“Ask youself this question: can you name two previous wars that have been fought between the Shia and the Sunni? I didn’t think so. Neither can I. Because there aren’t any. The Shia and the Sunni have not been fighting for centuries. Historically speaking, they have not been fighting at all.” — Dinesh D’Souza
“Historically speaking, they have not been fighting at all.”
“Servants of Allaah! The animosity of the Shee’ah towards the people of the Sunnah is severe. This animosity has ever been ingrained in their souls since the time they took the belief of corrupt partisanship as a rule and path for their religion. It is no wonder because a snake gives birth to none other than a snake, and whoever reads the annals of history will find the murder and pillage that they committed on the people of the Sunnah, and will find their treaties with the enemies of Islaam far too notorious to be mentioned here.” — from a sermon by Sheikh Saalih al-Wanyyaan delivered in the Saudi province of Qasim, circa 1987.
But what does Sheikh Saalih al-Wanyyaan know, or his listeners in Qasim, Saudi Arabia, about Sunni views of Shi’a “animosity….towards the people of the Sunnah….ever ingrained in their souls since the time they took the belief of corrupt partisanship as a rule and path for their religion”? What do they know, that is, compared to what Dinesh D’Souza, who has been “studying” Islam for the past several years, knows all about it?
#5. “There are only two political parties in Iraq: the Sunni party and the Shia party.Ã¯Â¿Â½” Tawfiq Al-Suwaidi, Iraqi Prime Minister, 1929, 1930, 1946, 1950.
[Posted by Hugh at March 26, 2007 11:22 AM]
But what does Tawfiq Al-Suwaidi, Iraqi Prime Minister in 1929, 1930, 1946, 1950 know about Sunni-Shi’a rivalries in modern Iraq, compared to what Dinesh D’Souza knows, studying the matter over the past few years in his Palo Alto office, in his San Diego mansion?
From a news report about the killing of an important Shia leader in Kashmir in 2005:
Many suspected of killing Shia leader
Tribune News Service
SRINAGAR, Nov 6 – Who killed senior Shia leader Aga Syed Mehdi, near here, on Friday?
A Defence Ministry spokesman claimed here on Saturday that foreign militants belonging to Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad had blasted the IED at Magam, killing Aga Syed Mehdi and five others.
“As per reports, this was the work Sipaha-e-Sahaba, a radical anti-Shia faction in Pakistan, actively supported by the Pakistani regime. The Sipaha-e-Sahaba believes in the elimination of Shias. Detailed planning for this operation was done across the Line of Control, involving activists of Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Pakistani officials,” he said. […]
Two attempts were made on the life of another senior Shia and Congress leader, Maulvi Abbas Ansari, who was a minister till last year in the Farooq Abdullah’s National Conference Government. The police here believe that such attacks were only targeted at the mainstream political leaders and not on the leaders of a particular sect.
But what do the members of Sipaha-e-Sahaba, the Sunni terrorist group that targets Shi’a in Kashmir and in Pakistan, know about Sunni-Shi’a relations, compared to what Dinesh D’Souza knows back in sunny California?
From a Jan. 10, 2000 posting at a Sunni website devoted to “Shi’a treachery toward Islamic governments”:
“The stance of most Shi’ites, scholars and laymen alike, towards the Islamic governments throughout history has been, if the government was powerful and well-established, to honour its leaders in consonance with their tenet of taqiyah, for the purpose of material gain. If, however, the government is weak, or is under attack by enemies, they side with its enemies against it. This is precisely what they did during the last days of the Umayyad dynasty when the Abbasids revolted, under the instigation of the Shi’ites of that era. ln a later time, they took the same criminal stand against the Abbasids who were threatened by the raids of Hulago and his pagan Mongol followers against the Caliphate of Islam and its glorious capital of science and civilization. An example of this is seen in the behavior of the Shi’ite philosopher and scholar An-Naseer At-Toosi. He composed poetry in praise of Al-Musta’sim, the Abbasid Caliph, then in 65 A.H. executed a complete turn about, instigating revolution against his patron, thereby hastening the catastrophe which befell Islam in Baghdad, where he headed the butcher Hulago’s blood-letting procession. In fact he personally supervised the slaughter of Muslims, sparing none, not even women, children, or the aged. This same At-Toosi also approved of wholesale dumping of valuable texts of Islamic literature in the Tigris River; its waters ran black for days from the ink of the innumerable manuscripts. Thus vanished a great treasure of the Islamic heritage consisting of works in history, literature, language and poetry, not to mention those in the Islamic religious sciences, which had been passed down from the pious of the first generation of Muslims, and which could be found in abundance until that time when they were destroyed in a cultural holocaust the like of which had never been seen before.”
But who knows better what many Sunnis think of the “treacherous” Shia — this anonymous Sunni, or Dinesh D’Souza, who has been intimately familiar with internal Islamic disputes since his childhood and youth in India, which gave him a peculiar insight into the world of Islam that almost no one else in the West possesses?
