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05 December 2015


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Abu Sinan

Babak, you mention Houthis as non Shi'a, but most people do consider Zaidis Shi'a although in religious practice they are more like Sunnis, especially in the 20th century, hence the whole Zaidi revivalist movement from which the Houthis came from. I have heard Zaidis described as Sunni in religious matters but Shi'a in political matters, which is a gross over simplification of the real differences between some Zaidi beliefs and Sunni beliefs. My wife comes from a well known Yemeni Zaidi family and it is my observation that amongst some there is a move towards religious practice and ideas that are more traditional (i.e. 12er) direction.

Abu Sinan

I think there is also a belief, at least in Zaidi Islam, that the family of the prophet are in a unique position to understand The Qur'an and religious matters better than those who are not descended from the family of the prophet, hence the revered status of Hashimi families in Yemeni so society, something that seems to transcend sect in Yemen.

Abu Sinan

Comparing Sufis with Ahmadis and Baha'is doesn't really work. Sufis are mainstream and common all over the Muslim world. Some Sufi orders get stick from hardline Salafiyah (Saudis) but who doesn't???



I lived in Arab countries and in Turkey, but I have traveled and worked for the government and in business throughout the Arab World and South Asia as well as all over Islamic parts of Africa. I have never been in Indonesia. pl

Babak Makkinejad

Six years ago, in Iran, the blood money for The People of the Book was equalized with that of the Muslims.

Let us see Sunni Muslims somewhere do likewise.

Babak Makkinejad

There is a Church of Satan in Texas now.

Well, I think that 1.5 billion Muslims will never tolerate that and for good reasons.


Don't carry this metaphor too far - but just as there are football players, football fields, football tournaments, football fans, football organizations, without there being a "footballism", there are Hindus and Hindu temples, practices, books, etc., without there being a "Hindu-ism".

"Hinduism", "Buddhism" etc., are creations of religionists (Muslims, Christians) who constructed these in the image of their own religions.

Another analogy would be the academic construction of a "Europe-ism".


Has the al Qaeda/ISIS recruitment manual -- A Course in the Art of Recruiting
been analyzed anywhere publicly accessible?

On a first read, it does not appear that they invoke any of the alleged factors that our press says spawn terrorists until the potential recruit has gone beyond the point of no return. Instead they encourage the recruit to become more and more devout, they make the afterlife more important than this world, and then they lure with paradise and strike fear with the threat of hell. Then they present jihad as the most certain way to avoid hell and achieve paradise. Once the recruit is committed to that, then they start going into specifics.

This passage in particular struck me about "Jihad for the sake of pictures".

2. That (the candidate) reads the jihadi books and he requests knowledge of Islamic legislation.

Take care in this stage. Avoid irregular opinions and shun the faults of the Mujahid Scholars. Also, shun the untrustworthy fatwas and turn away from speaking evil of people and groups. Be careful not to let him convert the Jihad (for the Sake of Allah) into the Jihad for the sake of pictures. That is to say, he wants to do Jihad because he saw a picture of a Jewish man hitting a Muslim woman. Yes, these scenes are very inciting, but this is not the fundamental (reason). The fundamentals are to raise the flag of Tawheed and establish the Laws of Allah and to establish the Islamic Caliphate which adheres to Quran and sunnah. And this is something I warn about – Jihad for the sake of pictures. This is something Sheikh Abdullah Azzam warned about before, and so did Sheikh Al Hafiz (the Martyr) Yusuf Al Uyari may Allah have mercy on them.


So at one level, al Qaeda/ISIS might exist as a consequence of various foreign policies, actions, wars, etc; but at the recruitment of an individual level, none of these are primary. At least so it seems to me; I would like to understand better, and also what is the weakest link in the chain of recruitment events.

Thanks in advance!

Babak Makkinejad

Perhaps at one time Shia meant belonging to the "Party" of Imam Ali against other usurpers.

In the dominant 12-Imam Shia as well as in the 7-Imam Shia that no longer obtains. Those Shia have absorbed the ethos of martyrdom of Imam Hussein and all that Shia Thinkers and Scholars have deduced, elaborated, and conceived of in connection to his death.

For ayatollahs in Qum, and Najaf and elsewhere among the 12-Imam Shia, all their learning and orientation in the world stems from the events of Karbala followed by what transpired afterwards; what Seyyedd Zeynab said, what the 6-h Imam did etc. until the Hope of Mankind - the 12-th Imam.

That is likely some of the reasons that some among ayatollahs do not consider the Zaidi to be Shia; much has happened since the assassination of Imam Ali and then there is dispute over the line of succession; with Zaidis proposing a different succession line than that of Fatima.

The 14-Immaculates of the 12-Imam Shia are presumed to have had access to Secrets of the Unknown and to the hidden meanings of Quran. There is also the belief in the existence of material that was communicated orally to Fatima by Archangel Gabriel - Sahifeye Fatimiye.

In Iran there is great love & respect for Ahl Beyt - at times one wonders if they think that they have a monopoly on that.

FB Ali

"...I'm not convinced of its historicity".


You might find of interest (and further corroboration of your view) a paper I wrote many years ago in which many problems with the authenticity of Bukhari and other Hadith collections are illustrated:


FB Ali

Thank you for the clarification.


