Iran, Syria and the Muslim divide

Published: April 16, 2012

Such is the divide amongst Islamic states that the concept of ‘one Muslim community’ has been diluted and replaced by international vested interests. PHOTO: AFP

It has been quite some time now that the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran has flooded international media. The western media is contemplating an attack on Iran and is putting forward all kinds of reasons as to why Iranian intervention is imminent and necessary.

This media, which is not only anti-Iran but anti-Asia, is adamant on portraying Iran as a state that will attack Israel as soon as it is equipped with nuclear arms. Western media moguls and analysts are thus proposing that Tehran’s nuclear ambitions must be surrendered for the larger interest of the region. However, one question that lingers in many minds is, why are Israel and USA, two of the most bitter Iranian rivals, not asked to surrender their weapons of mass destruction in order to assure Tehran’s security?

The past few months have witnessed open criticism from pro-US Arab states against Iran and its nuclear program. So much so that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia may even be ready to provide its land to the US if it plans to attack Tehran and its nuclear sites. Saudi Arabia has also pressurised Pakistan and persuaded countries like Malaysia and Indonesia to form an alliance against the Shia- majority Iran.

With some of the oil rich gulf states already in US’ kitty, the addition of Saudi Arabia may indeed ring alarm bells for Iran. Any possible intervention, backed by Saudi support, may further add fuel to the already raging spiral of sectarian violence, not only in these countries but also in other countries in the region, especially Pakistan and Afghanistan.

This dilemma has haunted the Muslim community all over the world. It perplexes me a great deal as to how the policy makers of one sect are going all out against the other sect of the same religion, just in the name of vested interests and western influence.

Even when the Shia minority voiced its dissent in the Kingdom of Bahrain against the monarch and his family, Saudi Arabia came forward in support, and brute force was exercised against the protesters by the Saudi forces deployed there.

In the same event, Saudi officials also asked Pakistan for its support against the Bahrain uprising in the form of providing military personnel. Bahrain, on the other hand, accused Iran of supporting the Shias in the country against the ruling Khalifa.

Sadly enough, when Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan were bombed in the name of ‘war against terror’ and dictatorship, no Muslim state came forward to denounce these interventions.

In Libya, the rebel (or the so-called revolutionary) forces were headed by ex-fugitives and banned terrorists. They were supported and funded by the Nato forces in order to oust Qaddafi – the ex Libyan leader. Not a single voice from any head of the Muslim states was heard condemning the brutal murder of Qaddafi. Such is the cold-bloodedness and divide of Islamic states that the concept of ‘one Muslim community’ has been diluted and replaced by international vested interests.

The situation in Syria is not very different from the one in Libya. A popular leader, Bashar al-Assad, is being asked by the international community, especially the Arab states, to step down as the ruler of the country. The reason provided by the international observers is the atrocities which Assad’s army is carrying out on the innocent civilians.

The point that many seem to be missing is that if Assad would have been infamous and had little public support, he would have faced the same fate as of his counterparts in Tunisia and Egypt. Yet, the UK announced millions of pounds in aid for the disintegrated Syrian opposition in order to fight against the alleged tyrant regime.

In midst of this critical scenario, it is indeed humiliating for the Muslim states that countries like Russia and China are playing their part to avoid any possible attack on Iran in order to prevent the loss of innocent lives. Both these rising powers have also vetoed all sanction resolutions in the UN against Syria.

What Russia and China have done is what the Muslim states of the Gulf – having the power of oil – should have done; they should have worked to prevent any possible attack or sanctions against their brother states.

This mix and match of relations between the Shia and Sunni majority states is not only detrimental for world security, but also for Muslim unity as a whole.  Although unity and peace may be deemed as idealistic propositions, striving for them may lead towards a world with minimum amount of conflict. This would also result in better progress of the less developed Muslim states.

Follow Farooq on Twitter @faruqyusaf

Correction: A previous version of this blog post incorrectly stated the Kingdom of Bahrain as the Emirate of Bahrain. The error has been corrected. 


