Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Passion of Hussein

"I have many scores with the enemy
Not only one, is that which I desire

Your back, your little finger, your liver

your grey hairs which in blood had been soaked

Your chest, your thirsty heart

Your body, My master, that which was crucified

Before you there was not a tragedy

a slaughter from the back to the back

and a head sheathed
up on the spear
From a land to another

your head, O the willful, goes round and round"

- Bassim al-Karbali'e, lamenting Imam Hussein' death in Bil Taff Lu Chinit Mawjood

I have been avoiding this post for almost a year now, for fear of meddling into a big sectarian mess that shuold be treaded carefully to say the least. However, my recent re-viewing of South Park's infamous The Passion of The Jew episode convinced me of its importance.

When I first watched The Passion of The Christ back when it was just released, like many others, I was in complete awe of the film. Deeply moved, and compounded by explicit hatred at the jews. At the time, like any good-loving Muslim, I didn't give any extra thought into the innate, inherent evil of anything Jewish.
I watched the film again about a month ago, and found that there is little more in the film that actually makes it something above a simple 'snuff film', the only significane it served is the fact that the man being killed, unlike millions others killed in a similar fashion, is the principle focus of a major world religion. The Passion itself is a medieval performance piece whose only purpose is to incite anti-semitism. Discussions into the film's possible and unintended (or intended) inciting of similar sentiments have been dead and done, but the myriad similarity between the centrality of the crucification and the Shiite's Flagellation processions is what forced me to criticise it here.

For a year, I have been pondering over and over about what Shi'ism is about. In Sunni Islam, the history of the Arab/Islamic Nation is basically: everybody lived happily ever after until very recently, the bulk of wars between people deemed companions to the prophet are often ignored or passed in silence. This amazing discovery forced me to read and re-examine my beliefs, and since then it has been an endless fascination for me to read about the history and origins of the endless Sunni-Shiite conflict.

The first thing that struck me odd in Shiism is that, while it tries hard to claim that its ideology is derived from reason and logic, it's present spiritual force is exactly the same force that grips you when you see the Messiah being whipped by Roman Soldiers until his ribs poke out, unreasoning raw sympathy for another human being compounded a million times by the perceived saintly stature of the man in your consciousness, a force so emotionally terrible that strips you of any thinking, so strong that your heart eventually convince yourself it must be true, the problem with such gushing sensations is that the heart is often an unreliable conductor To quote the late leader of Badr/SCIRI (now SIIC) Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim: "Shiism was kept alive in two things and two things only: the focus on the plight of Hussein and his mother, Fatima al-Zahraa."
There is no better example of this logic-less method of persuasion that the story of Fatima al-Zahraa's Rib, supposedly, before the death of the prophet, he appointed his cousin, Ali, as his successor, but the first caliph was Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, when Ali refused to extend allegiance, Omar ibn al-Khataab, one of the most important companions in Sunni Islam, went to his house and started shouting and threatening to burn it even though Fatima, Ali's wife and Prophet Mohammed's only daughter, is inside, eventually, Omar (sometimes not him, but a minor slaved called Qunfudh) crushed Fatima using the door of the house, that her rib was broken, and she was forced into a miscarriage of the third child Muhsin, before dying six months later, in a notorious day Shiites uphold as 'Zahraa's Martyrdom' Amazingly, Imam Ali, easily the most self-righterous, strongest and most courageous figure in Islam, did absolutely nothing for the death of his wife and child. and went to 'grudgingly' accept the caliphate of Abu Bakr and Omar, even advising the latter on certain matters, for fear over the unity of Islam!!!! This is the same Ali whose self-imposed puritanical approach to life and refusal to compromise on anything led him, knownigly, to his defeat by the more wily and persuasive Muawiya. In fact, first act on the first day of his caliphate some 30 years later was chasing Ubaidullah bin Omar, who killed a Persian without any charges after the second caliph was killed, such is his stubborn adherence to the principles, that it is seems ridiculous, even hugely insulting to his character, that he would contend with 'accepting the unity of Islam' when such grave sins were committed not only under the tent of Islam, but to his personal family and wife.

When I asked a very devout Shiite friend of mine from Najaf about Ali's actions, his simple explanation was that 'it was told to Ali that he have to act this way by the Prophet', an even more puzzling mystical solution, as the prophet could have easily dispensed of his two companions, both of which belonging to minor tribes who pose no real threat to him, when he was alive.

Unfortuantely, this illogical story is a foundation for the Shiite faith ; A neutral person, with no previous knoweldge of Ali and Omar, would have trouble not being affected by the yearly wealth of poems and latmiyas, set to heart-piercing melodies, telling in horrible detail the wounds and injuries suffering the saintly lady by the 'oppressors and criminals'. If Laughing is infections, then crying is terminal. Even though Abu Bakr and Omar had differences with Fatima, their latter actions when they assumed the caliphate were unlike those of the following tyrannical kings such as Muawiya or Yazid, or even those like Omar's successor Uthman ; they remained as poor as they were before ruling, their clothes and food remained as rough as the Prophet (and Ali's), and their actions were in the interest of the Islamic State overall. Some Shiite scholars like Mohammed Fadhulallah, Hezbollah's spiritual leader, tried to negate this story, but he was ruthlessly and harshly denounced by both the common and the other Ayatollahs such as Iraq's Ali Sistani, quoting: 'The tragedy of Zahraa is essential to our sect, and without it, our sect would become quite simply the same as the other sect.' This is correct, because to Shiism the whole idea is of a single , continous tapestry of suffering and pain since the death of the Prophet Mohammed until today, and to break a crucial pillar of that fragment would ultimately lead to the downfall of the whole sect.

