The Shia Muslim population is persecuted in nations like Bahrain, Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen, and in other nations throughout the mainly Muslim world. However, recent events in Egypt and Turkey are setting off alarm bells because despite being small minorities in both nations, it is clear that militant Sunni followers are intent on intimidating their respective minorities. More worryingly, in Turkey the Prime Minister of this nation, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, openly spoke about his contempt towards the Shia. This reality puts into perspective how the Shia and Alevi are viewed in modern day Turkey under the current Erdogan government.
Erdogan commented this year that: “These people [Gulen movement members] have three major characteristics. They practice taqiyya [religiously sanctioned dissimulation], they lie, they slander. As a result, they are involved in sedition, malice. They are much worse than Shiites. Shiites cannot compete with them.”
Of course, the main malice was aimed at the Gulen movement but Erdogan can’t help but to spread hatred based on his estranged mindset. At the same time, it is clear that Erdogan is playing the sectarian card against the government of Syria. Similarly, the leader of Iraq doesn’t trust the intentions of Erdogan based on various issues but also related to religious and sectarian factors.
Lee Jay Walker at Modern Tokyo Times comments: “Currently, Takfiri fanatics are beheading and slaughtering in Iraq and Syria – and in other parts of the world like Somalia. However, despite the enormous depravity of Takfiri sectarian fanatics it is abundantly clear that NATO Turkey is a haven. This reality is based on various terrorist sectarian groups that can function both sides of the Syria and Turkey border based on the sinister policies of the current Erdogan government. Therefore, the recent attacks against Shia mosques in Turkey is like a mirror based on the internal and external policies of Erdogan.”
In June and July this year two Shia mosques (Shia also called Jaafaris in Turkey) were burnt in the Esenyurt part of Istanbul. These two arson attacks are following on in the footsteps of Erdogan and his sectarian policies against Syria – and his insincere comments about the Shia.
Lee Jay Walker states: “Apparently, the attack against the Muhammediye Mosque led to several Korans being burnt. Of course, the same Takfiri and religious militants that rebuke a lone individual in America for threatening to burn the Koran, remain ominously silent when the Shia are butchered in various nations and when vast numbers of Korans are blown up by terrorists. After all, many Shia mosques have been targeted in nations like Iraq, Pakistan and Syria. Likewise, Sunni militants in Nigeria under Boko Haram burn the holy books of Christians and Muslims alike. Therefore, the burning of Korans by Sunni militant zealots is following the usual sectarian angle – along with a Takfiri mindset that thrives on hatred.”
In Turkey, the Shia community is only small but like in Malaysia it is clear that the central government views this community with discontent. It may well be that the current problems facing the Shia in Turkey pale in significance when compared with the outright massacres against the Shia community in several nations. However, a slippery slope is a very worrying trend therefore it is hoped that the Erdogan government will be reprimanded internally and externally based on playing the sectarian card.
Lee Jay Walker gave guidance to both writers
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