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Wednesday , June 16 2021

Slippery slope of Persian Shi’ism in Africa

FROM the time Iran promulgated its new constitution in 1979, and introduced and incorporated in it an article on “exporting the revolution”, its intelligence services have spared no efforts in promoting the Khomeinist idea of revolutionizing people and changing their cultural beliefs, seeking to spread Safavid Shi’ism through violence and even killing.

Therefore, when some countries warn of the consequences of this type of ideological infiltration into their societies, it does not mean such warnings are aimed at provoking creedal and sectarian strife. Rather, the goal is to confront this infiltration, which is not different from the approach of Ismail Safavi who worked to spread Shi’ism in his country through violence and killing in the 15th century.

There is no doubt that those privy to the history of the Iranian revolution would discover many similarities between Khomeini and Safavid. These two are proud of Persian fanaticism, and have covered their expansionism projects with religious cloak. This was evident during the period between 1979 and 1988 when the new leadership took up murder, kidnapping and prisons as a way to tighten its control over the country.

The regime also established sectarian groups in Arab and Islamic countries, which unleashed  intellectual and practical terrorism. The so-called “parties of God” is a clear example of the extent the situation can reach in the countries where these gangs enter.

It is true that there is no harm in the multiplicity of creeds and sects … this is present in all religions. Arab societies have historically been based on pluralism and openness. Despite the setbacks they have experienced, social relations have remained at their best.

However, the danger posed by the new project is not related to the spread of the Arab Shi’ism that we know and have lived in harmony with it for many centuries. It is in the form of the hidden expansionism agenda covered by religious cloak, which is based on a fragmented and distorted version of Islam and Shi’ism, to achieve political and economic goals.

From this standpoint, the Moroccan warning against the spread of Persian Shi’ism in Africa should be taken as a serious warning of the levels the Mullahs regime can reach in its project, which it continues to implement despite all the false messages of peace that it sends.

It is a sufficient example to look at the so-called “Islamic movement” in Nigeria led by Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, the way it used violence as its weapon since its inception nearly two decades ago, and the way its seditious rhetoric lured other Islamic groups into creedal and sectarian conflicts. This applies to other countries where Iran-backed movements are practicing the ugliest forms of terrorism and stirring up strife.

Today, confronting the new Iranian project forces the Arab countries to stand by Morocco in its intellectual, economic and political battle. This battle is not an easy one because neutrality in this regard means the success of the Persian expansionism project and the increase in hotbeds of tension in the Arab and Islamic worlds … and that is a slippery slope.

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah

Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

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