Saudi Arabia has shot down a missile fired by Houthi terrorists in Yemen. The intended target area was a populated city in Khamis Mushait which is a city near the border of Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The missile itself was a ballistic missile manufactured by Iran, as Iran continues to grow its influence to destablise Sunni powers in the Middle East according to the Saudi Press Agency. This news comes after a string of missile attacks on Saudi Arabia by the Houthis since the beginning of the Yemen conflict.
In October 2016 and July 2017 the Houthis fired three missiles aimed at Islam’s holiest site, the sacred mosque Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah. One of the missiles was intercepted only 6 seconds before it would hit the Kaaba, known as Allah’s House in Islam. This mirrors with the statement of a Houthi leader Abdul-Karim al-Khiwani, who said “We will circle the Ka’bah next Hajj in Makkah as conquerors”. He said this in 2015 but was killed days later.
A Little History
The Yemen conflict escalated in March 2015 when the President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi was challenged by former President Ali Abdullah Saleh after he had joined with a Shi’ite rebel group known as the Houthis. The Houthi rebels gained a lot of ground rapidly and took control of the capital Sana’a. But President Hadi pushed back from his stronghold in Aden eventually seeking Saudi backing to push the Houthis back.
Saudi Arabia formed an Islamic military alliance of many Muslim countries in order to establish the elected President back in power. However Iranian backed the Houthis and began funnelling weapons to them the rebels.
Iran has a long history of meddling in Sunni countries in the Middle East. It has supported President Assad in Syria with the excuse that he is democratically elected, while at the same time supporting the Houthis against the democratically elected President Hadi. Iran was accused of fuelling protests in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait in order to destabilise countries.
“It is the obligation of every Muslim to dig up the graves of Abu Bakr and Umar and exhume what remains of their corpses”
– Ayatollah Khorasani
Since the formation of the Islamic Republic of Iran by Ayatollah Khomeini, they have desired to rule over Islam’s holiest sites in Makkah and Madinah. It has been widely reported that the founder of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini addressed a youth rally during which he said that he wishes to enter Makkah and Madinah as a conqueror and dig up the graves of Abu Bakr and Umar, who were the two closest companions of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ).
Recently Ayatollah Khorasani said the same thing. see the video below.
Can There Be Peace?
The differences between Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims has continued for over a thousand years and sees no sign of ending any time soon. This religious divide boils down to the fundamental differences in belief between Sunnis and Shi’ites. While Shi’ites believe that the majority of the Prophet Muhammad’s (ﷺ) companions were misguided and only his blood relatives were truly guided, Sunni believe his family and companions were guided. Shi’ites also believe in Imams as intercessors between Man and God, however Sunnis believe in strict monotheism without intercessors.
Shi’ites believe that when the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) died, Ali (ra) should have become the leader. Ali was the son in law of the Prophet (ﷺ) and father of the Prophet’s grandchildren and he eventually became leader of the Muslims after the three Caliphs before him. Sunnis on the other hand believe that all four of the Caliphs after the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) were divinely chosen, they were Abu Bakr (ra) the father-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), Umar (ra) the father-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), Uthman (ra) the son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and Ali (ra) the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ).
While the religious difference are unlikely to settle, the political differences could. Sunnis and Shi’ite have lived peacefully before. In many countries such as Pakistan, Sunnis and Shi’ite generally live very peacefully side by side. When the political stale mate over Yemen and Syria sees any sign of resolving, it is likely Iran may back off from meddling in Sunni Middle Eastern countries.
What are your thoughts on the Syria, Yemen, Iran and Saudi Arabia? Comment below and do let us know.