That is not to say that Shiism is devoid of any positive principles, like the countless other revolutions throughout history, such as communism and pan-Arab nationalism, Shiism started with a noble true cause that throughout history was shortened to nothing more than rituals and beliefs which are recognized as more important than its true spirit, the spirit of revolution against the rulers who descended into wordly pleasures and mixed religious rule with that of a king. Open any Shiite website and you would find the larger section of the site dedicated to the Shiite Opus Dei-like hymns of flagellation, wailing over the ethereal Battle of Kerbala and all the time asking for the venegance and revenge, which easily replaced the spirit of corrective revolution as the driving force of inspiration for the creed, thankfully, that revenge is postponed until the day when Imam Mahdi (GHA) will rise up, and whose first act shall be to to resurrect Abu Bakr, Omar, Uthman, Aisha, Muawiya, Yazid, Harun, and probably Saddam, to punish them for the deaths of Ali, Fatima, Hasan, Hussein, Musa al-Kazim, Ali al-Ridha and other reverred figures. Imam Mahdi serves as the simple opium found in the cultures of many oppressed folks by which their little dreams of getting a shot at the oppression of state comes true and accomplishes what they failed to do. It is actually that story which led me to drop my belief in both the Sunni and Shiite versions of the Mahdi, the only form of Mahdi I believe in now is the Second Coming of Christ, which exists in Islam as well.

My study of Shiism also changed my view of the Umayyid and Abbasid rulers, for it is apparent as the sun that Muawiya bin Abu Sufayan and his son Yazid have played a great deal in the dissolution of the puritanical principles of religion, perhaps they were only instruments for the unavoidable current of human nature, which abandoned Ali's tight adherence to religion and sought a freer, more joyous interpretation of life, nevertheless, it clarified my vision and opened up my mind as the history of our nation, and i have to thank Shiism for that.
The following passage in the book Sultan's Preachers, by the secular Shiite Ali al-Wardi, helped me in a great way formulate the ideas I expressed above:

We have said earlier that the Saffavids have tamed the prinicples of Shiism, reducing it into a 'slumbering revolution', a dormant volcano with only a few smokes signifiying its earlier destructive capabilites. Shiism still has in its folds innate residues of its old revolutionary spirit, extensions whose original function was exhausted and has since then functioned in a harmful, not useful manner. An objective examiner of Shiism will find mysterious social activities which deserves amazement and further observation. Rituals which would stun some of its origins, bringing others to revile in disgust at its myths and exaggerations. Nevertheless, we cannot purposefully explain those mysterious patterns but as artifacts of the past centuries where Shiism was the brinstorm of revolution in the Islamic world.
Those artifacts could be summed down in such:

1. The Imamate: Shiites today look upon their old Imams, the descendants of Ali, in a strong holy fashion, considering them infallible, and bringing them to a level above humanity, as well as seeking their tombs for intercession in every plight. The principle behind the act of glorifying Imams used to be revolutionary, an indirect criticism of the decadence of the Muslim rulers, in a fashion simliar to Plato and Farabi's Utopian society solutions.
2. The Mahdi : This belief is the principle upon which many revolutions were based, socially speaking, the Mahdi is a rebel, many rebels in the past were named Mahdi even though they themsleves did not claim to be so. Researchers were puzzled over the origin of the term in Islam, but it is clear that al-Mahdi is an arabization of Torah's Messiah, the heroic savior of divine guidance. Anyone reading Ezekiel will find a curious resemblance between the chapter and Shiism's Mahdi.Simply put, the dreams of the oppressed is the same everywhere, everytime. As the oppressed who cannot avenge his prosecution seeks a dream-like future prophecy, and builds towering castles of hope. Sociologists found that the oppressed society often tends to create myths to fight its unjust rulers, those myths are called 'Social myths'.
Thus, we can say that modern-day Shiism lost the social concepts of the Mahdi and retained the mythical shell of ideological dictum.
3. The third is Dissimuilation (taqqiya), a social pattern that accompanies revolution when it begins, old Shiites sought taqqiya to be free from the state's chase. Today, Taqqiya lost that revolutionary status and become embedded in the new religious, political and social system that the Shiites follow, a mere relic from older times.
4. The fourth is the what is today termed 'Hussein's Cememoration', which was in its earlier form a slogan for anti-state propaganda, eventually developing with the passage of time into meaningless rituals. Shiites of yore would gather in the cellars to cememorate the huge injustice on Hussein, implicity discussing state oppression on various fields, in a move simliar to today's underground rebellion movements. Today, Shiites forgot the principles for which Hussein revolted, and they would even engage against those prinicples just the same, as long as they cry and mourn him, as if this was the final intended destination. Today, Shiites visit Hussein's grave by the thousands each year, and then return like they went, doing nothing but screaming and yelling. Today, they are dormant rebels drugged by their own authority, turning the swords they fought the authority with into chains and spears.

Mel Gibson:You can't say my movie sucked, or else you're saying Christianity sucked!
Stan:No, dude, if you wanna be Christian, that's cool, but, you should follow what Jesus taught instead of how he got killed. Focusing on how he got killed is what people did in the Dark Ages and it ends up with really bad results.
Jack:You know, he's right, Elise. We shouldn't focus our faith on the torture and execution of Christ.
Shlomo:Yeah. Lots of people got crucified in those times. We shouldn't rely on violence to inspire faith.
Cartman:Aw, aw, no, come on, people, we're so close to completing my final solution!


Yeah said...

"...have played a great deal in the dissolution of the puritanical principles of religion..etc"

those two officially changed Islam from a religion to politics, and morphed the ruling class from elective to hereditary.

if anyone ought to dislike/hate them, its for that.

"sought a freer, more joyous interpretation of life"
which existed even in our Prophet's time. Muhammed/Omar/Ali et al. didn't kill the fun, they just made it clear you were free to do all you want as long as you do not hurt yourself or others, otherwise, you'll be just a waste of precious oxygen, and then some ;)

mighty funny you think of Shia when you watch Southpark.

Don Cox said...

Very interesting essay. This is obviously a vast subject. Idolatry of one kind or another seems to be built into human nature, and certainly there is a lot of it in both Islam (both branches) and Christianity. ___I am struck by how much the posters of Ali look like the traditional pictures of Jesus - both equally imaginary.____The story of the Prophet's family seems to be one big soap opera, but perhaps that is true of most families.

onix said...

