zoroastrianism, strongly influenced both Christianity and Islam, were first overrun in the early years of Islam’s expansion. This second conquest explains why about 90 percent of the 98 percent of Iranians who are (at least nominally) Muslim are also Shi’ite. Since the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini and his successor as Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, have revived the Shi’ite belief that the disappeared Twelfth Imam is, in fact, identifiable with the Islamic figure of the Mahdi, whose messianic return will usher in the Day of Judgment and the End Times.

From 7th-Century Shi’ite Eschatology to 21st-Century State Power

Indeed what makes the animating ideology of Khomeini’s successors so dangerous to global stability is not just that Tehran is on the verge of deploying nuclear weapons or that it has collaborated with the most violent Islamic terrorists in some of the most heinous jihadist attacks, but that they believe deeply in their own chosen roles as representatives of God on Earth who are destined to pave the way for the return of the Mahdi. According to Reza Kahlili, a former member of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) who spied for the CIA, the current rulers of Iran—Khamenei and his top IRGC and military commanders—believe that ancient ahadith (sayings of Muhammad and his followers) predict the events that will usher in the End Times and Day of Judgment and point to key signs that the reappearance of the Twelfth Imam is near. The return of the Mahdi will be expedited by the instigation of chaos, strife, and warfare on earth, including the annihilation of the Jews. The office of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad produced a film in 2010, “The Coming is Upon Us,” that describes these alarming beliefs in startling detail. Iran’s seemingly inexorable march to deployment of deliverable nuclear weapons links closely to this eschatology, as does the regime’s enthusiastic support for what it calls “The Islamic Awakening.”

In combining these millennialist Shi’a beliefs with traditional Islamic doctrine on Jew-hatred, jihad, and a relentless quest for a deliverable nuclear weapons capability, the current Iranian regime has arrived at a dangerous intersection of 7th century eschatology and 21st century technology. Historical Shi’ite anti-Semitism that reached a vicious zenith under four centuries of Safavid and Qajar dynastic rule beginning in the 16th century is now echoed in the Khomeinist regime of Supreme Leader Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad, which calls for the destruction of Israel and mass murder of Jews. The historical Persian period that pre-dated the relatively more tolerant 20th century Pahlavi Dynasty was characterized by oppressive state-sponsored measures to force previously-Sunni Persians to convert to Shi’ism as well as the harsh treatment of Jews and other non-Muslims that has always typified Sunni majority rule. The mass exodus of Iran’s Jewish population attendant to the 1948 establishment of the State of Israel and Khomeini’s 1979 return to Iran left perhaps fewer than 10,000 Jews in Iran. Consequently, the Khomeinist regime’s revitalization of Shi’ite Islam’s worst anti-Semitic tendencies blended with a modern-day fixation on restoration of Levantine Sacred Space to Islam serve to direct Tehran’s venom mostly outward—at Israel.

Borderline hysterical paranoia about Israeli activities, however, still regularly takes aim at Iran’s tiny and utterly cowed remaining Jewish population and finds expression in periodic accusations of collaboration and espionage in the service of Israel. Holocaust denial themes are juxtaposed irrationally with threats to repeat the slaughter that Hitler began. Iranian leadership figures, from the Supreme Leader to Ahmadinejad, IRGC commanders, and parliamentary representatives, routinely invoke traditional Islamic memes about the nefarious role (and morbid destiny) of Jews in Muslim End Times scenarios and merge those with a Khomeinist statal philosophy that, despite its 21st century technology, more closely reflects Shi’ite theocratic pathologies than anything remotely resembling the genuine wishes or even Islamic practices of the battered Iranian people.

The possibility that such a regime may soon demonstrate mastery of deliverable nuclear weapons should be deeply frightening.

Similarities Among Differences

Despite the deep antipathy between Sunnis and Shi’ites over the disagreement about legitimacy that derives from the succession issue, their theological beliefs converge in numerous areas, as can be seen from a comparison of their respective schools of religious jurisprudence (fiqh).

