This article was published in ‘The Economist’ recently which presented an overview of the acts of violence carried out against Shia Muslims in the month of Muharram.
Initially what piqued my interest in this article was the characterizations made at the very onset of the Shia muslims as becoming ‘ increasingly lonely and nervous’. Apart from this, the article is based on a usual Shia persecution narrative that one finds around the time of Ashura every year. The assertions about the perceived sense of growing isolation and unease among the Shia seem contestable as does the part about the Shia blaming their current condition on a ‘global conspiracy’.As we know Shi’ism has been facing a hostile environment pretty much ever since the time of its inception.
There seems to be nothing new then in the present day hostility to distinguish it from that of the past. Also while the conspiracy theories are rampant in the Shi’i narrative, the idea of a consolidated global threat seems a little far fetched because the Shia seem to percieve the Sunni’s as their immediate antagonists. This can be attested from the fact that all the incidents of violence that take place against the Shia happen in Muslim communities where the Sunni’s are more often than not the majority sect.
The following is an interesting post from a Jordanian blogger about attitudes towards the Shia Muslims in the Middle East.