I actually think that it is indeed what inspired Ali to be tolerant:
Mohammed having said so , it only makes sense: that is what a good friend would try.
(for one thing priority of justice is not about 1 single family)

Also i think the 14 imam only serve to proof that being holy is limited to dead man, wich is why they stopped after 14. After all the 14 imam proved saintly behaviour was just human, the people decided they had enough , it's easier for a human to behave saintly then it is for a saint to draw the line.(this ofcourse is a peculiarity, becus not everyone may still understand what was so holy about them)

The essence of mahdism is not an islamic or even judaic element, it is just mass psychology (and i think is that still). When someone stands up for oppressed masses and represents them well, he gets recognised as "a mahdi". People die at his command becus (s)he proved to usually understand better how to counter the oppressors.
(mahdism is basically about being sure you die for the good cause, instead getting murdered aiding the wrong, so it only evolves in precariosity)

There is nothing specifically at that. Rather the opposite, ruling classes would ridicule progressive elements in such a way as to bind them to cumbersome traditions.
(ur historical irak perhaps, i do indeed dislike all that hocus pocus over corpses and other stuf)

It anyhow only makes sense to stick to your local and modern definition of "mahdism" in as far as possible, perhaps because it has a good effect on karma, speaking karma, i feel like a mahdi suit me better then another jezus, when it is about settling things on the planet at some point. I admit that that is because i am not satisfied with the social deveopments through this lifetime.

(as in *really* *not*)
So since the authorities will only blabber gibberish if i pronounce myself an anarchist (wich i hold for eternal truth), they might call me a mahdist for that.

I know this is quitte a crazy reaction, but i don't care, i think it suits 99.9999% of ppl better to consider me crazy anyhow.
I do not consider them sane either.

This is very personal, and i thank you for the article that i will now reread to try and absorb some more historical context.

Konfused Kid said...

You are right Yeah, but did you know that ideas such as the telephone were invented by different people with no relation to each other whatsoever, some events are inevitable, and the corruption of any mass movement is somehow inevitable in the end. I believe that even if there was no Muawiya and Yazid another person would have served to fill in that seat, it is only the nature of man.
To further prove this: the tribe of Quraysh were really fed up with Omar's harsh restrictions so much so that by the time he died and the mild-mannered, more impressionable Uthman assumed hold it was like a dream come true for many, so that by the time Ali tried to correct many of the policies of Uthman it was too late for the elite and wealthy to revert back to the less pleasant days of justice and order in Omar's day now that they have tasted a bit of the joys of life, which is spellbinding for almost everyone.

gilgamesh X / exile - iraqi said...

good post, konfused kid!

I want also hint that in ancient Iraq people also lamented the death of Tammuz and it would be no mistake to assume a continuation of patterns for example in rituals or the poems etc.

Konfused Kid, I would like to know your opinion about another Messias-like figure in the Middle East: The Green Imam, إمام الخضر . Do you have any information or perspective about him?

Lynnette In Minnesota said...


... the only significane it served is the fact that the man being killed, unlike millions others killed in a similar fashion, is the principle focus of a major world religion.

I think that Gibson achieved something more than creating just a film. He created a work that made people think and talk and question. Not just about his motive for making the film, but about how each of us feel about this subject. Therein lies its success. Because that is what many artists can only hope to achieve.

Researchers were puzzled over the origin of the term in Islam, but it is clear that al-Mahdi is an arabization of Torah's Messiah, the heroic savior of divine guidance. Anyone reading Ezekiel will find a curious resemblance between the chapter and Shiism's Mahdi.Simply put, the dreams of the oppressed is the same everywhere, everytime.

Makes you realize that people are the same all over. They have the same hopes, fears and dreams.

Btw, I've seen both "300" and "Apocalypto" now.

"300" was just okay. The best scene in the whole movie was when the Queen was talking to the council. I actually found myself getting sleepy 2/3 of the way through. Oh and I see what you meant about it's message. It did rather hit you over the head.

I liked "Apocalypto" better. It wasn't as great as I had expected, but I wasn't bored. The filming was good and so was the plot. A little gory, but it had more depth than "300".

Sad But True said...

You will have to live with them.

chamblee54 said...

I tried to read this. I think there are some important ideas here. There are many many things about Islam which the people in America do not understand.
The problem is, I did not understand this. Your sentences are much too long. You do not use punctuation properly.
While this might make sense in Arabic, it is so much mumbo jumbo in English.
If you were to edit this, and use shorter sentences and more periods, you might get an important message out to the world.
Now, it is football season, and the people of The United States do not want to be bothered with Arab religions now. Christian leaders tell them that this is a terrorist religion. So not many people may learn from this even if it was re written so that we can understand.
But you can still try. A spell check program is less painful than a suicide bomb.

Konfused Kid said...

Yes it deserves a re-write becuase I've edited it a lot when I wrote it, but I don't think it's really mumbo-jumbo, it's simply that you aren't really interested. I don't write only for the Sports-inclined Americans, I simply write what I think.

Iraqi Mojo said...

Great post and excellent writing, as usual. I learn something new with every new post you write, Kid. As a Shii I am bewildered and often embarrassed by the sight of Shia flagellating themselves in commemoration of Imam Hussein, but I understand the obsession, given what happened to him. The more I read about the story of Imam Hussein and his family, the more shocked I become that their murderers were companions of the Prophet Muhammad and became the rulers in the Islamic world, accepted by the majority of Muslims! I did not know that Omar ibn al Khattab broke Fatima's rib. Is this story true?? It's hard to believe that her husband Ali looked the other way - what the fuck was he thinking?? And where was the Prophet when his own daughter was attacked by a man who was supposed to be one of the Prophet's best friends? Kid, do you think that the Shia made up this story in order to disparage the Prophet's companions? If this story is true, it really does show how brutal and selfish the Prophet's companions really were. If I were Ali or the Prophet, I would have beat the holy shit out of Omar and put him in jail!

Having said this, I believe that the Shia should not use this story (especially if it's false) to create further divisions with Sunni Muslims. I would love to see Hussein's murderers punished, but the Shia should not be so obsessed with Hussein, and certainly we should not blame ANYBODY (except maybe Mish3an Jabouri:) today for what happened to him.

BTW, Kid, I recently learned that you are the one who informed about the facebook group 'I hate Iraqis'. Do you know about the group 'I HATE ANYBODY WHO LOVES SADDAM HUSSAIN'?

chamblee54 said...

I just posted a feature about this at my blog. I think your server can handle the one or two extra visitors.
You are correct about one thing. I am not really interested. That is why it is important for you to tell the story well.

Konfused Kid said...