Farooq Yousaf

Farooq Yousaf

The author is a PhD (Politics) Candidate currently pursuing his studies in Australia. He has previously completed his Masters in Public Policy and Conflict Studies from Germany. He also consults Islamabad-based Security think tank, Centre for Research and Security Studies, and occasionally writes for various news and media sources. He is specialising in Indigenous conflict resolution and counter insurgency. He tweets at @faruqyusaf

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Barooq

    Well this a relatively informed piece and i like it but it gives the impression that Qadafi was somehow forsaken by Saudi Arabia for his religious beliefs, which is not true. The writer is spot on regarding syria and bahrainRecommend

  • Modazul

    Excellent article!! And dong worry nothing will happen to Iran. You need Iran to scare the Arabs and the Sunnis. No Iran, no Shia. West needs Iran to maintain the divide between muslimsRecommend

  • SaQiB

    I agree with most of the contents of this article and even the spirit in which it has been written…… but i would also like to highlight a sad fact……… and that fact is that Iran did support the uprising in Bahrain…… infact not only in Bahrain, but also in neighboring Pakistan and Afghanistan………… sadly, the Iranians have only been supporting the Shiite version of Islam that has led to the mistrust of other countries………… including Pakistan…..Sad but true!Recommend

  • Tch tch

    Article stinks of sectarianism. What happened in Bahrain was terrible. BHRC, AI and HRW estimate around 70 ppl lost there lives in the riots.
    In Syrian 10,000 ppl lost there life (UN figures).Bashar Father killed 30,000 back in the day.
    Yet the writer concludes The long standing dictator Bashar is “popular leader” and a “Alleged Tyrant”.
    The comparison is not valid. The scale of violence can be appreciated by a few hours on you tube. Batons and tear gas vs artilary shells,tanks and air strikes.

    Reason Syria hasnt collapsed is massive Russian and Iranian support (and tacit Chinese support) (Syria has Russia on Mediterranean Naval base,Same reason Bahrain that Host US fifth fleet government still stands). Not the Conspiratorial“infamous and had little public support, he would have faced the same fate as of his counterparts in Tunisia and Egypt.”

    Iran(and Hezbullah) support is truly disgusting.Shows that they are as bad as KSA and other Gulf client states. This has to be wake up call to Pakistan Islamists, Muslim Ummah is largely theoretical at this point. First loyalty should be to the nation state.

    Even Bashar Asad Alleged anti imperialism is farcical. Google Maher Arar, send for torture by America to you better believe it Syria. In Wikileaks Israel isnt too concerned with Syria, tacit understanding exist on many issues.(Just like Fatima Bouchar and her husband, Abdel Hakim Belhaj who were renditioned to the allegedly hostile Libya for torture).

    The overriding truth is that the two hopeless thoecracies of KSA and Iran and their proxies have wreaked more death and destruction in the Muslim word then any Isreali or American Intervention could ever achieve. Especially in Pakistan. History of sectarianism post 79 is testament to the fact.

    Pakistan must snuff out any influence from these countries at hope they are by far the greatest threat to Pakistani Sovreignity.

    Terrible article that hasnt been proof read.Recommend

  • Ali Salman

    nice content there some more realities but with
    yes iran support Bahrain cause but not a aim support just a freedom for there own right shia are in majority sect 80% .and they just protest there but Saudi Arabia came forward in support, and brute force was exercised against the protesters by the Saudi forces & other arab countries deployed there.
    same in Pakistan hundreds of people had died Karachi, punjab Parachinar, Hangu, Quetta and Gilgit- Baltistan, while the authorities were watching silently the loss of Shia community. still shia community not believe in aims struggle they just protest and Islam teach us tolerance and acceptance and live peacefully

