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Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This
Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam 1
A Special Topic Course
Presented by:
www.IslamicStateOfAmerica.com
Understanding Islam:
For Such A Time As This
Lesson 7: Saudi Arabia and Iran—The Divided
House of Islam
Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This
Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam
Review: Global Distribution of Muslims
2
Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This
Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam
Review: Muslim Views of Shi’a
• Shi’a give preference those hadith and sunnah credited to
Muhammad and close associates. All other writings require scrutiny.
• Sunni consider all hadith and sunnah, narrated by as many as
12,000 of Muhammad’s companions, to be valid.
• Hierarchy of Shi’a clergy exists, funded by religious taxes.
• No clergy hierarchy in Sunni Islam. Imams funded by the state or
through zakat gifts.
• Sufi provide bridge between Sunni and Shi’a theologies
• Some orthodox Sunni reject Shi’a concept of a messiah (Mahdi)
because no mention of it exists in Qur’an or sunnah.
• Wahhabi movement within Sunni Islam sees the Shi’a veneration of
Imams and shrines to battles as heretical
• Radical Sunnis disparage Shi’a as Rafidi (rejecter) and apostate
3
Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This
Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam
Review: ISIS Prophecy
4
• ISIS believes that
there will be only
12 legitimate
caliphs, and that
Abu Bakr al
Baghdadi is 8th.
• The armies of
Rome will mass to
meet the armies of
Islam at Dabiq.
• Islam’s final
showdown with an
anti-Messiah will
occur in Jerusalem
after a period of
renewed Islamic
conquest.
Dabiq
Russian and Syrian forces are
battling rebels for control of
Aleppo, close to Dabiq. Tens of
thousands of refugees are
flowing into Turkey and Europe.
Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This
Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam
Review: Revelations and the Mahdi
• Daniel 9:27 (Seven Years of the Mahdi Reign?)
– “He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of
the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the
temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until
the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”
• Revelation 11:2 (Desecration and destruction during Dajjal’s rule?)
– “They will trample on the Holy city for 42 months.”
• Revelation 17 (Mecca is surrounded by [built on] seven hills)
– 17:3 “I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with
blasphemous names, and had seven heads and ten horns.”
– 17:9 “The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits.”
– 17:18 “The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of
the earth.”
• Is Mecca the “Babylon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes and the
Abominations of the Earth” described in John’s Revelation?
5
Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This
Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam
Saudi Arabia: Summary
• The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
– Second largest Arab state
• Founded in 1932 by Ibn Saud
– Close ties to Salafist adherents
• Oil discovered in 1938
– World’s 2nd largest oil reserve, 6th
largest gas reserve
• Governed using Sharia law
– Human rights abuses, terrorism,
discrimination against Shi’a citizens
• Growing discontent in populace
– Royal family under pressure
6
Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This
Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam
Early History
• Pre-Islamic times
– Nomadic tribes and
crossroads of trade
• Muhammad united
multiple tribes under
Islamic rule
– Abu Bakr pulled
disparate breakaways
back into allegiance
• 16th century
Ottomans added
area to empire
7
Ottoman control 1517 - 1918
Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This
Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam
al-Wahhab and al Saud
• Muhammad al Saud, founder of Saud dynasty, joined
forces with Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, founder of
Wahhabi movement in 1744
– Uniting a powerful kingdom with most puritanical form of Islam
• Formed first ”Saudi state” near Riyadh
– Rapidly expanded to include all of the peninsula
• Destroyed in 1818 by Ottoman viceroy of Egypt
• A second smaller “Saudi State” founded in Nejd in 1824
• Throughout 19th century Al Saud contested for control of
interior of peninsula with rival al Rashid
– al Saud driven to exile in Kuwait in 1891
8
Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This
Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam
Wahhabism = Islamic Fundamentalism
9
• Wahhabism is ultra-
puritanical form of Islam
• Revivalist movement to
purge Islam of its “modern
elements” in 1700’s
– Offered political obedience
and religious leadership in
return for al Saud protection
– Became official state-
sponsored form of Saudi
Arabian Islam
– All Wahhabists are Sunni
Wahhabis disdain all changes since the
2nd generation of Islam. Reject Sufiism.