Chamblee54, i just read your posts and while I generally try to be polite with my audience, I didn't realize that you have such an amazingly low attention-span and an exceptionally ignorant attitude that you fully bring to attention when you try to 'understand' something.
I really loved your idiotic connection between Shia Islam and suicide vests, if you know your shit from your shiite, you would know that suicide bombs are largely an al-Qaeda invention that is usually used to target westerners, none of the above are shia, second, this was a post to merely highlight the use of violence to promote the spread of religion, a point I copiously emphasise in the title, the intro, the middle, and the end. so thank you for posting it on your blog and kindly return to where you came from.

in other words, shut the fuck up and have a nice day.


Kyubai said...

Hey Kid how r u? I have few points about your post and they r:

First my dear please don’t take as a refrence a couple of books and the saying of an ordinary person and then consider that u’ve done a solid research. Indeed Ali Alwardi is a great writer but yet his writings expresses his opinions rather than information that might be used as a refrence for a research since for a research u need solid data from which u can draw your own colclusions. Relying on on pieces of information from and ordinary Iraqi (not a specialized one) since that person may not be considered a reliable source of information.

Second, You talked about how Shia claims that they rely on logic but they actually not since they actually try to misguide others by the tales about how Imam Al-Hussien was murdered and to magnify that tragedy in order to make others sympathize with them and to think that since Imam Al-Hussien was murdered then he was right. Well let me propose this rather CRAZY idea: is it not possible that Imam Al-Hussien is not right because he was murdered but rather he was murdered because he was right? Well u may say that many villains were killed but that doesn’t mean that they were right BUT how many villains were decapitated and then there heads were draged to other countries (at least not according to Islam) and if u may say that this is a myth then u may just go to Egypt to make sure. Life is not as easy as u many people thinks some times u have to pay a high price for standing for what u believe in so u may find it hard to absorb that Imam Al-Husseien had suffered that much for it is unbareable to even to think of it but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen. The fact that most Shia emphasize that tragedy is actually smart they r not trying to brain wash others but rather to remind them of the sacrafices and the pain of our leaders for fighting for what they believed, and as u may already know sorrow is hard to forget. It is just like if a guy died to save your life then u definitely won’t forget his sacrifice no matter after how long cause he sacrificed his life for u and that is why I think emphasizing the tragedies of Jesus Christ and Imam Al-Hussien is not an attempt to pressure but rather to remind us of what is important.

Third, it seems from your post that Shiasim is all about is “HATE”, to Abu Baker and Omar and Mauawya and Yazid and many more and u were missing the main idea. Why do u think Shia was named like that? It comes from the (شيعة اهل البيت) which means the followers of Prophet and his lawful descendant and when I say followers I mean that Shia follow commandment of the Prophet and his lawful descendants (the twelve Imam) and believe it or not most of Shia do know that the Imams r men and the fact that they r infallible is not pretty farfetched if u look at it with an open mind since if a person is born and raised on righteousness and with some help and guidance from God being infallible is not as impossible as people nowadays may picture it. As u may look at how they lived and what r their commandments u may never find something that against what is written in the holy Quran and the commandments of the Prophet so Shiasim is not about hating everyone save the Imams but rather it is about following their commandments and trying to live like them so the “foundation” for the Shia doctrine is how to obey the will of God and to follow the commandments of the Prophet and the Imams after him and the tragedies of Al-Zahraa and Imam Al-Hussein works just as a reminders that our survival till now is the result of great sacrifices made by great people and it is true that these tragedies r very important since these tragedies hold the persons feet firmly on the path he’s walking and giving him an extra push for him to move along.

Fourth, I quite agree with u that many people have forgotten why Imam Al-Hussein was killed and only focused on the fact that he was killed and that is all and that is a terrible thing to do since it is very essential to keep the memory of Imam Al-Hussein alive but the same importance goes to remembering why he was killed and what was he fighting for so it is more important to keep in our minds how Imam Al-Hussein lived than how he died so “Hussein's commemoration” is important in reminding us of that.

Thank u Kid for your post and I apologize for the long comment and I hope that u don’t mind that I’ve put it in my blog as a post since I’m to lazy to write anything new. Takce care and may God bless u…

Don Cox said...

"Is this story true??"___How can anyone possibly know, so many centuries later? If the people directly involved had come up in a law court, they would all have told different, mostly contradictory stories - and we are now in 2007, and those attached to one sect or another have reasons to believe one or another version of events. The history is buried in the noise, as history so often is. There are no CCTV tapes to look at. Almost everything in history books is more or less inaccurate.

Konfused Kid said...

Kyubai...I Will address you in the next comment
Iraqi Mojo...

Thank you for stopping by. Well, if you look at history then you will see that the companions are not equal in rank (unlike what Sunnis firmly believe), those who turned against the Prophet Mohammed were 'companions' who were rich men from the higher calibre of Mohammed's most vicious enemy, Abu Sufyan, forced to convert as the prophet conquered Mecca peacefully. As others said, it is a daunting task to REALLY know what happened, but I would say that the way I believe is the best and which I follow is to follow the footsteps of the general way human nature behaves in, i.e. if so and so happened, what would be the more probable consequences? does it fit well with a person's character or previous background. Sunnis and Shias usually their own respective 'narrations', which can be easily fabricated. The story of Fatima's Rib, if indeed happened at such an early stage of Islam, to a house as prestigious as Ali's, would be indeed strange to uphold with what followed suit (Ali, according to Shias, observing 'peaceful boycott' in his house, and advising Omar on certain matters) and with the status of Abu Bakr & Omar who were one of the earliest Muslims who followed Mohammed when he was yet still a very small leader who mostly lead the poor and oppressed.

Konfused Kid said...


Thank you for your visit and it's been a long time since you graced our presence so I believe we would have to welcome you doubly. I enjoyed your creative comment and here is what I would have to say:

First, you seem to think that I base my opinions on 'hearsay' and what the average Shia believes in, that is not so, I've spent the best of last year reading Shia and Sunni books, websites of Ayatollahs, talking to religious Shias (and the casuals to see their point), your dumbing down of Ali al-Wardi's seminal work actually says a lot about your 'defense', for lack of a better word, forgive my preconceptions, but you seem to be the sort of educated person who has only a casual practice of his own religion and didn't read too much into its details, you talk the same way those secular people who have no idea why we are killing each other all the time and you are going to tell me that yes we are all united and this whole debate is about nothing, but I believe that those theological differences pose a very real problem and it is indirectly related to the violence and blood, when people are asked about such matters they would say: 'We don't want to cause troubles', unfortunately, they believe in those differences and feverishly defend in them when they are alone with themselves, such a fake unity is only a window-dressing that is easily shattered by the exchanged hatred between the two.

