The Sunni- Shia Fitna: Two Fatwas-Shaykh Naim Qasim's and Shaykh Mawlawi's

Is there a Sunni Shia Fitna in Lebanon or not? It's good to know. Because if there is one, it should be dealt with before it festers and grows out of hand into something real ugly like what happened in Iraq.

MP Saad Hariri stated that the Fitna has happened due to the violations and trauma of May 7 events.

These comments have been faced with cynicism by the Hizbullah and its allies. Since MP Shaykh Saad Hariri and the 14th of March group are allied with the US- the charge is that it is the US (with its junior team member Israel), the convenient suspect for ALL Arab and Muslim ills, that is pushing for an alleged "Shia- Sunni Fitna."

The claim is that the US wants this Fitna and that its allies and friends are "shamelessly irresponsibly" etc. promoting this idea.

However, today in al Safir the leader of a Muslim Brotherhood group, al Jamaa al Islamiya, (which has the [bad] habit of other Islamists, that it blaming the US for everything and not giving it credit for anything,) told al Safir basically the same thing as Shaykh Saad of the Future Movement did.

In this Al Safir interview Shaykh Faysal Mawlawi stated that "the chief responsibility for the events of May 7 conflict is Hezbollah's and that Hizbullah should have preserved the sacredness of its weapons."

Shaykh Mawlawi stated that the [Sunni-Shia] Fitna has happened already.

"To us the heart of the matter is that Hizbullah is not realizing that the [Sunni-Shia] Fitna has already occurred. It's now in [people's] hearts. It would have increased multiple fold had it not been for the Doha agreement."

Shaykh Mawlawi is not a friend of ex- US ambassador to Lebanon Feltman nor a frequent guest at the US Lebanon embassy events. I doubt he is on their A, B or z list of invitees.

Shaykh Mawlawi's concern about Hizbullah's failure to realize what happened was validated in the same paper by Hizbullah's second in command, Shaykh Qasim of Hizbullah.

In the same paper, Shaykh Naim Qasim, is quoted from an interview with Satellite TV station Orbit that:

"we assure Arabs and Muslims there is no Sunni-Shia Fitna."

He stated: "There is no Shia Sunni Fitna. We don't want it and we are not contributing to its creation."


Add this to the litany of Shia- Sunni disagreements and differences that keep ordinary Muslims puzzled and at a loss.


Marion said…
"Fitna (فتنة) is an Arabic word, generally regarded as very difficult to translate but at the same time is considered to be an all-encompassing word referring to schism, secession, upheaval and anarchy at once. It is often used to refer to civil war, disagreement and division within Islam and specifically alludes to a time involving trials of faith...--Wikipedia

Can fitna between Muslims be defined and occur based solely on the differing religious beliefs of Muslims, or can fitna also be defined and occur between Muslims based on their political differences or differences in the level of their religious practice?

Is it a kind of fitna for Sunni groups or Shia groups to have differences of opinion based on their levels of practice, differing interpretations of Islam, or on their different political beliefs?

Or is it fitna when these differences are acted upon between the Muslims after being accentuated by other Muslims or non-Muslims through events, as well as through the different political and religious leaders and the media?

What roles has the Arab/Muslim media and leaders been playing in the region? Has it been positive or negative for the most part? Has any of the Arab/Muslim media been helping the possibility of different Muslims committing fitna, or accentuating the perceived fitna between the different Muslims?

Has there been a kind of fitnah between the Sunni Fatah and Hamas in Palestine, or a kind of fitnah between the Shia Dawah Party and the Sadrists in Iraq? And if it can be defined as a kind of fitna based on political differences, who is most responsible for this fitna taking place between these differing Muslims? Might this fitna be connected to the circumstances that were forced on these people through the invasion and the occupation of their lands for the sake of foreign interests? Might this fitna also be a part of the fault of the Arab and Muslim leaders of the region who have lined themselves up with or against these foreign occupations and interests? Who or what is most responsible for creating this fitna between Muslims, whether it be the perceived fitna between Shias or the perceived fitna between Sunnis, or the perceived fitna between Sunnis and Shias?

While it is true that U.S. policy in the Middle East region that appears to be based on Imperialist motives, cannot be held entirely responsible for everything that has been going wrong in the Arab/Muslim world, including the perceived Sunni/Shia fitna, yet it is clearly a large part of the problem.

The extremist Takfiri ideology and movement, which is the primary excuse used by the U.S. for their continued military presence in the region, is another large part of that problem that has played a big role in trying to create a fitna between the different Muslims. This is based on their stated hopes and wishes of bringing forth a future Caliphate by dividing and conquering the region, yet the effects of the Takfifri actions in the region have helped to prolong the U.S. occupation in Iraq and interference in the region rather than end it.

Also if we were to read from loyal Iraqi Baathist's sites, we would see that they believe and propagate that what has been going on in Iraq and the region is not a Sunni/Shia conflict, but a Zionist conspiracy against Saddam, the Baathists, and the secular Arabists by a U.S/Israel/Iran/Syria Hezbollah/Hamas/ and leftist axis. Yet very little is mentioned or even blamed on the Takfiri Al Qaeda like groups who have been not only responsible for the killing of non-Muslims around the world, but for the killing of Arabs and Muslims left and right in the region who are considered by them as Kafr, non-believers.

I still believe that the conflict in Lebanon is not Sunni/Shia oriented, but is based on political differences more than anything else.

If it is truly a Sunni-Shia religious fitna that took place in Lebanon, than it should be considered so by a majority of the leaders and people on both sides of the spectrum. I still don't believe that it is considered as a religious fitna by a majority of the Muslims and their leaders. And that those who are portraying it in this way are the ones actually helping to promote a religious fitna between Muslims.

An interesting debate which took place recently in Doha:

April 29th, 2008

"This House believes the Sunni-Shia conflict is damaging Islam's reputation as a religion of peace"


Juan Cole
Imam Qazwini
Ali Shukri
Hisham Hellyer

Vote Result: The motion was defeated

To read the transcript go to:

To watch the video go to:

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