Article by Dr Yasir Qadhi just published on his Facebook page
Sadly, sectarianism is still well and alive in the Ummah.
Recently, a large group of scholars, primarily of a Sufi/Ashari trend, gathered in Chechnya for a conference whose pre-planned and coordinated conclusion was to claim that Atharis (or ‘Salafis’) were not a part of Sunni Islam, and hence were to be considered a heretical school. The fact that this conference was sponsored and planned by some of the most repressive government regimes in the world, for political purposes, and with a sectarian agenda, and indirectly supported by Western powers, was ignored by followers of that strand of Islam as the conference reached its foregone conclusion, simply because some of their own esteemed figures, such as Habib Ali al-Jifry, were involved in and in charge of organizing it. Narry a word of protest was heard against this shameless debacle of a conference by mainstream, moderate followers of that trend.
Love makes one blind to one’s beloved’s faults.
Not to be outdone, recently the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, as a result of comments of a political nature, criticized the Shi’ites as being ‘sons of fire-worshippers’ (in reference to their Zoroastrian heritage) and effectively excommunicated the entire mass of them from Islam. Again, the realization that regional powers are actually being played against one another by super-powers who have a vested interested in seeing an intra-Muslim civil war (in this case, America on the one side and Russia on the other, and Saudi Arabia and Iran as regional proxies), and the simple grasp that such ancient theological disputes are only being made relevant due to modern political struggles, is completely lost on those who issue, or support, such statements.
Meanwhile, as some followers continue to cheer such rhetoric and blindly defend it, millions of Muslims around the world continue to live in the most unimaginable of circumstances. And even as these clerics issue their fatwas from the comforts of their stable lives, it is the innocent and helpless men, women and children, of Syria, of Yemen, of Iraq (and others…) who suffer as a result of the policies of power-intoxicated Western and Russian backed politicians being supported by the zealousness and short-sidedness and political naïveté of religious fundamentalist clerics.
Yes, I’m angry and frustrated at the situation in the Muslim world. And so should you be as well.
Sallim, Allahumma sallim….