Second, I did not say that Hussein' cause was wrong, actually, I come to respect him very much recently , as I said, the principle of revolution against tyranny in Shiasm is a very important spirit that is not found in Sunnism (which obeys the ruler no matter what), my major problem is with the use of violence to inspire faith. You may have a good opinion of your faith, which you should, but look at the majority of people and what they are focusing upon, I don't really think that there is any good in focusing on the horrible death of Hussein (as opposed to the forgiveness of Hasan), and holding him as the most important tenant serves only to inspire rage and hate, a fact that I was only realized when I watched the same problem in different cultures (The Passion of The Christ and Jews). While I completely support Hussein's revolution, what happened to him was what would happen to any rebel, Shias unforuntately turned this cause into a personality cult, where the humankind is tested by the love or hate of the 'Imam'. I think Shiism's high focus on Hussein which eclipses even his father and grandfather has happened for political reasons, as the Shias tried hard to move away from Sunnis and to inspire people through emotion and not logic, as his story is simply too horrible that makes it easy for the commonman to believe in his cause.

I hope you are not offended by my frankness and openness. I have no problem with Shiites and actually the majority of my friends are Shia .

Fatima said...

Great post, Kid. Most bloggers don't take the time and effort to post such difficult topics.
On the topic of Fatima's rib, I only recently discovered this story in Shiite Islam. Anyways, my husband was telling me that his (sunni) doctor aunt was asking her (shiite) doctor husband, how long ribs take to heal, and can anyone die from a broken rib six months later. and obviously, the answer is no, it doesn't work that way. but that's besides the point. again, you always surprise me with your thoughtful posts.

Iraqi Mojo said...

Did the broken rib lead to her death?

Check out the Wikipedia entry:

"According to the Shi'a view, Umar ibn al-Khattab was not only one of Abu Bakr's most zealous supporters, but also his co-conspirator and in some cases his superior. Umar led a party of armed men against Ali's house in Medina and called for Ali and his men to come out and swear allegiance to Abu Bakr, who they had decided would take power in the the meeting at Saqifah. Umar and Khalid ibn Walid threatened to burn the house down if they did not submit. The Shi'a view culminated in them breaking in, resulting in Fatimah's ribs being broken between the broken door and the wall, and she miscarriaging an unborn son named Muhsin."'a_view_of_Fatimah

Anonymous said...

iraqi mojo, you quoting from wikipidea that ILLOGICAL, NON-SENSE MAKING belief stupid shias have just proves how intelligent you are. thanks!

Iraqi Mojo said...

anonymous ghebby, many Iraqi bloggers quote Wikipedia.

Iraqi Mojo said...

Check out one of the most popular Iraqi bloggers quoting Wikipedia multiple times in one post. But the hypocrite jarab love to attack me for quoting Wikipedia.

Egulek SHLON mu6aya 3idna bil wa6an el 3arabi!

Iraqi Mojo said...

anonymous ghebby (or ghebbiya), quick, call zeyad and tell him to change those links! lol!

Anonymous said...

Iraqi Mojo,

You need a twenty year old Iraqi Sunni to teach you about Shi'ism.

You are beyond pathetic.

Iraqi Mojo said...

anonymous ghebby (or ghebbiya), the Kid is no average 20 year old. He is one of the most intelligent 20 year olds I've ever read, and I learn something new from every one of his posts. Are you jealous? Maybe you can teach me something too, but I doubt it!

Iraqi Mojo said...

As if all Shia are supposed to know everything about Shi'ism. By the way, that Wiki entry about Fatima is first on the list if you google "when fatima died". So don't be such a ga7ba.

neurotic_wife said...

Hmm, I read KK's post, and I'm a Shia. I may not fully agree with him, but theres no need to generalize. The Shi3a clan thats ruling Iraq now, are not the real Shi3as. They do not represent me nor my family nor anyone who is sane enough to realise it. Nor does al dhari or al qaeda represent my sunni husband. So please lets just stop this sunni shia accusations and concentrate on how to get rid of those mullas controlling our damn country!!!

Konfused Kid said...

This post is intended as the first in a series that explores the Sunni-Shia struggle ; it is not written out of sectarian spite. I believe those theological differences are integral to the fighting. as for Iraqi Mojo's quoting Wikipedia, I don't see any significance nor stupidity in the fact, it is not a revelation that Shias have this view on Fatima and it being in Wikipedia doesn't add anything new to the table.

Iraqi Mojo said...

I wonder where the anonymous ghebiyya ran off to.

Anonymous said...

stupid mojo, how do u know if im a male or a female?

anyway stupid, the reason i thought it's wrong to quote wikipedia is because it is EASILY edited by ANYONE. i can go in there now to your shia page and fill it in with sunni or any other sects' beliefs and hey YOU'LL JUST COPY AND PASTE!


Anonymous said...

neurotic wife, you can choose who you want to represent you but in the end of the day ur mixing and matching according to YOUR whims and desires... and guess what: the result wont be shi'ism anymore!

Iraqi Mojo said...

"stupid mojo, how do u know if im a male or a female?"

Just a gut feeling, ghebiyya.

"anyway stupid, the reason i thought it's wrong to quote wikipedia is because it is EASILY edited by ANYONE."

Yeah, so it's full of lies? Why then am I the only one who's attacked for quoting Wikipedia? Why don't you attack your beloved Zeyad?? Are all jarab hypocrites? Well of course they are.

Anonymous said...

mojo, i dont read zeyad's blog and trust me, i'd be saying the same to him if i was a regular reader.

all i'm asking for is that people quote substantial facts.

if you want to quote the story of fatima according to the shi'ite belief, then feel free to do so, as long as you're quoting FROM ORIGINAL SOURCES.

let's talk sense here, and not quote what may POSSIBLY be tampered or not a 100% accurate. the shi'ite websites with historic literature are all online for everyone's access.


Anonymous said...

btw, i'm not in al-wa6an al-3rabi, i'm a mughtarib as much as you are.