From a recent speech by Mubarak of Egypt about Shia disloyalty to Sunni Arab states:
“There are Shias in all these countries (of the region), significant percentages, and Shias are mostly always loyal to Iran and not the countries where they live,” Mubarak said in an interview aired on…the Dubai-based Al Arabiya news channel.”
But what does Mubarak know about Sunni attitudes toward Shi’a, compared to what Dinesh D’Souza, “with four bestsellers on the New York Times Best Seller List,” knows about Sunni attitudes toward Shi’a?
From a recent article by an Iraqi on the Gulf War of 1991:
“Conspiratorial and metaphysical reasoning is all that is proffered in the lone document of official explanation [by Saddam Hussein’s regime] of the events of 1991: The root of the “conspiracy of March, 1991,” according to the editorialist was laid at the hands of “a certain sect [i.e. the Shi’a] who has historically been under the influence of the Persians. . . They have been taught to hate the Arab nation.” As for the Iraqis in Nasiriya, Semmawa, and Ammara, known for their secularism, they are merely dismissed as “the marsh Arabs so accustomed to breeding water buffaloes to the extent that they have become indistinguishable from them.” The ‘erudite editorialist’ went on to state that: When they migrated to big cities like Baghdad, they made their living through begging, prostitution, and robbery, not out of need but owing to their intrinsic degraded nature. Moreover, “these are not Arabs; they were brought with their water buffaloes from India by Mohammad al-Qassem [the Abbassid leader who conquered India in the ninth century].”
But what does the Sunni writer of that official Iraqi government document, who describes the Shi’a of Iraq as having “historically been under the influence of the Persians….They have been taught to hate the Arab nation” know about Sunni views of the Shia, compared to what Dinesh D’Souza knows with such scholarly certainty, because for at least a year or two or three he has been “studying Islam” and knows all that one need know?
One more example of Sunni-Shi’a violence: the attempt by the hyper-Sunni Taliban to wipe out the Hazaras, the Shi’a tribe of Mongol descent. That Sunni on Shi’a violence is hardly a matter of hermetic texts; it is discussed at length in that best-seller, Rory Stewart’s account of his walk from Herat to Kabul in 2002, The Places In Between.
And one more still: according to the histories of Iran, in 1722 the Sunni Aghans invaded Shi’a Iran; more than 70 years of unsettlement and strife between the Sunni Afghan overlords and their Shi’a Iranian subjects continued, until the Shi’ite Qajars regained control in 1795 and re-established a Shi’ite theocracy. Or would Dinesh D’Souza argue, as he does in the case of Iraq, that Sunni-Shi’a battles are only “political” and not “religious” in nature — a distinction that makes no sense in Islam, where there is no division between “religion” and “politics”?
“I use the audio format mainly to listen to classics, such as Milton’s Paradise Lost.” — Dinesh D’Souza, tirelessly flogging his own wares, this time CDs, on his website
“Milton’s Paradise Lost.”
Jimmy Carter, when running for office, talking of visiting such places as “Paris, France.”
Go to the DD’S website. Read the coney-barker’s pitch, the mountebank selling his snake-oil:
“Buy my book….Buy my book…Buy my book”? No. Also buy my CDs. And if you’d like me to lecture at your business or university, there are more details on my website which you can link to here.”
He’s not the only one. There are many others, raking it in on the lecture circuit, flogging their wares, even getting armies of the hopeful young people to organize for what those youth think is a greater cause, but somehow always comes down to promoting a particular “expert” on Islam.
Whole lot of self-promoting going on. But nothing quite so blatant as that by Dinesh D’Souza.
Good taste might once have kept such people down, or at least properly mocked. But now….?
The racket itself, and the need to please with ready soundbites, instant “expert” analysis, and the steady churning out of commentary that often does not accompany, but rather prevents, periods of uninterrupted far-from-the-madding-crowd study, is a problem.
What are the requirements, what tests are given, for journalists of the pundit-pontificating variety? What minimum standards of general or specific knowledge must be met? Who gave a test to Tom Friedman? To Nicholas Kristof? To so many others, including those whom one may more or less agree with on the matter of Islam, but at the same time one can find unseemly the extent of their hectic entrepreneurial activity, and the organizing of a production-line where others, “mere” researchers or “mere” writers, do most of the real work (but have that “mere” to contend with), while public and final credit is so often taken by the head. This head, this organizer, is no different from many other such organizers in industry, and he can call the shots not because of his greater intellectual abilities, but rather, because of his greater flair for self-promotion and fundraising. Such practices offend. Their practitioners don’t get cold eyes cast on them nearly enough.
Where he went to school hardly matters. It is what he made, or didn’t, make of it. He’s listening, he tells us with great earnestness, to some tapes right now. The Teaching Company, I presume. Lifetime Learning. Or something. Nothing wrong with that. But if he then assumes that having listened to 20 hours of “Master Teachers” on some subject that that about wraps it up, surely he has another think coming.