Woman with a Spray of Flowers, Safavid Iran, 1575 CE (Photo credit: mesosyn.com)
How can one publish a post dated 22 June on 24 June? Well, it’s possible.
My post on Arabization and Islamization is dated 22 June 2017 because it was first published privately on 22 June 2017. I didn’t know whether or not I should publish it. There are individuals who wish to know whether or not Iranians are Arabs, but many of us were witnesses to the 1979 Iranian Revolution and the departure of the Shah of Iran. There were tragic moments.
Most Iranians, 90 to 95%, are Shia Muslims and Iran is not a member of the Arab World.
For information on Europe and the Middle East, you will find answers at Eyes on Europe & the Middle East. There are frequent changes to the current conflicts in the Middle East. Keeping up with events and alliances is too difficult.
I should point out that Bashar al-Assad, the President of Syria, is an Alawite Muslim (Shia Islam). Most Syrians however are Sunni Muslims and Syria has /had many minorities. Sadly, many Syrians have been killed or have walked out of their country. Moreover, Syria’s cultural heritage is being destroyed. (See Destruction of Cultural Heritage by ISIL, Wikipedia.)
I am profoundly disturbed by the atrocities committed by ISIL and by Human Rights violations in the Middle East and in North Korea. In particular, it worries me to know that US President Donald Trump travelled to Saudi Arabia and signed a US$110 bln arms deal.
The President knows, or should know, that there is enmity between Saudi Arabia and Iran. I am glad however that Europe is still a United Europe.
It’s a very short post. I have commitments at the moment. Things will slow down.
Arabs are people indigenous to the Arabian Peninsula, also called Arabia. Saudi Arabia is an Arab country and most of its citizens are Muslims, a religion. Saudi Arabs are Sunni Muslims (a religion) but many are Wahhabis, a fundamentalist Muslim sect. However, Saudi Arabia is home to a Shia Muslim population.
The people of Iran/Persia are notArabs, but most are Muslims, Shia Muslims. Syrians are Shia Muslims, but Syria is also inhabited by Sunni Muslims. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is an Alawite Shia Muslim.
The Arabian Peninsula (left) and Iran/Persia (right)
The Arabian Peninsula is home to Arabs, but the people of Iran were Arabized in the 7th century CE. (See Arab Conquest of Persia, Wikipedia.)
The map below shows the three expansions of Patriarchal Caliphates, or Arabization.
Arab Conquests from 661 to 750
Age of the Caliphs. Expansion under the Prophet Muhammad, 622-632. Expansion during the Patriarchal Caliphate, 632-661. Expansion during the Umayyad Caliphate, 661-750 (Photo credit: Caliphate, Wikipedia.)
Sunni Islam (± 75%)
an Absolute Monarchy
Human Rights violations
Saudi Muslims are Sunni Muslims, but many are Wahhabis. As described in Wikipedia, Wahhabism is “ultraconservative,” “austere,” “fundamentalist,” or “puritan(ical).” Saudis behead, crucify, mutilate, flagellate and imprison unjustly. Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy, which means that King Salman has divine rights. (See Divine right of kings, Wikipedia.) Raif Badawi has been in a Saudi jail for five years because he had a website in which he advocated greater liberalism in Saudi Arabia.
Mr Badawi appealed his first sentence: 6 years of imprisonment and 600 lashes. Upon appealing his sentence, in 2015, Raif was sentenced to a 10-year term in jail, 1,000 lashes, and a fine of approximately $250,000.00. Upon his appeal, Raif Badawi was also accused of apostasy, an accusation which carries a death sentence. Mr Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, a human rights activist, lives in my community with her three children by Mr Badawi. They are our cause, but it could be a desperate cause. Saudi Arabia is an extremely rich country. It was the first country President Trump visited in his official capacities.
The magnificent lions shown above date back to a pre-Islamic Persia. Works I showed in a post entitled Islamic Art featured the art of Iran and other Muslim countries. The second lion is a hybrid or zoomorphic beast. His hind legs are those of a griffin, a legendary animal.
“The rise of Persian had more than purely literary consequences: it served to carry a new overall cultural orientation within Islamdom. … Most of the more local languages of high culture that later emerged among Muslims … depended upon Persian wholly or in part for their prime literary inspiration. We may call all these cultural traditions, carried in Persian or reflecting Persian inspiration, ‘Persianate’ by extension.”
Turkey was not Arabised and Iran differs from Saudi Arabia. Iran is home to Shia Muslims and Saudi Arabia is inhabited by Sunni Muslims and Wahhabis. They are different entities. Iran is not a member of the Arab World. The 22 states making up the Arab World are listed under Arab World (please click). Iran’s cultural heritage is extremely rich. As well, it has a parliament. As noted above, in 1979, Iran refused to be Westernized.
A map of the Arab world, based on the standard territorial definition of the Arab world, which comprises the 22 states of the Arab League (Comoros is not shown). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Not only has a reversion of Arabization begun, but so have attempts to create a more liberal Islam. The Arab Spring started with the Tunisian Revolution on 17 December 2010. (See Arab Spring, Wikipedia.) The Tunisian Revolution was successful. It led to greater democratization. However, other Muslims societies are also seeking reforms. Raif Badawi is in a Saudi jail because, as noted above, he advocated a more liberal Saudi Arabia. The Saudis still behead people.