    Pakistan Zindabad Recommend

  • Syed zain ul abiddin gardezi

    Excellent article.Recommend

  • Taalha

    Agreed 100%Recommend

  • reality

    The Arab puppets(Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman) “potential threats” is their stupidity. They are the same gang That helped Saddam with billions Dollars and at end he became a monster for them and for the region. Today they are making the same foolish mistake without knowing they will end up the same as Indians- Americans.Recommend

  • Zain

    I agree and protest . But someone please write on how to fix these issues !!Recommend

  • Ahsan


    The fact is also that Saudis and Pakistanis are supporting Taliban if not now but they used to support them suring Soviet war. This is also a fact that Taliban are not at al muslims even they are not human being. Why Saudi Arabia support Bahrain why not the people of Bahrain. Saudi are only good in sitting on the foot of American and licking their shoes. The so called Khadimain Harmain Sharifain are not at all muslim. Recommend

  • Mumbai Dude

    This article STINKS of communalism. Seeing everything from the perspective of Muslim UMMAH. Remember 75-80% of the world is NON-MUSLIM. So please, come out of your delusion.Recommend

  • Sher Khan

    @Tch tch:

    I dont understand why people always ask others to “GOOGLE” something. There is something called rationality which suggests that whenever you “GOOGLE” something on Asia, be it Pakistan, Iran, Russia, China or any other country, the first 20 articles would come up as Pro – West due to the Search Engine Optimization.

    By Proof Read you mean the article is not based on facts?? Dont you believe in Sectarian Violence?? Dont you believe in Wahabi movement? Dont you believe that current wave of terrorism was started by USA and Zia.??? I think irrespective of anything, the article just gives a simple message and that is of Unity… is it bad???

    As far as Assad and Gaddafi are concerned, why was the media portraying them as negative rulers before 9/11 or US interventions in Asia? Because they were US’s friends, as soon as they felt the heat of Arab Spring and started to move away from USA, US started its media campaign and made all the reasons to intervene??

    And have you EVER noticed the transition of BBC and CNN in past 5 years??? jsut go to their sites and all the news are implicitly anti-Asia now. How can you then GOOGLE something when everything on Internet is based on an agenda. You have only 100 protestors in Russia or China or Iran and the BBC cameramen jotter their cameras as if 100000’s of protestors are being attacked by the tyrant forces…

    And just now GOOGLE as what was the major composition of Libyan rebels??? they were mainly thugs and terrorists. Recommend

  • BlackJack

    Dude – noble notions but not backed by proper research – possibly because the Ummah itself is a concept that only exists in the imagination of Pakistani muslims. In Bahrain, the Shias are a majority; Assad has survived because of the current financial crisis as well as stiff opposition from China and Russia on UN internvention (not because he is popular but no one noticed); the West is not anti-Asia (a rather ridiculous over-exaggeration); and there was no “addition” of Saudi Arabia to the American kitty – it was always a US client state (you seem to have forgotten where Operation Desert Storm was launched from). Even if all of the Arab nations come together at some stage, Pakistan is not going to benefit – they need to agree that you are Arabs, you see.Recommend

  • Sher Khan

    Agree with you Black Jack. You are spot on. Arabs would only form alliance with the ARABS as they deem themselves as a superior race.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Blaming the West is a little naive. If you allow them to play you off, one against the other, it is you who are stupid and they who are smart. Recommend

  • http://Mumbai Blunt!

    Pathetic Article!

    The very logic which you apply that all Muslims states should come together STINKS so much of sectarianism that you forget about the rest of the non-muslim world!

    I would say, very poor state of mind to think like that!Recommend

  • Musthaq Ahmed

    @Tch tch:
    You accuse the author of sectarianism.You are innocently sympathetic towards sunni extremists. Hafiz Assad and Gemal Abdul Naser were openly hostile to religious extremism and suppressed them with violence.They made no secret of their politics. Do you expect them to appeal to Amnesty International against Salafist political activity ?
    Iraq, Libya, Syria etc were cases of violation of sovereignty. They were acts of trampling down Arab nationalism. When a pack of beasts like EU and US , exhort some agents like Turkey to stir trouble in any country , it is the case for protecting the nation. Any act to the contrary is unpatriotic. Sunnis in Syria are guilty of the same. Believers aligned themselves comfortably with the West , when Iraq and Libya were bombed to rubble. They proved themselves to be pious hypocrites.
    The only bright side of your criticism is your awareness that Iran and Saudiarabia are two sides of the same coin. The dark side of your criticism is its bornierten support of the West.Recommend

