Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Sunni Shia war redux

The Saudis are refusing to let Shia from Iran go on the haj.

Both sides argument here, but essentially Iran's mullahs would like to take over the holy site, and when they refuse to sign a paper saying they won't do demonstrations etc. the Saudis say: no paper no visit.

there are real security worries, that a demonstration might lead to more deaths if pilgrims panic and try to get away, as has happened in the past.

And background: Iranians once "demonstrated" to try to take the place over, an episode that didn't end well for them. Wikipedia article gives a long history of the feud and points out that the "demonstration" (AKA riot) resulted in panic, a stampede, and quite a few deaths.

The rioting, and the resulting stampede caused a reported 402 dead (275 Iranians, 85 Saudis including policemen, and 42 pilgrims from other countries) and 649 wounded (303 Iranians, 145 Saudis and 201 other nationals).[17]
the real feud in the Middle East is the Sunni/Shiite divide: Israel is just a side show to deflect hatred, but even if you got rid of Israel, the place would still be a mess.

Of course, the Arab/Persian feuding goes back way before Islam, but that's another story.

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