Saudi Arabia is an Arab country, but Iran is not. Iran, however, is a Muslim country. It is home to Shia Muslims mainly, There are other religious groups in the Middle East. Islam however is one of the Abrahamic religions. Jesus, Isa ibn Maryam, was a prophet in the Abrahamic religions. (See Jesus in Islam, Wikipedia.) However, Muhammad, who was born in Mecca, founded Islam. He was 40 when the archangel Gabriel, brought him messages from God. Christianity is rooted in Judaism, one of three Abrahamic religions, the third being Islam:
Judaism (seventh century BCE),
Christianity (first century CE),
Islam (seventh century CE).
I will close by quoting Wikipedia
“The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as Abrahamism, are a group of Semitic-originated religious sects that claim descent from the practices of the ancient Israelites and the worship of the God of Abraham.” (Read more under Abrahamic religions, Wikipedia.)
Mr Romney made it perfectly clear that, under his presidency, the United States would stand behind Israel. One cannot object to his standing behind Israel, but can he play favorites, thereby alienating the Arab world? If Mr Romney plays favorites or takes sides, the United States will remain an enemy in the eyes of other countries in the Near and Middle East. As a result, he would not be protecting but endangering Israel.
Moreover, by taking sides, he would endanger the United States. The events of 9/11 and the disastrous wars fought in the wake of these attacks dictate prudence in the Middle East. There are countries in the Arab world that harbor considerable ill feelings against the United States.
Mr Romney also stated that “[w]e need to indict Ahmadinejad.” In what capacity could the President of the United States do this? Ahmadinejad is not an American citizen and Iran is a sovereign nation. Indicting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would have to be done using the proper international channels. The President of the United States does not rule the world.
China: Mr Romney
Mr Romney’s comments on China were also alarming.
“That’s why on day one, I will label them a currency manipulator, which allows us to apply tariffs where they’re taking jobs. They’re stealing our intellectual property, our patents, our designs, our technology, hacking into our computers, counterfeiting our goods.” (Mitt Romney)
The United States borrowed a great deal of money from China and may need to borrow more. If Mr Romney and other very wealthy Americans will not pay their fair share of taxes, if they deposit their money in offshore accounts, if they continue to expect tax cuts, if they export too large a number of jobs to China and other countries, thereby taking jobs away from Americans and, by the same token, depriving the US of tax-payers, how will the debt be repaid? Mr Romney may have to learn Chinese.
In short, Mr Romney is fomenting dissent in the Middle East and inviting retaliatory action from China. His behaviour suggests that he would be a reckless President and that as President of the United States, he would not give sufficient attention to domestic issues. He would in fact bully the world: sanctions here, sanctions there.
The Middle East: President Obama
“[O]ur security is at stake.” (President Obama)
Contrary to Mr Romney, President Obama’s main concern is for the safety of his people. For instance, he stated that:
his administration is “going to continue to keep the pressure on to make sure that they [Iran] do not get a nuclear weapon. That’s in America’s national interest and that will be the case so long as I’m president.”
President Obama is right. It is in America’s national interest to make sure than Iran and other countries do not get nuclear weapons. This matter is, in fact, a global issue and should be addressed as such.
President Obama also stated that “[t]hey [Egypt] have to abide by their treaty with Israel. That is a red line for us, because not only is Israel’s security at stake, but our security is at stake if that unravels.”
According to Mr Romney, the US “should be playing the leadership role there[Libya]” not on the ground with military[,]” a statement to which President Obama’s response was that they (the US) “are playing the leadership role.”
America remains the one indispensable nation. And the world needs a strong America, and it is stronger now than when I came into office.
English: President Obama had called on the two former Presidents to help. During their public remarks in the Rose Garden, President Clinton had said about President Bush, ‘I’ve already figured out how I can get him to do some things that he didn’t sign on for.’ Later, back in the Oval, President Bush is jokingly asking President Clinton what were those things he had in mind. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Yes the United States “remains the one indispensable nation,” but a nation where a social contract, albeit tacit, dictates that its president’s main concern be the “safety” of his nation. That notion has to inform a president’s actions and any candidate to the presidency of the United States who expresses views that stray from this tenet does not seem a suitable candidate.
So the United States now knows that if it elects Mr Romney, it may well elect a warmonger who is indeed prepared to barge into other countries thoughtlessly and will revive the image of the “ugly American:” a “pejorative term used to refer to perceptions of loud, arrogant, demeaning, thoughtless and ethnocentric behavior of American citizens mainly abroad, but also at home.Although the term is usually associated with or applied to travelers and tourists, it also applies to US corporate businesses in the international arena.” (Ugly American, Wikipedia)
After four years of careful negotiations with the Middle East and a rapprochement, America might again be sending soldiers into battle, young Americans who will lose their life or whose life may be ruined.
* * *
What comes to my mind is that picture of President elect Obama entering the White House surrounded by former presidents. The US suffered under the former president’s administration, but President Bush was President of the United States and he was President on 9/11, a calamity that can lead and led to injudicious decisions. But President Obama treated President Bush in a kind and courteous manner as he did all former presidents. The “five presidents” was a moment of mutual respect that brought me hope, and hope is the road that takes us into the future.