Iraqi Mojo said...

anonymous, I don't know what the original source for that Wiki entry is - I never check the original source on Wikipedia. Perhaps you can help and go retrieve the source if you are so concerned. All I did was google "when fatima died" after reading fatima's comment (7:31 pm - "can anyone die from a broken rib six months later") and the first link on the list is that Wiki entry. I was hoping that somebody would address that Wiki entry, especially the claim about Fatima's broken rib caused her to have a miscarriage, but all I got was your comment calling me stupid for quoting Wikipedia.

You say that you're not a regular reader of Zeyad, but you ARE a reader of the Kid's blog? Sounds like bullshit to me! It seems the jarab love to sling the bullshit, whether the jarab live in the great wa6an al 3arabi or in San Francisco!

So you read the Kid's blog. Search for 'Wikipedia' on his blog and let's see you slam the Kid here like you've slammed me.

"Hypocrisy is the act of condemning or calling for the condemnation of another person when the critic is guilty of the act for which he demands that the accused be condemned. Though hypocrisy is frequently invoked as an accusation in debates, a few theorists have studied the utility of hypocrisy, and in some cases have suggested that the conflicts manifested as hypocrisy are a necessary or even beneficial part of human behavior and society.[1]"

Anonymous said...

if it makes u happy, i condemn anyone who uses wikipedia for reference, from me to kid, to you!

Anonymous said...

and besides what's wrong with reading kids' blog and not reading zeyad's?! is it A MUST, a condition before reading any other iraqi blog?! what a stupid logic...

Iraqi Mojo said...

" if it makes u happy, i condemn anyone who uses wikipedia for reference, from me to kid, to you!"

You are the first of the jarab to condemn somebody besides me for using wikipedia as a reference. Tehaneenen, ya jarab.

"and besides what's wrong with reading kids' blog and not reading zeyad's?! is it A MUST, a condition before reading any other iraqi blog?! what a stupid logic..."

People who are familiar with Iraqi blogs know who Zeyad is and read his blog. The Kid has a link to Zeyad's blog and they are friends. Furthermore, the attacks on me by jarab for quoting Wikipedia STARTED on Zeyad's blog, and I assumed that you came from there. You should read Zeyad's blog, especially if you think the Shia are stupid.

chamblee54 said...

I had a rather rude visitor at my blog. I suspect that it is "anonymous".
I am all in favor of vigorous disagreement. However, comments like "you must be the rudest most ignorant person in the world " only serve to discredit the person making them.

Anonymous said...

i dont think all shiias are stupid.

and i'm not the "jarab" that attacked you for using wikipedia in zeyad's blog... in fact i don't even know which post in his blog you are talking about!

Anonymous said...

keep in mind that not every anonymous person is the same one.

Iraqi Mojo said...

"i dont think all shiias are stupid."

then what does this mean? "iraqi mojo, you quoting from wikipidea that ILLOGICAL, NON-SENSE MAKING belief stupid shias have just proves how intelligent you are. thanks!"

'and i'm not the "jarab" that attacked you for using wikipedia in zeyad's blog... in fact i don't even know which post in his blog you are talking about!'

I linked to it, ghebby.

"keep in mind that not every anonymous person is the same one."

No shit. That's why I hate people who post anonymously. Be creative for a fucking change. I've been attacked (for quoting Wikipedia on that original HI thread) by other anonymous jarab on Angry Arab. The anonymous jarab should try pulling their heads out of their butts.

Iraqi Mojo said...

Islam, The Solution...!?

"The problem with Maliki who's the leader of the Islamic Dawa Party is that he's just like all other Islamists who insist that Islam is the solution and that clerics are the ones who can deliver that solution.

But reality proved that political Islam is in fact the problem, not the solution. And this is true not only in Iraq but in many other countries in the region that are full of political Islamist movements. They build their rhetoric on what they like to call the golden age of Islam and promise that a new golden age could come if people returned to the roots of Islam…but what happened when Islamists ruled? Definitely not a golden age of any sort."

13 (not on home computer) said...

just in case someone already said it before me, sorry:

"suicide bombs are largely an al-Qaeda invention"

Nope. Suicide attacks were invented by the Tamil. then filtered down to extreme Islam and Arabdom.

Jeffrey said...


You cretin. Get a name or drop out of the conversation. Lazy asshole. You want a name? Here are a few you could use: Osama-ball-licker, Uday-on-a-stick, Spiderholed, ShoeFace, Saudi-salami-sucker, Ecco Hajji.

Just choose one of these fine handles and we'll all know who were talking to in the future.


Konfused Kid said...

so what 13, the people who brought them to the forefront of the world are al-Qaeda, and that is all that matters.

aNarki-13 said...

this sums it up best:

The first modern suicide bombing — involving explosives deliberately carried to the target either on the person or in a civilian vehicle and delivered by surprise—was in 1981. It was perfected by factions of the Lebanese Civil War; spread to insurgents groups like the Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka, Palestinian groups, Al-Qaeda, and by 2005 to dozens of countries where a weaker power is fighting a stronger one. Particularly hard-hit have been military and civilian targets in Sri Lanka during Sri Lankan Civil War, Israeli targets in Israel since 1994, and Iraqis since the US-led invasion of that country in 2003.

al-Qerada only stole it from others.
and it was already famous when they did that. i bet most Americans here would know this better than us Iraqis, just mention Beirut.

Iraqis were the last to join the wagon. that doesnt make them one bit smarter, mind you.

earlier comment from the afternoon which i could not post till now:

"I've spent the best of last year seem to be...educated person who has only a casual practice of his own religion and didn't read too much into its details"

== "I HAVE THE R34L"


"I believe that those POLITICAL DIFFERENCES pose a very real problem and it is DIRECTLY related to the violence and blood"


there, fixed it for ya.