  • xortan

    Good article! but as usual no one read it and all will ignor it as it the truth! No one challanges isreal’s nuclear arsenal but all jumpping up and down on Iran’s nuclear PROGRAMME! Not WEAPONS BUT PROGRAMME !! specially those idiots like, ashdone,sarkozy,merkel,obama,nataniahu and the rest of the morans who just KEPT REPEATINMG IRAN’S NUCLEAR WEAPON !! If it is all the same then isreal must be brought to accopunt for it’s nuclear arsenal first.But no one would even attempt the question! Recommend

  • Tch tch

    @Musthaq Ahmed: Yes I am sympathetic to the Majority of the Syrian population that want an end to the Assad Dictatorship, just like I am sympathetic to the Majority of Bahraini protesters who want the end of the Monarchy. Do both opposition contain violent sectarian elements?. Yes. Do they receive out side support? Yes. But does this change the principle that the dictatorships are illegitimate , unpopular and have to go.
    My observation that in relative terms Syria is a much worse case. The dictatorship is much more oppressive (Mukharabat, No freedom of Press, complete marginalization) compared to Bahrain(A far more inclusive and Liberal society till before the riots) and the crackdown in terms of violance in worse. This is based simply on the facts.(Casualty figure etc). Stating fact cannot be misconstrued as having an sectarian outlook.Unless you want to clamp down on reasonable debate on the issue.

    On western imperialism, my point is that there are more then one actor. You cant support Russain support for Syria and condemn American intervention in Libya. As a broad principle all intervention is bad. I dont buy the selfserving R2P doctrine So recent Iranian shipments of Arms and ammunition to the Asad regime and other Russian arms shipments should be a bigger casue of concern. They are being using overwhelmingly on civilians and to massacre.
    Till now there hasnt been any documented report of Arms flowing to rebels from Turkey(Infact turkey has put draconian controls of Syrian Refugees in its borders). Saudi Arming of rebels would not come as a surprise, and condemnable but still a lesser crime then what Iran is doing.

    And I dont think there is anything in my post that would suggest I support Western intervention. I was against it in Libya as I am largely against it in Syria.(In fact every western intervention even Bosnia i.e where after a two year unilateral western embargo on the bosniaks(Serbs were still being armed by russia), when the bosniaks and croats united agaisnt the serbs and gained the upper hand the conveniently timed westren intervention froze the conflict, leaving Bosniaks with half of there former areas and a destroyed society, Still the Muslim Good will for that particular NATO intervention is unpararlled)

    But surely that should not blind you from other actors (Russia, Iran,KSA) . I have to support people fighting illegitimate non representative tyranies what ever their sect happens to be. Even Religion has little to do with this frankly i.e I supported both south Sudanese and E timorese when they opposed and eventually gained independence from their “Muslim” governments. There are oppressors and the oppressed its not hard to discern who is what.

    But I am Happy you took my broader point that the most toxic influence is that of Iran and KSA and its respective bands of sectarian loons who have blighted the Muslim world. Just condemning one party is seeing half of the picture and is Hypocritical.

