On Friday, July 1st, thousands of people peacefully assembled in the streets Zaria, a city in the northern part of Nigeria. The marchers carried banners painted with images of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, as well as placards and flags condemning Israel.
On the last Friday of Ramadan, Muslims across the world take to the street for the “Day of Al-Quds” to protest against Israel, and to demand that “Al-Quds” (also known as Jerusalem) be returned to the Palestinians.
The demonstrations this year in Nigeria, which proceeded peacefully in spite of threats from the military and Boko Haram terrorists, were particularly noteworthy. The demonstrations were organized by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, but also included Christians, Sunnis, and others who oppose Israeli atrocities. Fearlessly, the Nigerian Al-Quds marchers not only rallied against Israel, but also called for the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Zakzaky, to be released.
Zakzaky, the top Shia cleric in Nigeria, remains in military detention after being swept up in a raid on his neighborhood. The incident has been called the Zaria Massacre, and has been condemned by a wide variety of voices, including Amnesty International.
At least 300 unarmed civilians were slaughtered on December 12th, 2015 when the Nigerian military attacked the headquarters of the Islamic movement in Nigeria. Sheikh Zakzaky has been held in military detention without any criminal charges filed against him since that day. Many of his sons and daughters were among those who were slaughtered. The Nigerian military now says that Zakzaky is being held, against his will, “for his own protection.” The Shia Muslims of Nigeria reject this assertion, and demand his immediate unconditional release.
Clinton E-mails Discuss “Sectarian War” as “Not a Bad Thing”
Just a few days after the Al-Quds demonstrations took place across the world, Shia neighborhoods in Saudi Arabia were rattled with bombs. No one has yet claimed responsibility for these attacks.
Within Saudi Arabia, Shia Muslims live as second-class citizens. They are mostly not permitted to become educated, and are forced to work as manual laborers. While the Saudi Royal family lives in luxury, it is Shia Muslims who sweat in the oil fields and refineries, extracting and refining the thousands of barrels exported by the repressive Kingdom every day. The Shia community in Saudi Arabia still boils with rage over the fact that their most high ranking leader, Ayatollah Nimr Al-Nimr, was executed in January.
The Hezbollah organization in Lebanon has had its mosques targeted by ISIS bombs, as its fighters continue to support the Syrian government on the battlefield. Iraqi Shias have faced a wave of terrorism since the US invasion of Iraq. One of the most holy Shia sites, the Al-Askari Mosque, was bombed in 2006, destroying its golden dome.
Almost everywhere Shia Muslims are being targeted and killed. The Islamic Republic of Iran, the only country in the world with a government based on Shia Islam, faces a wave of attacks motivated by religious hate.
A terrorist organization called Jindallah operates on Iran’s border with Afghanistan, funding its operations by smuggling heroin. The organization was infiltrated by the US Port Authority Police, which refused to notify Iran of pending terrorist attacks against civilians.
On July 4th, 30,000 of Hillary Clinton’s e-mails were released by Wikileaks. A number of Clinton’s e-mails dealt with Iraq. In some of the e-mails it can be read how Clinton and other state department officials scrambled to protect the residents of “Camp Ashraf” or “Camp Liberty.” This is a place in Iraq where the Mujahideen E-Khalq, a legally designated Foreign Terrorist Organization until 2013, based its operations, working to violently topple the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The Mujahideen E-Khalq are terrorists who call themselves “Islamo-Marxists.” From their camp in Iraq they have conducted many assassinations and bombings. The most notorious of MEK’s recent acts has been assassinating peaceful Iranian scientists in coordination with Mossad.
Hillary Clinton’s newly released e-mails show how the elected Iraqi government grew tired of hosting a group of murderous terrorists who were using Iraqi soil as a headquarters for their operations. Clinton and other state department officials negotiated with the Iraqi government, doing everything they could to make sure that the Mujahadeen E-Khalq terrorists, who have killed tens of thousands of innocent civilians over the last three decades, were not arrested and were safely evacuated to a new location.
The United States and Israel, in a close alliance with Saudi Arabia, are actively supporting the killing of Shia Muslims around the world. From the US-backed Nigerian regime, to Yemen, Iraq, and Syria, forces that are actively calling for the slaughter of what they refer to as “Shia Apostates,” are receiving sometimes passive and sometimes blatant support.
One of the already leaked Clinton e-mails indicates that US leaders are considering the possible benefits of a sectarian war between Sunni and Shia across the Middle East. An e-mail forwarded to Hillary Clinton about Syria contained the deeply disturbing passage: “The fall of the House of Assad could well ignite a sectarian war between the Shiites and the majority Sunnis of the region drawing in Iran, which, in the view of Israeli commanders would not be a bad thing for Israel and its Western allies.”