KyuBei: al-Hussein's death was a tragic loss to Islam.

with him died the last hope of having religion truly separated from politics.

the prophet's children died as heroes, martyrs.
Islam however, kept suffering till this day, and maybe the future.
it ceased to be worship of God, and became worship of --insert any leader name here--..

the Imams are people i highly respect and admire, if anything, its for their belief in their cause, and dedication to what they did, trying to help others, even if it meant giving their lives.

one thing i want to add tho:

infallible is a very strong word, only God is infallible by definition:

however, if by saying infallible you do not mean Godhood, but merely that they were better than all, and even above "humanity" as we know it today (the lying, the cheating, the killing, etc)

then i completely agree with you.

perhaps i'm saying this only cuz i'm a Muslim Anarchist who firmly believes in God as God.
and in Religion ONLY as a highly personal way of meditating, relaxing my soul, and trying to give thanks to the all-encompassing, powerful force which made me, this world, and the whole universe.

me out.

Konfused Kid said...

I don't really know what you wanted to say 13, but I had a hard time figuring it out. Either talk without the know-it-all smart-aleckness or don't.

if you meant to say that the difference is political, then what I meant by 'political' is that the Shia-Sunni split itself is actually political at first, then evolving into religious.

Konfused Kid said...

and also, you seem to be preaching to people about how God should be viewed, don't forget that your own perception alters the way you look at other struggles (like I told Kyubai, an educated, largely secular person would hasten to minimize the differences which he does not care about). What i try to describe is how the masses think. Don't forget that most of Iraq isn't actually secular those days, unlike you and the family that brought you, which says a lot about how informed you are to the reality of this struggle.

Iraqi Mojo said...

I wonder if the Tamil Tigers blew themselves up in markets where women and children shop.

aNarki-13 said...


1) what i said so simply, is that you keep saying You are right, all else are wrong, and should change to fit your views.

proof? your last comment to me .

"I have T3H R34L" = i have the real opinion.
no smart aleckness about it.

you always seem to be the only one knowing how things are. right.

you think its all about religion? think this:

what are the so-called religious factions fighting for?

political power. getting elected. imposing their will as the ruling body in iraq.

hence, politics.

you know what actually separates the "religious" from the "secular" in iraq?
they both want to be leaders of a country: one wants to do it through God, the other doesn't.

2) me? preach my religious views? naw. 1st: preaching requires me trying to convince you of something: not present:
read my comment again, SLOWLY this time?
i'm just expressing MY opinion.

2nd: as you say, i am secular. how can i preach religion if i am secular?

and fyi most of iraq was never secular to begin with.
yet people back then dared call themselves iraqi instead of shi'a and sunni.
what changed?

i'm not arguing with you anymore, why?

have fun.


you can say that ..

don't forget: iraq is different. our brand of fucktards are either supported by major players outside the country, or inside our own government/parliment/puppet theater.

Konfused Kid said...

Well, I didn't know that R34l meant that. I'm too tired to see through the smart-ass bullshit, anyhow, I could basically assume the same thing about you, that you think everyone else is wrong and you are right (which is you 100%), i'm simply stating my opinion here, which I spent a lot of time reading books/talking to people to get to ; the difference between ignorant fucks and enlightened fucks is that, well, the latter tends to research their claims and approach the world with a quest for knowledge unwaived by external influences/misconceptions.

aNarki-13 said...

ok you win!

have fun!

onix said...

One thing is not to fight over tit for tats.

You can die of a broken rib 6 months (or years) after, if it punctured a long or even just entered the body cavity. It would usually involve a pneumonia.

You would indeed, in a way, not die of the rib. (however you will not usually miscarriage of a uncomplicated rib fracture.)

In christianity it is pretty obvious the cult was developed for a use ( population control) i expect exactly similar mechanisms in islam.
The rasist element of the torah eg. is an older version of the same matters of souvereignety. Everbody that wanted a say in these slavedriving days had to talk bad about any other. So much is easy to understand.

No party is less to blame, except perhaps in elements of morality. Still anyone can make mistakes, eg sunni hierarchism (isn't that a jesuit interpretation or was it even older?) or in shia symbolism.

Still these traits are fossils of a social context that by now could be aproached with moderate and analystic logic. I also think it is the intend of all mahdis, avatars, bodhisatvas, prophets or whatever name you'd put, to have people abide to human values and not anything else.

You may want to feel different, and say: we need to focus on differences, i think it's merely one choice.
Worldwide religious deceptions or humanism.
It's muslims responsability as much as heathens, like me.

sr said...

I find this article of yours quite interesting.I think ,the whole of present day islam,not only the shiia version, is really only a shell of a great religion.
It made sense a thousand year ago,when the islamic armies conquered many lands , were advanced in science and culture and politics.Not surprising that people were imitating Mohammad even in the smallest detail, as the founder of a great religion,far superior to any other of that time.But as usually happens,great empires come and go and present day islam is slowly becoming a retarded ideology.The Sharia law,the caliphat,islamic state supposed to be an answer for modern day problems?I can understand people turning to history of a 1000 year ago if they find nothing worthwhile in the present ,but still we should have some feel for the reality. This religion needs a serious overhaul if it wants to be competitive and to have any contribution to modern day civilization.To say that shiia is wrong and sunnies are right is simply the cause of the killings in Iraq.They are opposite sides of valueless coin.

onix said...

Sr why are you talking about islam if what goes for one goes for all?
Do you think krishna wanted casts?
Jan wanted shia? Jezus had the ambition to overrule islam? Or the torah is modern? Don't you think budha wanted hinduism to return to egalistarianism? Without that vision i fear your aproach remains really narrow minded. (pro western, anti moslim)I agree only in so far i think muhammed didn't want barbaric wars.

Whats this blaming moslims for iraqi violence? and why are opposite sides (?) of the coin "valueless"?

You are achieving escalation and diversion, and ready to donn blame that way.

Jon in Maryland said...

Interesting conversation you've got going here Kid. At least when it doesn't descend into the kind of tit-for-tat inanities that we non-Arab/non-Muslims engage in on Zeyad's blog! My personal take on religion is that there are as many sets of religious beliefs on earth as there are people of an age sufficient to have some mental concepts of the subject (but not so old that they've lost most of their mental faculties). Even among Christians there are a multitude of beliefs about every aspect of religion. (There are probably lots of children of Christians who find it exceedingly difficult to make clear distinctions among God, Jesus Christ, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy.)