    Iran anti western stance dosent exempt it from criticism.Especially when it for geopolitical reasons it Arms, support a dictator like Basahr al Assad when he is massacring thousands. Also Irans outrage at western imperialism is laughably predictable and shamefully selective (I.e relative silence on Western intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan when they saw there geopolitical advantage). To beleive Iran give a hoot about Islam , Ummah etc is delusional. Just like expecting this from the Saudis.
    My larger point is Pakistani of all persuasion have to get it through there thick heads that only Pakistan should matter.Even if you are an Islamist, the goal should be for a united inclusive democratic society. Our society contrary to much of ET coverage in the mainstream is largely inclusive. Most Ulema contrary to popular perception get along. Only the ever increasing anti intellectual lunatic fringe succumbs to sectarainsm. Knowingly or unknowingly there are little more then foreign proxies.Just see how Iran or Saudis treat Pakistanis or their respective minorities(Shias or Sunnis) to see how toxic and self serving there agendas are in Pakistan. Loyalty to a foreign power (Iran ,KSA) due to obscure religious reasons is a fools errand. The resulting sectarianism is tearing this country apart.Recommend

  • Mustafa Moiz

    Iran is an enemy of Pakistan. If the Iranians were to acquire nuclear weapons, I believe they would be aimed at Pakistan, not at Israel. Also, the Tribune attacks Pakistan and Saudi Arabia for any show of religion, Iran is a hundred times worse than Pakistan.
    Also, in Syria, Bashar has killed more people in the last year than the much-maligned Israel has ever done to Palestinians. The brutal regime is only supported by Iran. Talk about sectarianism!
    In Bahrain, around 60% of the population is Shia, and around 1000 people were killed by Saudi forces. However, in Syria, the 2% Alawi population has killed close to 10,000 people, just about all from the majority Sunni sect. The killings of the Bahrainis are portrayed as much worse, portrayed as a brutal crackdown by the Sunni despots, while, pathetically, some people such as this author are trying to portray Assad as a popular leader who has been betrayed by his Arab counterparts. Are the lives of Shias that much more valuable than the lives of Sunnis?
    This is an extremely biased article based completely on sectarianism.Recommend

  • Mustafa Moiz

    Bashar al Assad’s father killed 20,000 Syrian civilians in 1982, and Bashar has killed close to 10,000 protesters this year. The Syrian regime has to be the most brutal in the world.Recommend

  • Mustafa Moiz

    Bashar al Assad’s father killed 20,000 Syrian civilians in 1982, and Bashar has killed close to 10,000 protesters this year. The Syrian regime has to be the most brutal in the world. Recommend

  • Mustafa Moiz

    Iran is an enemy of Pakistan. If the Iranians were to acquire nuclear weapons, I believe they would be aimed at Pakistan, not at Israel. Also, the Tribune attacks Pakistan and Saudi Arabia for any show of religion, Iran is a hundred times worse than Pakistan.
    Also, in Syria, Bashar has killed more people in the last year than the much-maligned Israel has ever done to Palestinians. The brutal regime is only supported by Iran. Talk about sectarianism!
    In Bahrain, around 60% of the population is Shia, and around 1000 people were killed by Saudi forces. However, in Syria, the 2% Alawi population has killed close to 10,000 people, just about all from the majority Sunni sect. The killings of the Bahrainis are portrayed as much worse, portrayed as a brutal crackdown by the Sunni despots, while, pathetically, some people such as this author are trying to portray Assad as a popular leader who has been betrayed by his Arab counterparts. Are the lives of Shias that much more valuable than the lives of Sunnis?
    This is an extremely biased article based completely on sectarianism. Recommend

  • Umer

    Well written, but it’s the kingdom of Bahrain not emirate lolRecommend

  • Doosam

    by and large, some valid points by the writer Farooq Yousuf.
    There is no Muslim Ummah, only a Wahabi ummah of the Gulf states who do not even recognize the Shia as muslims and openly hate them.
    These Wahabi Gulf states are slaves of the US and its Nato allies and we, Pakistan, are slaves to these Arab sheikhs. So in effect, we are slaves of slaves. Recommend

  • Hassan

    The article is biased. President Assad is alwi shia and he is commiting atrocities on syrian people with the help of Iran. The government of Iran is indirectly taking revenge from Saudi sunni’s on Bahrain issue by doing the same in syriaRecommend

