I had an argument not too long ago in which I was left shaking my head, and after something came across the news wires this past week I was left shaking my head even more.
For the record (if it hasn't yet been stated), I do not follow any school of thought. I read the Qur'an and Hadiths (Bukhari mostly) and make du'a (pray) regularly. Have a bit of a hard time with salat, but am working on it. I personally do not care what school of thought anyone follows. I treat it exactly the same way as everyone else - I care about how you treat people, how you treat me, how you treat others, how you act when you think no one's watching. I have friends who are Sunni, friends who are Shi'a, and have met some very nice people who are Ahmadiyya. I have friends from various strains of Christianity, and my best friend is an Orthodox Jew and work with a lady (and her son) who are Baha'i.
My knowledge of Shi'a theology is minimal. What I have learned I have learned from a university course in world religions. I know they follow Imam Ali and the split happened after the Prophet Muhammad died and the argument began on who was actually the successor for the Prophet (salahu allayi wa salaam). And to the best of my knowledge, Shi'a follow the decrees and leadership of the religious leadership in Iran, they Ayatollah. And I get that and accept it, even if I think some of the decrees they make give the appearance of insanity. However, what I did not, apparently, realize is that (according to the person that made the comments that my comments mean that I'm obviously not Shi'a since I completely disagreed with his comment) is that they also believe that everything that the Iranian president says is a divine decree of some sort. In this case, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. (And may I just state that it's completely nuts that spell check accepts "Ahmadinejad" but not "Qur'an".)
I mean, really - Ahmadinejad is, well, insane. One must only read some of the things he has said to realize that the man has no concept of reality.
“I don't know why some countries do not want to understand the fact that the Iranian people do not tolerate force.”
Uh, maybe because the Iranian government uses force on it's own people?
“lead in promotion of spirituality and compassion for humanity.”
Really? This from the person who calls for the death and destruction of all Jews and Israel? How is this compassion for humanity, seeing as the Jews are humans? Oh wait - he doesn't believe they are.
“How can you prove you are not a bad person? You can't prove that.”
Yes, Yes you can. It's called quit calling for the deaths and destruction of innocent people. It's called quit saying that it's time to blow a country off the map. It's called acting like a human being instead of a degenerate.
But the one that gets to me the most is the one that came out this week because it's just ridiculous.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stated that the British cracking down on the rioters throughout the UK over this last week was inhumane
Really? I mean, really? Iran? The country who has no problem shooting their own citizens for peacefully protesting is going to say that the British police and government, who fired not a single bullet at the protesters, needs to have the UN come in because they were being inhumane? Really?
Which leads me back to the beginning of this - why do people follow what this man says? Comments like this - that the British are brutally cracking down on the citizens which nothing could be further from the truth - have me shaking my head at the thought that people actually think that this man is an amazing leader who leads all Shi'a.
And so, I just shake my head and think to myself that I need to talk to my Canadian Shi'a friends and wonder if this is an across the board belief or just a few misguided souls.