Minor Doomsday - KEMAL ÖZTÜRK

Minor Doomsday

Sectarian and religious wars are the “minor doomsday" of the Muslim world. We were experiencing great dangers, which have now increased. It is time to fear and take precautions.

I am talking about the Iran-Saudi tension. As it has brewed behind the scenes for many years, the possibility of an outright battle between these two countries is now on stage.

The Iran-Saudi competition has cost an arm and a leg

Iran and Saudi Arabia have always been rivals when organizations are on the agenda in the Muslim world. They have always been at opposite poles. The only reason for this is denominational differences.

The competition between these two countries and their supporters has always caused problems, led to arguments, and thus resulted in the unsuccessful initiatives in the Muslim world.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is an important example of this. This organization, which could have been the European Union of the Muslim world, has nearly come to an end. And the reason for this is the competition for denominational and political interests.

Everyone has witnessed Iran exercising combative and aggressive denominational expansionism in the past five years. Iran supports the Shiite base in every country and creates a habitat for itself in these countries. However, it would be a better description if we said that their real motivation is an expansionist drive inherited from the Persian Empire.

The commander of the Iran Revolutionary Guards proudly saying, “Iran is now an empire with five capital cities," directly corresponds with the old empire's wishes. Iran's ambitious expansionist attitude has also drawn in Russia and China, which will not be leaving the region for a while yet. Saudi Arabia has been standing against Iran's attitude for years.

However, Saudi Arabia has made vigorous efforts to expand the Salafi/Wahhabi denominations. I believe the poverty in many Muslim countries would have ended, if Iran and Saudi Arabia had spent on these countries, instead of investing in denominational expansionism.

There are Shiites and Sunnis in every country

Shiites make up 130, 000 of the 1.3 billion Muslim population worldwide. Ninety percent of these are in Iran, 74 percent in Azerbaijan, 70 percent in Bahrain, 65 percent in Iraq, 45 percent in Yemen, 35 percent in Lebanon and Kuwait, 18 percent in the UAE, 14 percent in Syria and 10 percent in Saudi Arabia, Amman and Qatar.

Iran is in some sort of contact and interaction with the Shiite population throughout the world.

Executions can trigger a denominational war

Those recently executed in Saudi Arabia were Shiites. One of them was Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, a prominent figure for the Shiite community. These executions have unearthed the tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which has been ongoing for years, and has brought them to the verge of a battle. Considered a “minor doomsday" for the Muslim world, these denominational battles have never before set off alarm bells as seriously.

There is no doubt that those who are conducting a “chaos" project in the Muslim world, will do everything they can to fuel this conflict. Assassinating Sunni religious leaders, burning down Sunni mosques and mass murders are inevitable in the days to come. The first incidents have already happened.

There is unease in all countries inhabited by Shiite citizens. Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon are under the greatest risk. God forbid, if this denominational conflict ends up spilling into the streets, the Muslim world will turn into a blood bath.

Turkey should step in


Turkey has never sided in this conflict and has always kept away from denominational radicalism. Therefore, Turkey has had good relations with Iran and Saudi Arabia. In all honesty, although Turkey supported Iran during its nuclear crisis and disregarded the embargo placed on Iran, Turkey's friendship was not reciprocated by Iran. But still, we should not side with either country during this conflict. We have to make an effort to find a solution and restore peace between the two countries to extinguish the flames before the fire spreads further. Turkey is the most reliable and respected country in the Muslim world.

In order to avoid those directing the chaos theory from turning this into an opportunity, Turkey must undertake a mediator role between these two countries.





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