  • SaQiB


    Bro, it is not for you to decide who’s a muslim and who’s not….! Iranians are no pious angels!! as for bahrain, it wasn’t the bahraini people who went with the uprising, it was the Shia minority from Iran, that has settled there for economic purposes…… so stop bluffing without any knowledge and come to the facts…………… PLEASE!!Recommend

  • SaQiB


    Bro, u said it!Recommend

  • Muhammad

    For me it does not matter but maybe for some it does so facts have to be staighten. and that is Bahrain has a Shia Muslim majority not minority as mentioned in the article. I know you would not have been trying to hide the fact as it is too obvious for any one who is updated with International news but if you did not knew it as a fact then this surprises me too that you do not know things simple as that and are writting articles..Recommend

  • Ali Nasir

    We hate Iran that’s it Recommend

  • awellwisher

    The author starts with the standard assumption of “we Muslims” line. Why should Muslim countries see themselves as Muslims first? Why not see themselves as human beings first. If they do, all this then the “we vs. them” Muslim exclusivism paradigm that has kept the Islamic world in confrontation with the rest of the world for a thousand years will vanish. No Christian, Buddhist, Hindu etc. countries define and identify themselves by their religions like the Muslim countries. Isn’t this the fundamental problem with Muslims and Islamic countries?Recommend

  • Ahsan


    Please get your fact right . Shia are not in minority in Bahrain and Iran they are in vast majority and the brutal government of Bahrain consist of crual enemy of Islam backed by the worst and more then worst muslims of Al Saud family of saudi Arabia (descedent of Abu Jahal) are killing them. By the way i havent decide abouth the faith of Khadimain Harimain Sharifain, infact he himself proved that he is a biggest munafiq and licker of Obama shoe.Recommend

  • Kafka

    Wow, I had to read the article to really believe what I was believing was read. I somewhat agreed with the author until I reached the paragraph about syria. Seriously I dont want to pull out the sectarian card here, but how can ANYONE justify what is happening in Syria and have the audacity to say Bashar is a popular leader? In what universe does it make sense that the Shia Alevi minority of 10 percent is ruling over the 85 percent sunni majority through force and repression. Bashars father brutally crushed the uprising in Homs 30 years ago, this is a well known fact. How can you justify 11000 death toll of protestors recorded by the UN and other agencies??? Is that another conspiracy for you the 11000 that died? Or did all of those 11000 who died were extremists, terrorists, western-funded spies? The brutality in syria is obvious, one just has to see the countless videos on you tube to see that ordinary children women are being killed by the army. If bashar was that popular the uprising would have settled down long time ago, since it hasnt the reality is stark, that bashar can only surive through oppression there is no support for him on the street. Seriously either this article has been written with sectarian solidarity or otherwise it is the most grossly ignorant and blatantly biased article ever.
    When you make such blatantly biased arguments in face of reality, you end up undermining the credibility of your other arguments which may otherwise be factually correct. Be fair and just to all the sects, regardless of where the violations are taking place Iran or Saudi or Pakistan, learn to call a spade a spade.. Otherwise there is no difference between you and the opressors!Recommend

  • Err

    People it is quiet disgusting for you to play the shia card, and then say that since you are a minority in Pakistan and Gulf States, what is happening in Syria and Iran is a GIANT CONSPIRACY and shias are victims everywhere regardless of whether your committing any human rights violations or not. Just because Iran spews anti-US rhetoric, doesnt make them innocent victims. They have blood on their hands because they are shipping weapons to syria where 11000 have been killed already. If Iran calls out the gulf states for their repression against shia then it should show responsibility in Syria, where 10 Alevi Shia have been brutally opression the 85 sunni masses. Do you think this will end well??? Both sides are going to lose out with mass killings and reprisals on both sides. The fact that shias are supporting bashar only on the basis that he is a shia alevi, undermines their claims of standing up for human rights and their case against the gulf states. If you condemning the gulf then you should question syria too otherwise stay out of the debate entirely if you cant be honest about the reality.
    If anything syria is an example of how even a minority can be guilty of committing mass human rights violations if put in a position of power. Being a minority doesnt automatically make you a victim, if you are willing to carry out the same atrocities that you are protesting against. So my message is stop taking sides, condemn both sides of human rights violations regardless of which country or sect you belong to. Otherwise you are no better than those murderers, and you have no right to demand rights when you cant deliver them.
    @Author: Please stop using the We Muslims line when it is clear your article is aimed at only one particle Sect.Recommend