The hypothetical war discussed by Hillary Clinton’s e-mails is not exactly what’s happening. It is easy to dismiss the conflict between Sunni and Shia Muslims as another longstanding ethno-religious rivalry. Observers in the West are tempted to repeat commonly heard statements like “these people have been fighting for thousands of years” and, “there is truth on both sides.” However, if one looks deeper at the conflict, you can see that these cliches do not apply.
For example, in the Islamic Republic of Iran, led by Shia Muslims, Sunni Muslims are free to openly practice and proselytize their faith, as are Christians, Zoroastrians, and Jews. All believers in monotheism are guaranteed religious freedom under the Iranian constitution, though the government takes a Shia perspective and is lead by Shia clerics.
In Syria, Shia Muslims in Hezbollah and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards are standing shoulder to shoulder with Syrian Christians, Communist atheists, and Orthodox Christian Russian Nationalists in order to fight against ISIS. The overwhelming majority of the soldiers in the Syrian Arab Army loyal to the internationally recognized Syrian government, are Sunnis.
In Yemen, the Zaidi Shia Ansarullah organization, also known as the Houthis, is aligned with both Sunnis and Secularists in a Revolutionary Committee to fight against the Saudi-led attack on the country.
Shia Muslims are simply not pushing religious sectarianism in the Middle East. Neither are most Sunnis. The call for violence against people on the basis of their religious and ethnic background is coming from a specific group of Sunni fanatics who have lots of money behind them.
The campaign of violence, primarily targeting Shia Muslims cannot truly be described as a “Sunni-Shia” conflict. In reality, this is a war on civilization waged by Wahabbi fanatics. The most open targets of the Wahabbi fanatics are Shia Muslims, but many Sunnis and Christians have been slaughtered by them as well. As Wahabbi terrorists get stronger, it is not only the Shia, but Christians, Druze, Yazidis, and even moderate Sunnis who are in great danger.
Big Oil & Wahabbism
Wahabbism is a fanatical interpretation of Sunni Islam started by Muhammad Ibn Al-Wahhab. Wahhab’s ideas were embraced by the Saudi monarchy in the 1700s. Beginning in the late 1800s, the British empire began funding and promoting the Saudi Royal family and their ideology of Wahabbism, seeing it as a useful tool against the Ottoman empire. The United States began cooperating with Saudi Arabia and Wahabbism during the Second World War.
The reason the US and British governments promoted and aligned with Wahabbis was obvious: oil. The Arabian Peninsula is one of the most oil-rich regions in the entire world. Only Venezuela has bigger oil deposits than Saudi Arabia, and this was only recently discovered.
The British defeated the Ottoman empire in the First World War. With Saudi Wahabbis as their allies, British bankers like the Rothschilds secured access to the oil of the Middle East region. After the Russian Revolution, the American and Anglo bankers were desperate for oil, because the Soviet Union had taken the Baku oil fields of Azerbaijan out of their hands.
Control of Saudi Arabia’s oil was key in securing the allied victory during the Second World War. The Nazis great weakness was their dependence on imported oil to fuel their war machine.
Wahabbism began to spread across the planet during the 1970s, as steeper oil prices made Saudi Arabia far wealthier. The CIA aided Osama bin Laden in building a Wahabbi army in Afghanistan to fight against the People’s Democratic Party throughout the 1980s. Among those who aligned with the Wahabbi fanatics in Afghanistan was Siddique Mateen, the father of the mass shooter in Orlando.
Two dangerous groups of Wahabbi terrorists now control huge chunks of Syrian territory. The so-called Islamic State Organization (referred to as ISIS or Daesh) describes itself as the most true adherents to the Wahabbi ideology. Another Wahabbi organization known as the Al-Nusra Front, also controls huge chunks of Syrian territory. Among the so-called “moderate” rebels, the majority are Wahabbis of some variety.
It is widely confirmed that Saudi Arabia, as well as some western countries have been actively supporting the Al-Nusra Front. David Petraeus recently testified before Congress that he believed the United States should directly join these efforts, and send guns to Al-Nursa, previously known as Al-Queda in Syria.
Saudi television not only promotes Wahabbism, but fixates on hate for Shia Muslims. Saudi Arabia’s propaganda to Muslims around the world preaches that Iran is somehow attempting to establish a “Shia crescent” and to conquer the world into a Shia empire. Saudi propaganda dismisses all the forces resisting Wahabbi terrorism in the Middle East as some kind of vast, Iranian conspiracy, despite the fact that they are one of the most religiously and politically diverse military coalitions in world history, containing Communists, Islamic Revolutionaries, Arab Nationalists, and Christians, which are all united against Wahabbi terrorism.
