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The Sectarian Genie: The Sunni-Shi’ite Struggle Released by the Arab Spring

President George W. Bush with Crown Prince (now King) Abdullah of Saudi Arabia at the Bush Ranch in Crawford, April 25, 2002. Saudi Arabia is considered on of the leaders of the Sunni faction of Islam in the struggle against the Shi'a, now led by Iran.

President George W. Bush with Crown Prince (now King) Abdullah of Saudi Arabia at the Bush Ranch in Crawford, April 25, 2002. Saudi Arabia is considered on of the leaders of the Sunni faction of Islam in the struggle against the Shi'a, now led by Iran.
Photo Credit: White House

When an Islamist movement comes to power, even if it behaves in an acceptable way, it is liable to carry within its womb a jihadi group that will turn the life of the mother group into hell. Islamic rule such as that in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Gaza or Iran, tends to ignore radical groups, because it sees them as a sort of good folk, better and more faithful to original Islam than itself. Only when these groups harm the regime does it wake up to take action against them, but this action will always be limited by the lack of willingness to behave like the overthrown dictators. The regime prefers to come to an agreement with the jihadi groups but these agreements are short-range, because of the dynamic character of the groups, and their tendency to reject any regime.

3. Countries in which there are Islamic immigrants must be on guard and supervise well what is done among the separatist immigrant groups who jealously guard their traditional character, because there is a significant chance that these groups will develop jihadi characteristics. Their jihadi activities will target the host state, but also the mother faction, for not being active enough and not faithful enough to Islam according the the jihadi approach. These jihadi imigrant groups, who are composed usually of the people of a single state, are very difficult to infiltrate for intelligence gathering, because they are closed and based on personal acquaintance and absolute loyalty to the group. The smaller and more homogeneous the group, the more dangerous it is likely to be.

Iran maintains connections with jihadi groups, mainly Shi’ite, all over the world, which serve as “sleeper cells” waiting for a command. The diplomatic mail sacks of Iran serve as a means for transferring arms to these cells, because the diplomatic sacks are not subjected to a security check in the host country. Iranian embassies the world over serve as storage places for weapons, ammunition and devices of sabotage just as they serve as a basis for intelligence and the activation of agents and collaborators. One must assume that some of the Saudi embassies act in a similar manner regarding local Sunnis. Tracking these embassies and the activities of their people can give the security apparatuses of the host countries much information about subversive and jihadi activities in these countries.

Visit Dr. Mordechai Kedar’s blog.

About the Author: Dr. Mordechai Kedar (Ph.D. Bar-Ilan U.) Served for 25 years in IDF Military Intelligence specializing in Arab political discourse, Arab mass media, Islamic groups and the Syrian domestic arena. A lecturer in Arabic at Bar-Ilan U., he is also an expert on Israeli Arabs.


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One Response to “The Sectarian Genie: The Sunni-Shi’ite Struggle Released by the Arab Spring”

  1. The Hadith you starting with is not quite how it is….the meaning of it is, that there will be many groups/sects, and only one of them will enter paradise straight without sighting or experiencing a small time in hell because of the deviations in their faith and actions. If you are a Muslim you will in the end end up in paradise.

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