Coercion should be used to enforce
sharia. Forced conversion of Shi’a.
Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This
Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam
Return of the House of Saud
• 1902: Abdul Aziz, later known as ibn
Saud, recaptured control of Riyadh
• Aziz gained support of Wahhabist
tribes and regained control of much
of Arabia.
– Multiple struggles for control, including
the “Arab Revolt,” WW-I, and ibn Saud’s
struggle to modernize the nation and to
bring in non-Muslims
• ibn Saud united two kingdoms of Hija
and Nejd into the Kingdom of Saudi
Arabia in 1932
10
Abdul Aziz ibn Saud,
the first king of Saudi
Arabia
Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This
Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam
Unified Saudi Arabia
• Oil discovered 1938
• Aramco built oil fields 1941
• Influx of oil monies led to
waste in government
• 1953: New King Saud
– Deposed in 1964 by Faisal
• 1972: Saudis took 20%
control of Aramco
• 1973 oil boycott of countries
that supported Israel in Yom
Kippur war
• 1975: Faisal assassinated by
nephew.
11
Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This
Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam
Emerging Saudi World Power
• 1976:
– World’s largest oil producer
• 1979:
– Islamic revolution in Iran
– Seizure of Grand Mosque in
Mecca by extremists upset
by corruption and un-Islamic
nature of the Saudis
• Royal family chose to
enforce stricter Islamic law
– Rise of Islamism, forcing
significant change to culture
12
Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This
Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam
The Rise of Terrorism in Saudi Arabia
• 1980’s: $25B to support Saddam Hussein against Iran
• 1990: Invasion of Kuwait. US forces stationed in Saudi
• Growing discontent due to foreign influence, stagnant
economy, unemployment, infusion of foreign nationals
– Students of Wahhabism upset with the loss of Islamic culture
– Multiple Saudis turned to extremism, including Osama bin Laden
– 15 of 19 9/11 attackers were Saudi Arabian
• 2005: King Fahd died, succeeded by Abdullah
– Instituted some modernization despite rising protests
• 2011: Arab spring protests
– Male-only municipal elections September 2011
13
Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This
Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam
Saudi Arabian Issues
• Absolute monarchy: Total dictatorship
• 1992: “Basic Law of Saudi Arabia” - must rule by Sharia
– Qur’an and Hadith are the country’s constitution
• Human rights abuses: no jury trials
• Extreme disadvantage for women
• Lack of religious freedom
• Punishment of homosexuality
• Multiple executions each year
• Toleration of a ”jihadist culture”
• Funding of Wahhabist madrassas
14
King Salman
Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This
Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam
Bankrolling International Terror
• World’s largest funding source for Salafist jihadism
• Joins with Qatar, Kuwait and UAE to pump funds into
terror groups around the globe
– al Qaeda, ISIS, Taliban, al Nusra Front, among others
– Built over 1500 mosques around the world and thousands of
madrassas
– Reward scholars and journalists who promote Islamic extremism
tied back to Wahhabi teachings
– Home to Osama bin Laden, 15 of the 19 attackers of 9/11, others
• “Saudi donors and unregulated charities are major source
of financing to … terrorist groups over the past 25 years
– 2005 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Dept. State
15
Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This
Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam
Religion
• 75-90% Sunni, 10-25% Shi’a%
• Sunnis practice extreme form of Islam= “Salafism”
– “Wahhabi” term is now considered derogatory
– Believe that salafism purifies the practice of Islam and brings the
religion back to the fundamentals taught by Muhammad
– Salafism denounces Shi’a faith
– Strict application of sharia law
• 1.5M Christians
– Cannot worship openly.