Before one decides if one is going to tolerate a religion, it's probably a good idea to learn more about it first. I have long viewed modern Satanism as a sort of "fuck you" religion (against Christianity primarily) that's founded in an anti-establishment attitude. Members get a kick out of sending traditional religious believers to the fainting couch with their symbolism and ideas. All in all though, it's pretty harmless and more of a "psychological religion" with esoteric trappings than anything else.

Church of Satan https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_Satan
The church does not believe in or worship a literal supernatural Satan. High priest Peter Gilmore describes its members as "skeptical atheists", indicating the Hebrew root of the word "Satan" as "opposer" or "one who questions". Gilmore rejects the legitimacy of theistic Satanists, who believe Satan to be a supernatural being or force that may be contacted or supplicated to, dubbing them "devil worshipers".

Babak Makkinejad

Well thank you, at all times I endeavor to be a Persian Chauvinist and to act accordingly out of a deep sense of moral duty to others.

Let us face it, without the Great Persian Culture all those non-Persian Muslims would have been left without any guidance or structure in a world that they could neither comprehend nor alter nor adjust to.

In regards to Safavid Persia; Safavids were Turks. (Modern) Iran and Iranians were created by the Safavids. And contemporary Iran is not Persian in the sense of language - it is polyglot and the Turkish/Turkic population is there - in its full cultural and linguistic strength.

You people, and people such as yourself, do not grasp the structure of Iran; it is Shia religion that glues them together and not some sort of latent or dormant Persian Nationalism harkening to the days of the Great King.

In regards to the evolution of Shia doctrines, please see below my response to Abu Sinan.

Babak Makkinejad

Thank you for your comments with which I have to profoundly disagree.

One only has to look at the corpus of Radhakrishnan, who was a Hindu, to conclude that there is such a thing called "Hinduism".

It may not be as organized in its pantheon of gods or in its religious practices as say Christianity or Islam, but I think it rather difficult to say that "Hindu-ism" as both a sensibility and a way of life does not exist.


Quite right. They are the majority in Somalia, but being pushed aside by the Wahabi strain "gifted" by Saudi Arabia.

Babak Makkinejad

Well, why is there a need to go out of one's way an indulge in this childish endeavor against the 3-year long ministry of Jesus, the Blessed Son of Mary?

What is the point?

Is it similar to the "shock the complacent middle-class sensibilities" that so many purveyors of modern art so excel in?

It is rather silly.

May be you can find some merit or entertainment in all of this perverse make-believe, adolescent play-acting of these Lost Children of Western Diocletians, but I do not.

For myself, coming from the tradition that traces back to the martyrdom of the Prophet Zoroaster, I find all of this to be repulsive.


Babak, there is more to it than a simplistic interpretation (as I'm sure you feel about your own faith).
- Many esoteric traditions encourage us to look inward for indications of the "true god" or "prophet."
- "Beware of false prophets" is a quite ancient instruction, far predating Jesus.
- Is the god of the Old Testament (smiteful, punishing, dictating) the same as that of the New?
- Was the Serpent, who encouraged the Mother of Man to partake of the Apple of Knowledge, truly a source of evil, or of redemption?
I think all these questions are helpful for those interested in being released from servitude to dogma.


"George Bush found Him at cold dawn in Karl Rove's office."

Thanks for that laugh.


I was not comparing Sufis to Ahamadis. I was responding to some initial claim that both are reformers and that somehow that has to do with questioning the Seal of The Prophecy among other things. The idea that Sufis are overall more "reformed or western-friendly" is misguided as you have explained above in the thread. For many Muslims Sufism is just the heart of Islam.

Babak Makkinejad

Thank you for your comments.

My understanding has been that all the points that you have raised are discussed among the Christian Theologians for the last 2 thousand years.

I do not believe that the Church of Satan is interested in theological discussion and exploration with either the Christian or the Judaic Tradition.

Valissa, per her own admission, has discarded Christianity and gone back to some sort of - in my view - make-believe play-acting (neo-)paganism.

I think that the responsibility for all of these Lost Children largely falls on the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Religious Thinkers & Philosophers since they have failed to address themselves to the great hunger for authentic spirituality that exists all over the world.

So we have all these reversions to the failed navel-gazing Hindu practices, obsolete mysticism like that of Rumi, and decay into paganism.

Lord Curzon

My belief about the Qu'ran having been canonised has landed me in more than a few arguments, some of which have nearly come to blows, as a result of those believers thinking I am impugning the origins of the Book.

Babak Makkinejad

Abu Sinan:

I made a mistake in my sentence:

"Zaidis proposing a different succession line than that of Fatima."

I meant to say that the

"Zaidis proposing a different succession line than that of Imami Shias but still from Fatima."

Babak Makkinejad

I agree about your assessment of Sufis.

They have no answers either for Islamic World's encounter with Western (Diocletian) Civilization.

Just more of the same, with those grown men whirling in Konya for the benefit of Western Diocletian tourists as though the world has not been permanently altered by the Western Diocletians.

Babak Makkinejad

You would have been almost certainly murdered in many places in Muslim world.


I appreciate your reply. I do think the struggle for "authenticity" lies in the heart of those who seek. I respect them all.

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