For example, there is virtually no difference between Shi’ite and Sunni beliefs when it comes to jihad, defined in Islamic law as “warfare to establish the religion [Islam],” which mostly resulted in the pursuit of earthly objectives—power, loot, and slaves—but was enshrined in Sharia as a religious obligation, commanded of all Muslims by Allah himself. On the Sunni side of the Islamic divide, following the early split, a series of Muslim political empires (the Caliphates) continued a violent rampage of jihad, defeating Byzantine, Buddhist, Hindu, and Persian empires and decimating pre-existing Berber, Christian, Jewish, and other societies across the Middle East. For its part, Shi’a adherence to orthodox Islamic doctrine on jihad may be seen in its modern iteration in the 1989 Iranian constitution, which not only dedicates Khomeini’s regime to the global spread of his revolution by jihad, but constitutes the IRGC as an ideological army whose duty is “extending the sovereignty of God’s law throughout the world.” Although some assert that Shi’a must await the return of the Twelfth Imam to engage again in jihad, the Khomeini doctrine maps perfectly to that of al-Qaeda, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, and other Sunni Muslim jihadis.

In fact, Sunnis and Shi’ite fiqh are in agreement about most major issues including: belief in Allah and Muhammad as his prophet; abrogation and progressive revelation; the duty of the Dar al-Islam (House of Islam) to conquer and subjugate the Dar al-Harb (House of War) by jihad; the death penalty for adultery, apostasy, blasphemy/slander, homosexuality, the killing of a Muslim without right, and “spreading mischief in the land;” and the basic Five Pillars of Islam—the Shuhada expression of belief, daily prayer, Ramadan fasting, pilgrimage to Mecca, and zakat, the obligatory annual tax. Yet, there are differences in other important theological areas. For example, the Shi’a accept the authenticity of different ahadith than do the Sunni, just as they differ on the concept of ijma, or scholarly consensus—both of which derive from their diverging beliefs about succession issues. Also, in the area of ijtihad, or the scholarly legal interpretation of Islam’s foundational texts, it is said that “the doors of ijtihad closed” on the Sunni side around 900 CE but that they remained open much longer on the Shi’ite side, perhaps even after the 1979 Khomeini revolution, which is noted for a tradition of scholarly debate and inquiry. Others argue that the doors to ijtihad never closed at all for the Shi’ites.

In the area of governance under a religious hierarchy, there are significant differences between Shi’a and Sunni, which help explain some of the enduring animosity, hatred, and vicious sectarian conflict that still flares between these two communities. Examples of brutal sectarian conflict in Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria as well as the harsh Bahraini and Saudi suppression of their respective Shi’ite populations remind us that fitna (internal fighting) is not merely a historical footnote. While Sunnis long ago gave political allegiance to whichever Muslim conqueror or ruler (including non-Arabs such as the Ottoman Turks) was able to seize the reins of power and rule according to Islamic law, the Shi’a established a clerical hierarchy from whose most devout and learned ranks both political and religious leaders were chosen. Shi’ite clerical levels range according to one’s recognized scholarship from a Hojatoleslam to Ayatollah to the highest rank of Grand Ayatollah (or Marja-e Taqlid, one worthy of emulation). Interestingly, when the Ayatollah Khomeini, himself a senior marja, seized power in Iran, his self-image echoed that of a powerful Shi’ite forbear from the 16th century, Muhammad al-Baqir Majlesi, who was given broad political authority by the Safavid ruler Sultan Husayn to convert Persian Muslims from Sunni to Shi’a Islam.

21st-Century Consequences

Whether involving modern nation states or the enduring influence of ancient tribes, the continuing conflict between 21st century Shi’a and Sunni Muslims is, at its roots, about ambition, domination, and greed for political power. With nuclear weapons, oil, and terrorism in the mix, the eschatological elements of Islam’s 7th century feud are magnified with strategic-level ramifications that could affect international security and stability on a global scale.

—————–

Mark Hass,    Either way it is all wrong and the Devils bible! A holes all going to hell all 1.5 billion

Director@EducateUSA.com

Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil. Thomas Mann

received from a friend through email

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