The ongoing political struggle in Iraq between Sadrists and the Dawa Party is a Shiite-Shiite struggle. It is between two Islamized and politicized groups belonging to the same sect.
Vested interests and the dire need to maintain influence have made each claim that it is the true representative of the sect while its rival is corrupt and portrays Islam negatively. If the Sunnis engage in this political argument, the struggle will worsen and those involved will simply adopt a more sectarian approach.
This is where the seeds of violence, rivalries, murder, bloodshed and strife are sown. Therefore, it is not at all possible to root out the causes behind terrorism unless Muslims agree to separate religion from the muddle of politics and clerics agree to stay away from the swamps of political disputes.
This cannot be achieved unless by following the principle “religion is for God and the homeland is for all”. The principle was applied in the West after wars and religious and sectarian disputes had crushed them. This continues to be the basic pillar of co-existence among them despite the differences of faiths, sects and ethnicities. Their history is full of sectarian divides and disputes, just like the Arabs of today.
I am certain that we can eliminate terrorism only by eliminating its causes. The most important step is to prevent religion, or more accurately, sects from interfering in politics.
It is not at all possible to root out the causes behind terrorism unless Muslims agree to separate religion from the muddle of politics and clerics agree to stay away from the swamps of political disputesMohammed Al Shaikh
The common factor
When looking at the Sunnis, take Muslim Brotherhood, its byproduct of Sururism, al-Qaeda, ISIS and its branches as an example. Compare them with the Shiite Dawa Party, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Sadrists, Popular Mobilization Forces and Houthis in Yemen. We will realize that the common factor among all these is that they employ religion to serve political ends.
Each category claims they are the only true Muslims and that the others have gone astray. Ask yourselves objectively – How do we resolve this clash and end fighting? There is only one solution and it is peaceful coexistence irrespective of religious or sectarian differences.
I am all ears if anyone has another solution. One must feel free to suggest and the only condition is that it should satisfy all Islamic parties and sects and completely root out terrorism.
The basic principle
I firmly believe that there is no other solution. Other people have sought and tried and reached the same conclusion after blood has been shed and the rights and dignities have been violated. Cities after cities have been destroyed in the process. In the end, this was the only solution they found so they agreed on it and considered it made it one of their basic principles.
I know there are parties that benefit from acts of terrorism. They claim that they are against terrorism but when you call for eliminating its causes, they attack you. If you propose a solution, they use the most hideous words to describe you.
They know that they will be the first to lose if religion is separated from politics. They are fighting this solution just like priests in Europe fought during dark medieval ages.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Mohammed Al Shaikh is a Saudi writer with al-Jazirah newspaper. He tweets @alshaikhmhmd.