  •!/zaeemj1 Lord

    Its shameful and discriminatory from you point all the blame on Iran and Shias as a whole.
    See the role of KSA and other arab state in all this.They have no issue with Israeli bombs. But they cant accept there Irani Bomb.They fuel and fund specific sects in Pakistan and u know who they are and there extremist ideology off-shoots are killing innocent pakistani especially pakistani shias (Quetta/GilgitBaltistan/Karachi). See for reference you will find 4-5 killed only in pakistan on average per day . I am with oppressed who ever it may be.May it be Bahrain where majority are deprived of there rights and legitimate struggle is labeled by biased as Irani Backed. If Assad is committing atrocities against its people and depriving them of there rights he should be toppled.
    No one has the evidence that irani backs radicalization in bahrain ,pakistan or iraq but biased people like you always blame without any proof.No one can differ on opinion that palestinian are the most oppressed nation in the world who is with them.Who is fighting and standing tall against muslim’s biggest humiliation i.e Israel.Where are Saudis and there arab allies.My fellow muslim brothers although I know you don’t consider me please see things in unbiased manner.Be with the oppressed even if that oppressed be a Jew.Recommend

  • T.Al.zt

    I would just like to bring to your notice that 80% of Bahrain’s population belongs to Shi’ite comunity. So, you know who the minority is now. :) Recommend

  • bigsaf

    Tch tch’s views are the closest I share, except on the non-interventionist views on Bosnia, Libya and Syria. And I’m a Shia Muslim.

    This was an article that was just waiting to attract sectarian resentment, bigotry and accusations, because of some of the delusions and unfair imbalance, despite having a surprisingly accurate view of Saudi role globally and partly on US/Israel hypocrisy, but the twisted and ignorant views on Syria, Libya, Iran, Russia and China, was ridiculous, and rather appalling in the cases of Syria and Libya, simply due to anti-Western prejudice, resentment and hate in any foreign affairs.

    I don’t have much to say for the commentating anti-Iran, anti-Shia bigots and the paranoid anti-Sunni/Salafi haters, or those who justify dictatorial tyrants or brutality for their twisted biases.Recommend

  • Samo

    Who r u to talk confidently about the situation of Syria , what you mentioned is totally not true. if you need more clarification about it I can tell u but pls don’t assume things. Recommend

  • Cynical

    Russia and China will support anyone who oppose USA. Ideologies,principles wouldn’t come in the way.It’s a kind of balancing act.Recommend

  • Sheraliat

    @ Saqib!
    Iran is not only supporting the suppressed people of Bahrain but also the freedom fighters of Hamas. But being Shia Muslims, the affiliation with Pakistani and Afghani Shia does not mean that Iran is inciting the Shias of these countries for an uprising.Recommend

  • Sheraliat

    @ Tch Tch!
    If we compare the unrest in Bahrain and Syria, it is clear that the majority of Bahrainis oppose King Khalifa in contrast to Bashar al Assad. We see foreign army intervention under the umbrella of the Gulf Cooperation Council in Bahrain while in Syria, its own national army is involved. The al Khalifa regime got the help of mercenaries from Pakistan, Bangladesh and some of the Arab world to suppress anti regime protestors but no such reports came in reference to the Assad regime. Being the home of the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, Bahrain has no international sanctions imposed on it while the US, the EU and the Arab League have imposed sanctions on Syria. Media attention on Bahrain is marginal while it is overwhelming on Syria. Lastly, Bahraini protestors are unarmed but Syrian protestors have sophisticated and modern weapons smuggled from neighbouring countries. Despite these undeniable facts, Uncle Sam terms peaceful protestors of Bahrain as rebels and armed Syrian protestors as freedom fighters, which is beyond comprehension.Recommend