The Nigerian government that slaughtered Shia Muslims in December, the Saudi-Wahabbi Kingdom, and Hillary Clinton, all have one thing in common: They all work closely with the top US oil companies.
British Petroleum, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon-Mobile, and Chevron are the four largest oil companies in the world, and are commonly called the “Supermajors.” They function almost like a trust or cartel, by coordinating production and pricing with each other. All four of them buy Saudi oil.
Hillary Clinton’s personal foundation (along with the Council on Foreign Relations which strategizes for the CIA, and other major US foreign policy think tanks) is openly bankrolled by Exxon-Mobile and other big oil corporations.
The Nigerian government cooperates closely with Shell and Chevron as the top oil- exporting country on the African continent. Shell oil even maintains its own private army in the oil-rich Niger Delta Region. It’s no coincidence that Wahabbi terrorists in “Boko Haram” have been terrorizing people in Nigeria for over a decade.
Saudi Arabia’s spreading of Wahabbi fanaticism around the world depends on its relationship with big oil corporations on Wall Street. Everywhere big oil goes, Wahabbism is not far behind.
Wahabbi terrorists are working to overthrow the Syrian Arab Republic, a country that cooperates closely with the Islamic Republic of Iran, and had been talking about joint oil pipelines and ventures when the civil war began five years ago. Wahabbi terrorists are working to fight against the democratic uprising in Yemen, and restore the Saudi- backed dictator Mansour Hadi. Wahabbi terrorists have targetted Russia, and even unleashed a wave of stabbings on trains in the People’s Republic of China. The targets of Wahabbi fanatics are also the biggest enemies of Wall Street.
The destruction of Libya in 2011 with a NATO bombing campaign, and the toppling of the Islamic Socialist government unleashed Wahabbi forces in the country. Al-Queda and ISIS had almost no presence in Libya before 2011, but since the NATO bombing campaign they have become stronger than ever before. The same can be said for Iraq and Afghanistan. US foreign policies, executed in the name of a “War on Terror,” seem to be making Wahabbi terrorists more powerful.
“War of Poverty Against Wealth”
It makes sense that big oil would align itself with fanatics who hate Shia Muslims. Shia Islam, with its message of social justice, and opposition to capitalism, is an enemy of Wall Street.
Shia Muslims honor not just the Prophet Muhammad, but also the Imams who seceded him. Imams Ali and Hussain were martyred in battles against very rich and powerful people. Shia holy days like Ashura commemorate those who sacrificed their lives “for the oppressed.” The sayings of Imams Ali and Hussain contain many anti-capitalist and populist sentiments. The last will and testament of Imam Ali instructs Muslims “Do not yearn for the world, and do not be seduced by it. Do not resent anything you have missed in it. Proclaim the truth; work for the next world. Oppose the oppressor and support the oppressed.”
The Islamic Revolution of Iran in 1979 took a major oil producing country out of the hands of Wall Street and London. The Shah, who had acted as the puppet of big oil corporations, and lived in splendor as his country remained underdeveloped and impoverished, and was toppled.
The Islamic Republic of Iran came into existence with slogans such as “Neither East Nor West”, “Not Capitalism, but Islam”, and “War of Poverty Against Wealth.” The Islamic Revolution in Iran inspired uprisings of Shia Muslims all across the world. Within Saudi Arabia, Shia oil workers rose up and battled against the Wall Street oil monarchy, inspired by Iran’s example.
Shia in Lebanon have formed the militant Hezbollah organization, which acts almost as a commune state, caring for the people and arming them to defend themselves. Hezbollah scored a huge victory against Israeli invaders in 2006.
In Nigeria, Pakistan, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, Shia Muslims are obligated by their faith to stand not just for religious principles, but also for social justice. Within Iran, one can see government officials who honor Malcolm X and the Black Liberation Movement of the United States.
The Iranian government came to the aid of the Irish Republican Army as it battled against the British empire in the 1980s. Iran has continued to aid the Palestinian people in their fight against Israel, despite much of the Palestinian leadership being very hostile to them, and their having a different religious perspective.
The attack on Shia Muslims is done in order to protect the rich and powerful. Shia Islam has become a vehicle with which those who long for stability and social justice can express themselves, and become organized to fight.
Everyone who values justice and wants an end to terrorism should be deeply concerned about the rising persecution of Shia Muslims. The fact that Hillary Clinton’s e-mails show her indifference and in some cases, direct participation in it, should be deeply upsetting to morally conscious people within the United States.
Caleb Maupin is a political analyst and activist based in New York. He studied political science at Baldwin-Wallace College and was inspired and involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”, where this article first appeared.