And I think Christianity took much from Judaism, while Islam in its various forms took a lot from both of its predecessors. And they all took at least something from the older cultures that preceded them, e.g., the story of Gilgamesh (the Flood). Many years ago I read a book by Ernest Renan, a French writer (historian, philosopher), who saw the source of some Christian beliefs (Christ's death and resurrection) in the story of Tammuz/Adonis. I look at all "holy books" as representing the searches of various individuals for the possible meaning of life. As such, I view them as containing more "truths" than facts. And of course the actual beliefs of the followers of each of these religions contain a lot of things that are not covered in those books, including many beliefs that would seem to contradict or at least misread the books.

I now consider myself a "Christian" with Taoist and Buddhist philosophical leanings. Even Taoism and Buddhism, neither of which could originally be considered a "religion," since they weren't theistic, were turned into religions by many of their followers.

As for Shiite Ashurah flagellation, it seems strange that some Shiites look on it with embarrassment, while I see it as the way one group of people try to get closer to what they perceive as God, similar to the state of ecstasy Sufi dervishes try to attain through dancing. "Whatever turns you on" was one of the catch phrases of the 1960s, and that's how I feel about it.

And then there's Mahdism, Messianism, "end of days" beliefs, and such. I think among Christians there are probably as many who have strong beliefs about this as in Shiite Islam. How else explain the popularity of the "Left Behind" series of novels in the U.S.? And few of the particulars of those beliefs are found in the Book of Revelations, the final one in the Christian New Testament. I find it difficult to consider most religious beliefs of any particular religion as being more or less rational than those of any other. Even many of the rules for supposed proper conduct. Many of them are as culturally bound as the customs of some isolated tribe still living in caves or mud huts.

Enough for now!

Furrymustard said...

Hey man, hello from Scotland!
I have just found your blog, and haven't read much yet but felt I had to post.
Love South Park, have you got all of them? All episodes are easily downloadable via Bit Torrent. Trey and Matt have a few movies out there as well. These guys rock, on all levels. There message is simple, do what you want and treat others the same, as long as you're peaceful. I'm gonna give you link to a funny video made by a young English dude. Hope it does not offend, it's not my intention, cos there's humor in all things!
Peace, love & keep rockin' dude!

Anonymous said...

Konfused Kid...u r absolotly pathetic, and the only reason u wrote the shit that u did is so u can cause problems...u know wot it does u idiot, so y do it....i hate sunnies...they r all trouble makers.

CMAR II said...


I really don't understand the singular doctrines and forms of Roman Catholicism. But those of Shi'ism makes even less sense to me except as a deliberate attempt to meld the more freaky aspects of Dark Ages Christianity (what we now consider Catholic Christian forms) with Islam. But it's a weird chimera. So it is interesting that "The Passion of the Christ" made you think of Shi'ism.

But, frankly, Trey Parker and Matt Stone were (surprisingly) simply clueless about TPOC movie and about Christianity in general. There's nothing more exemplary of this than Stan's statement that you quoted:"if you wanna be should follow what Jesus taught instead of how he got killed. How he got killed was central to much of his teachings in the Gospels.

But since Islam is founded on rejecting those particular aspects of the Gospels, it is facinating to see a major branch of Islam that so blatantly re-incorporates those themes with someone else taking the role of Jesus.

Still, as "Sad But True" noted, "you still have to live with them".

I wonder if a new break-away cult of Islam will grow out of Tikrit with Saddam taking a similar role as Imam Hussein?

Konfused Kid said...

I wonder if a new break-away cult of Islam will grow out of Tikrit with Saddam taking a similar role as Imam Hussein?

Yes, the thought did juggle my mind and if we were living in about a few centuries back maybe it would have happened...i did write about this earlier in a post, i don't remember its name.

Kitten said...

Hey KK

Hope ur well

i would just like to recommend something that u can listen to which addresses part of what ur post talks about.

its regarding the reasons why shi3a's express their grief for Imam Hussain and why it is justified.

it starts in arabic but the actual lecture is in english.

the guy doesnt get to the point straight away. it seems that hes talking abt sumthing unrelated but then he links it to the subject of grief for imam Hussain so just bear with him and be patient :)

i just thought it might interest u since it relates to ur post...

happy listening :)

Hazar Nesimi said...

What Sunnis are lacking is copious amount of tears, some of them Salafis reject showing human emotions in the face of adversity. i cry, I cry liberated at funerals or weddings, when I see a movie worth crying for, and yes I cried when I watched Passion of Chirst. I cry for Imam Hussein (pbuh), and I wish that I could cry for him everyday. Having said that, what follows from tears is not a mindless revolt, but thoughtful reflection and perseverance. May Allah grant all of us this perseverance! And you all in Iraq!

Iraqi Mojo said...

"and I wish that I could cry for him everyday"

See now that seems to be going too far. You love Imam Hussein, but you actually *wish* that you could cry for him everyday? That doesn't make sense to me. Maybe we can make a movie and get over it? Cry during the movie, cry during Ashura, but not everyday.

Iraqi Mojo said...

Did anybody see this? God's Warriors It got youtubed, and then the user removed it, don't know why. I wanted to post the part about the Iranian dudes they interviewed.

commentor said...

Very articulate characterization of Shi'ism, Kid, though I think you still succumb to some Shi'a propaganda fairy tales. The quotes from al-Hakim and Shitstani are very telling, though. An entire religion based on keeping simple-minded followers in a seperate existence through fanning the flames of vengefulness and loathing, and they get to take 20% of those people's income and recruit them to murder people with electric drills when the opportunity arises. Ya latharatil Husayn, indeed.

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Anonymous said...

Just found this article even though its old.

look at it like this, even tho the passion plays were anti-semitic (Goodness i hate that phrase!) were they wrong? Didn't the Pharisees call for the romans to kill Him? Arent the zionist jews now the cause for pretty much all the fuckeries in the world (Aipac and lobbying for war etc)?

Ergo just cos something is used for propoganda doesn't make it false. Likewise, even though some shias use it for their own reasons and some shia exaggerate (although maybe they are that saddened by it, who knows), The passion poems and stories of Hussein simply portray what really happened and the lack of willingness of the mainstream sunnis to criticise the massacre (despite a number of their own books and leaders criticising Yazid) needs to be corrected.
The main cause of retaliation on Sunnis is not rooted in a 1400 year old murder but in the massacre of more than 100,000 shias from 2003 till 2006 when the golden dome was blown up.
However a sunni recognition of Kerbala will go some way to patching things up.
I fear black n dekker will not go out of business soon.

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