– No houses of worship are permitted
– Conversion to Christianity punishable by death
– 2015 survey shows 60,000 Saudis converted to Christianity
16
Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This
Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam
Recent Developments
• War with Yemeni rebels who are funded by Iran
• Protection against ISIS incursions on northern border
• Execution of 46 on terrorism charges, including Shi’a.
– Led to multiple bombings/burnings in response and subsequent
closure of Saudi Arabian embassy
• Formation of Sunni coalition to “combat terrorism”
– 34 Muslim nations to battle ISIS
• Drop in oil prices has led to significant funding problems
– Borrowing up to $5B per month. Budget shortfall 20% of GDP
• Nationalism of jobs to ensure Saudi workers are hired
– Leads to major cultural and “laziness” problem among young men
17
Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This
Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam 18
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Advd-ij64m4
Video: ‘Absolute Baloney’: Geraldo Battles Bolling over Iran Being
‘Gravest Threat’
Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This
Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam
Historic Persia
• Home to world’s oldest
civilizations
– Including Elamite kingdoms from
3200 BC.
• Cyrus the Great 500 BC created
the largest empire in the world
– Conquered by Alexander the Great
in 330 BC
• Invaded by Rashidun Muslims in
633 AD, conquered in 651 AD
– Major contributor to the “Islamic
Golden Age”
19
Achaemenid Empire around the
time of Xerxes I 486-465 BC
Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This
Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam
Modern Iran
• Savafid Dynasty established 1501
– “Twelver Shi’a” became official religion
• 1736 large empire under Nader Shah,
largest since the Savafid Dynasty
• 1906 Persian Constitutional Revolution
led to a constitutional monarchy
– Coup instigated by US and UK in 1953
overthrew the monarchy, as a result of
nationalization of all oil reserves
• 1979 Islamic Revolution
– Parliamentary democracy with a theocracy
governed by Islamic jurists under the concept
of a Supreme Leadership
20
Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This
Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam
Turbulent Times in Iran
• 1973 oil embargo flooded Iran with
cash as oil prices quadrupled
– Led to 1975-1976 recession
– Leading to 1978 protests against Shah
• April 1979 – Islamic Republic formed
– 1979 Kurdish rebellion in response
– Tens of thousands executed to purge the
non-Islamist opposition
• 1980 – 1988 – Iran-Iraq War
– 160,000 dead
• 2005 – Election of Ahmadinejad
• 2013 – Election of Hassan Rouhani
21
Ruhollah Khomeini returning
to Iran after 14 years exile,
on February 1, 1979
Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This
Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam
Religion
• 90-95% Shi’a Islam
• 4-8% Sunni Islam
• 2% Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians
• Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran mandates
that the official religion of Iran is Shi’a Islam and the
“Twelver” Ja'fari school
– Also mandates that other Islamic schools are to be accorded full
respect, and their followers are free to act in accordance with
their own jurisprudence in performing their religious rites
– Recognizes Zoroastrian, Jewish, and Christian minorities
– But… conversion from Islam is punishable by death for men, and
life imprisonment for women
22
Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This
Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam
Bankrolling International Terror
• Along with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, Iran is a leading
exporter of jihadists and funding source for terror
– Hamas, Hezbollah
– Iranian Revolutionary Guard fighting in Syria
• Fighting ”proxy” war in Syria, and fighting ISIS in Iraq, to
extend the “Shi’a Crescent” from Iran to the
Mediterranean
– Aligned with Alawite Shi’a sect of President Assad in Syria
• Aligned with Russia against U.S in multiple venues
• Diplomatic relations with North Korea
– Armed with the cash to purchase illicit nuclear and missile
technology, missile components
23
Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This
Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam
A Nuclear Iran?
