The Iraq Model The Bush Administration thought of politics as the relationship between individuals and the state. In the Middle East people see politics as the balance of power between communities. There are no politics in the authoritarian regimes – it’s the regimes way or the highway.
Remember Part of the US Foreign Policy in the Middle East was/is to make Iraq a model of democracy for the Middle East. The hope is that democracy will allow the diverse populations of the Middle East to finally get along …
Is there a rivalry? As of right now a little– but the rivalry between Sunni and Shiite is growing quickly. Most Islamists are Shiite (as a minority group throughout much of the Middle East - democracy is the only way Shittes can have any voice). Most of the ruling classes of the Middle East are Sunni. Creates an immediate conflict of interest.
Iran Iran is considered the leader of the Shitte world, and their influence has been growing since 2003.
Iraq and Iran Since US occupation of Iraq, Iran has built an extensive support network amongst Iraqis. This closeness between Iraq and Iran has caught the US off guard. Since they fought each other in a war for most of the 80’s we assumed they would continue to be cold towards each other. The hole Sunni/Shiite thing was not considered?
Iraq and Iran continued … Saddam’s Baath party was Sunni and they did everything they could to drive Shiites out of Iraq. Less diversity would equal more control of Iraq. Even resorted to pogroms to get the job done. Many Shiites who left Iraq in the 80’s and 90’s are now going back home. These returning Iraqis have strong connections with their Shiite neighbors now …
Sharia Law Sharia Law is the religious code and religious law of Islam. Sharia deals with many topics addressed by secular law, including crime, politics, and economics, as well as personal matters such as sexual intercourse, hygiene, diet, prayer, and fasting. Interpretations of sharia vary between cultures. Its source is from the Koran and Muslim religious scholars.
Concerns of Sharia Law in the USA Woman’s rights Some punishments are seen as Medieval Separation of church and state to promote life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Freedom of religion, of expression, of thought … No room for debate, Sharia Law comes from God and is infallible . What if Muslim Americans want this stuff here? Sharia Law has been the corner stone of the Islamist movement, especially among Shiites.
Muslim Brotherhood The Brotherhoods credo was and is, "Allah is our objective; the Quran is our law, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.“
Continued … The Brotherhoods stated goal is to instill the Quran as the "sole reference point for ...ordering the life of the Muslim family, individual, community ... and state". The movement officially opposes violent means to achieve its goals, although it at one time encompassed a paramilitary wing and its members were involved in massacres, bombings and assassinations of political opponents.
Why these guys worry the USA Their language in their charters make us nervous. It’s a group that has membership across this Middle East. They have potential to unify the Middle East into an a new Caliph, or Muslim Empire. It’s unlikely, given the numerous rivalries in the Middle East, but it’s a possibility nonetheless.