January 16, 2007
Faith and policy
Imam Elahi calls for unity among all muslims
By : Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi
The Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan met last week at the Islamic House of Wisdom to discuss recent acts of vandalism against Iraqi Shiite properties in Metro Detroit.
There is no basis for Shiite and Sunni animosity anywhere, certainly not in the Quran. While each school of thought in Islam has its special qualities and reflects cultural diversity, Shiites and Sunnis have a common belief system.
Unfortunately, the invasion of , not minor religious differences, has raised tensions whose flames have already hit some other homes worldwide.
President Bush decided to ignore months of hard work by James Baker's Iraqi Study Group and opposed the group's recommendation of starting troop withdrawal and engaging and in a broad dialogue with other neighbors.
If Bush is interested in being a peace president, he could invite 's six close neighbors -- , Jordan, , , and -- to talks that would save from its daily hell.
If oil, arms and Halliburton are more important than the lives of our troops and innocent Iraqis, the civil war will escalate. Interestingly, the president's main allies -- Saudi, and 's rulers, who are scared of al-Qaida terrorist attacks -- love to get rid of al-Qaida operatives by exporting them to .
The Shiite and Sunnis of Iraq were united in state-building and ending British colonial rule, although the Shiites led the independence movement of 1920 and suffered the most from the brutalities and repression of Saddam Hussein and his evil Baath Party in more than 30 years of rule.
The suicide bombings and anti-civilian atrocities in are an external disease. It was the Jordanian Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi who called for jihad against Shiites. His Egyptian successor continued his path. By financing the Sunni insurgency in , some private Saudis prefer the killers to stay in rather than return home to create a headache for the royal family and other Arab rulers.
Obviously, this is not a religious
Shiite-Sunni problem; it's a political hunger for domination on one side and an unholy alliance between Saddam loyalists and foreign terrorists on the other side. Clearly those who are brainwashed with the Wahhabi ideology consider the rest of the Muslim world and especially the Shiites as nonbelievers. By killing the Shiites, the Wahhabi ideologues think they receive a license to paradise.
Reject Wahhabi ideology
The cancerous mentality, which contributed to the crime of the Sept. 11 attacks, is not solely anti-Shiite; it also attacks Sunnis and other religious traditions.
The Wahhabist sect was formed during the 19th century in with the help of the British government. Today, Wahhabis kill innocents in , and . Their hearts have turned against the essential tenets of the beautiful Islamic faith, which are love, peace, justice and compassion. It's time for all Muslims to unite and save the image of Islam from this poisonous propaganda.
It's in the best interest of peace in the Middle East to end this civil war in and stop it from extending across the region. What is needed in is an honest and open-minded strategy instead of more troops and military might.
The long-term interests of our country should coincide with the interests of countries. The people need to be convinced that the is not in to divide and rule, that the war against terror is not a war against Islam and that the U.S. Middle East interests are not necessarily identical with the Israeli interests all the time.
Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi heads the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights