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Letters of the Week: June 5 - June 11

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  1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Someone asked me recently if action by Saudi Arabia against Qatar, another Muslim country, did not amount to the same type of "discrimination against Muslims" that Donald Trump has been showing in his campaign statements and actions as president, including his entry ban executive orders.

    I am not an expert in Middle Eastern politics, and I have not been following the Saudi-Qatar dispute very closely. However, it appears to be based at least in part on the fact that Qatar has more than 20 per cent Shia population (according to Wikipedia) and Saudi Arabia, of course, is a bastion of Sunni Islam.

    Anyone with even a scintilla of knowledge of Islam knows that there is a Sunni-Shia rift that goes back many centuries, almost back to the founding of Islam, and which rivals the history of the Catholic=Protestant dispute in violence and antagonism.

    The Sunni-Shia violence continues in many parts of the world today. ISIS, for example, regards Shia Muslims as heretics and kills them on sight.

    One constantly sees media stories about mosque bombings by one or the other side against the other, and many analysts with much more knowledge than I have believe that the Sunni-Shia conflict led to prolonging the Iraq war.

    In Middle Eastern power politics, Saudi Arabia leads the Sunni side and Iran leads the Shia.

    There are also a host of other specifically Middle Eastern factors involved in this dispute, which pits Muslim against Muslim in ways too numerous for a non-Middle Eastern specialist such as myself to understand.

    It would be absurd to compare these seemingly endless Middle Eastern Muslim country religious and political disputes with Trump's US entry ban orders, which are motivated by hatred for all Muslims without distinction.

    It would not be unfair to ask if Trump even knows or understands that such a fundamental divide as the Sunni-Shia schism exists within the Muslim world.

    In this sense, Trump could accurately be called an equal opportunity Islamophobic bigot.

    Roger Algase

    Updated 06-06-2017 at 08:11 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
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