Causality of rotten fruits

Causality of rotten fruits by The Saker

My friend Anwar Khan has recently written an interesting column in which he expressed his disagreement with what he perceived as my pro-Shia bias and in which he set the record straight on some of the atrocities committed by Shias.  It is not my intention to write a full rebuttal today, nor do I think that it is appropriate for me, as an Orthodox Christian, to take sides in a dispute between Muslims.  However, I do feel that I can offer a few basic considerations to explain my own perspective on this issue as an outsider.  So, here we go.

My pro-Shia bias:  guilty as charged!  However, let me immediately say that my admiration for the Shia does not imply any form of hostility towards the Sunni.  I am on record as praising such well known Sunni figures as Ramzan Kadyrov or Sheikh Imran Hosein both of which are Sunni.  So praising one sides does in no way imply that I don’t admire that which is admirable in the other side (or that I endorse everything Shia, for that matter!).  And yet, there is no doubt that the Shia elicit a strong sense of admiration in me.  Why?  Here are a few reasons:

  1. Though my friend Anwar is critical of my reference to the words “Every day is Ashura and every land is Karbala” I still believe that they powerfully express a core element of the Shia ethos.  When I see the absolutely extraordinary courage that this ethos elicits in Hezbollah fighters or Iranian Pasdaran I can only express a sense of awe and admiration.
  2. I also cannot fail to notice that while the Takfiri ideology does have, at least potentially, an undeniable attraction amongst maybe not all, but still a seizable percentage of Sunni, this ideology has no traction at all with the Shia.  There are no Shia joining Daesh.  And there is no Shia equivalent of Daesh either.
  3. I am also sympathetic to the socially progressive nature of Shia Islam, especially when compared to the outright reactionary nature of the, shall we say, “para-Wahabi” social practices of not all, but still many Sunni societies.
  4. Finally, I have the utmost admiration for Hezbollah and its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, who himself a spiritual follower of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei whom I also consider as an very wise ruler.

None of the above, however, makes me blind to the atrocities committed by, for example, the Badr Brigade in Iraq.  And I will readily admit that the Iranian society is imperfect and also has some very ugly aspects.  But I also sense a logical fallacy at work here.  Anwar Khan asks:

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