reply to post by DarknStormy
Lets say you're a secularist - as Assad is, while I'm a religious person, as the majority of Sunni are. Do our interests converge? If they don't,
whose interests are advanced - Assads or the Sunni majority? Answer: Assads.
Demographics is just another way of saying "interests". If we want to narrow the microscope, we can look at the religious differences between Sunnis
and Shi'ites. Is this an issue? Again, its one of interests. Sunnis and Shi'ite Muslims have different beliefs and different interpretations of
Islamic law.. This had led to very deep riffs in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Lebanon, Bahrain and especially Iraq.
Here are the list of sources;
Sectarian violence in Pakistan
Shia Islami in Saudi Arabia
Sectarian violence in Iraq
Sectarian violence in Lebanon
Just recently, Saudi Arabia and other gulf states
sent a few thousand troops to
Bahrain to help prop up the minority Sunni leader Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa against Shia protests, who are the majority there. Do you see? Wherever
you look in the Muslim world, religious issues are primary. Wherever Sunni and Shia exist, there are a conflict of interests between them. Why else do
you think Saudi Arabia and Iran are such bitter enemies? Why Saudi Arabia would even let Israel use its airspace to attack a co-religionist like Iran?
It's because the Saudis know and realize that Iran is competing for political control in the Arab world, in the interest of Shia Islamism. Iran has
Syria, and via Syria, Lebanon. In order to challenge this Shia bloc, Sunnis need to use their demographic advantage in Syria to take power from the
Shia aligned Al Assad government.
Again, there's Iraq, another arena of Shia-Sunni conflict. The majority of Iraqis are Shia. And Iran is co-opting Shia groups in order to widen their
ray of influence there. For example: Saddam Hussein was a Sunni leader whose military and cabinet positions were filled up mostly by people from his
hometown of Tikrit. Sunnis are the minority in Iraq - just 35%, while Shia are the majority - 65%
. Throughout his tenure as president, Saddam oppressed the Shia majority, as well as
the recalcitrant Kurds in the North.
In Lebanon, sectarian issues are so rife and so entrehcned in the fabric of political institutions, that the positions of president, prime minister,
and speaker of the house, are allotted by sect: a Shia president, a maronite (christian) prime minister, and a Sunni speaker of the house.