  • Mustafa Moiz

    90% of Syrians are protesting against an Alawi dictatorship, a dictatorship of a minority that amounts to only 2% of the Syrian population. They have killed close to 10,000 people in the past year, and that is just during these protests. Go back in history, and you see 1982, where more than 20,000 civilians were massacred by Hafiz al Assad. Iranian ships have docked at Syrian port cities to preempt a move by Turkey or any other nation to actively intervene to end this bloody mess. Iranians are helping the Syrian regime crush protesters.
    Meanwhile, in Bahrain, about 60% of the population is Shia, and they are protesting against the Sunni monarchy. Saudi forces killed only about 1000 people in Bahrain, and the total number of casualties is under 2000. That is in no way comparable to the Syrian blood being shed by the Alawi regime in Syria.Recommend

  • Noise

    @Mustafa Moiz
    Alawites make up 10-13% of the Syrian population and the current government also depends upon the Christian and Druze minorities, about 10% and 3% of the population respectively. Most Christians are orthodox Christians, which is the same sect as the Russians. It also enjoys the support of the Kurds which is another 10% of the population and supports the PKK movement. And many of the Sunni Arabs themselves support the Syrian government which is why cities like Aleppo which is overwhelmingly Sunni hasn’t joined the unrest. Stability is more preferable to anarchy and civil war for most people and many people see that toppling the current government will only cause more harm than good. The Syrian government is less of an Alawite regime than it is a secular-minorities alliance. Anything other than this will cause a civil war.

    The minorities support the Bahar because Syria has been ruled by Sunnis most of it’s history and the Sunnis used to oppress the minorities. If the Sunnis had been less arrogant the 1000 years they were in power they would not have created such ill will among non-Sunnis.

    And the one actually doing the heavy lifting for Syria are the Russians, its their Black Sea fleet that patrols Syrian waters as a deterrent to the west and this turkish allies. Iran is less important for Bashar Assad than the resurgent Russians. Although Russia would never have gotten the spine for defying the west if the Iranian had not blazed the trail for them all these years.

    And murder is murder whether it of a thousand and ten thousand, also keep in mind that the population of Bahrain is barely a million people while the population of Syria is more than 20 million.Recommend

  • hassan

    Have you ever noticed that whenever someone from minority sect/religion gets power, he becomes a brutal dictator ?Recommend

  • Rashid

    God bless you Mr.Farooq for speaking the truth.

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell
    English essayist, novelist, & satirist (1903 – 1950).Recommend

  • Paki

    @Mustafa Moiz:

    Stop this Hate promotion PLZ. cant U see this is claming ppls lives. Have u ever seen any blast site where body parts are spreaded alover or a body targeted b/c to his association with some specific sect For GOD sake talk sence & Peace so we all can live atlease in Harmony. Recommend

  • Shah Kamal

    No doubt the alliance of Saudis for ‘punishing’ Iran is not right, but the author promotes a Shia perspective that is not totally right.
    – He describes Iran a Shia majority country. This is not true. There are more than 42 percent Sunnis in Iran including Kurds, but they are heavily discriminated. Sunnis are not even allowed to build mosques and there are no Sunnis in a militant Shia government that seeks to destroy Sunnis in the country.
    – Having said that, Shias face similar discrimination in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
    – But the most important point is Iran is destroying or subjugating Sunnis everywhere. The Iranians having destroyed and subjugating Sunnis in their own country have now done is Iraq – again where Sunnis amount for more than 40 percent but are regularly massacred by Shia terrorists likes of Muqtada al Sadr. These terrorists are supported and financed by Iran’s Shia terror groups who have official sanctions.
    – Same is done by Irani Shia in Syria – supporting a Shia-led minority regime who massacres Sunnis en masse.
    – List itemRecommend