• We have all had a hand in this…
– Iranian nuclear program began in 1957 under President
Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” program
– 1970’s… the Shah embarked on US-supported effort to build 23
nuclear power plants before 2000
– 1979... Cut off nuclear activity after revolution shut off workers
– 1981... Reestablished nuclear program
– 1985... Blackmailed French to recover nuclear investments,
including terror attacks against Paris. French accord in 1988
– 1988... Argentina nuclear support
– 1995... Russian atomic energy work resumed
– 2002 – 2015... Secrecy, stockpiling, sanctions
– 2010-2011... Killing of Iranian nuclear scientists (by Mossad?)
24
Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This
Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam
Recent Developments
• Sanctions lifted, $150B of assets freed for Iran’s use
– Pending nuclear deal – will Congress get to approve it, or will
President push it through on executive direction?
• Test launch of long-range missiles in direct violation of
nuclear agreement
• Demonstrations against Saudi Arabia for execution of
Shi’a cleric for terror charges
– Significant concerns about a possible war with Saudi Arabia
• Imprisonment, torture, and execution of Iranians who
leave Islam for Christianity
– Yet... a growing covert home church movement in Iran
25
Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This
Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam 26
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4FkNbtkgps
Video: The Iran Nuclear Deal
Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This
Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam
The Implications of Appeasement
• Iran has promised not to create a nuclear weapon.
– Yet... the Islamic Republic chants death threats to America,
develops long range missiles, and seizes American sailors.
• We champion human rights for all mankind.
– Yet… Saudi Arabia and Iran are “modern” nations that flaunt
human rights under the guise of Islamic law and sharia.
• Oil is important to our economy. Saudi Arabia is our ally.
– Yet… our petro-dollars flow back into Wahhabist-aligned Islamic
extremism in Sunni terror groups all across the globe.
• We seek peace in our time.
– Yet... Iran calls for the destruction of Israel, and Saudi Arabian
donors fund Islamist movements to overthrow America
27
Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This
Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam
In the Next Lesson
• Lesson 8
– Sexuality
– Marriage
– Divorce
– Honor killings
– Sharia law
• Pray!
– For peace
– For insight and understanding
– For a chance to share your faith
– For Muslims to come to know Jesus
28

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Lesson 7 Saudi Arabia and Iran

  • 1. Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam 1 A Special Topic Course Presented by: www.IslamicStateOfAmerica.com Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This Lesson 7: Saudi Arabia and Iran—The Divided House of Islam
  • 2. Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam Review: Global Distribution of Muslims 2
  • 3. Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam Review: Muslim Views of Shi’a • Shi’a give preference those hadith and sunnah credited to Muhammad and close associates. All other writings require scrutiny. • Sunni consider all hadith and sunnah, narrated by as many as 12,000 of Muhammad’s companions, to be valid. • Hierarchy of Shi’a clergy exists, funded by religious taxes. • No clergy hierarchy in Sunni Islam. Imams funded by the state or through zakat gifts. • Sufi provide bridge between Sunni and Shi’a theologies • Some orthodox Sunni reject Shi’a concept of a messiah (Mahdi) because no mention of it exists in Qur’an or sunnah. • Wahhabi movement within Sunni Islam sees the Shi’a veneration of Imams and shrines to battles as heretical • Radical Sunnis disparage Shi’a as Rafidi (rejecter) and apostate 3
  • 4. Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam Review: ISIS Prophecy 4 • ISIS believes that there will be only 12 legitimate caliphs, and that Abu Bakr al Baghdadi is 8th. • The armies of Rome will mass to meet the armies of Islam at Dabiq. • Islam’s final showdown with an anti-Messiah will occur in Jerusalem after a period of renewed Islamic conquest. Dabiq Russian and Syrian forces are battling rebels for control of Aleppo, close to Dabiq. Tens of thousands of refugees are flowing into Turkey and Europe.
  • 5. Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam Review: Revelations and the Mahdi • Daniel 9:27 (Seven Years of the Mahdi Reign?) – “He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” • Revelation 11:2 (Desecration and destruction during Dajjal’s rule?) – “They will trample on the Holy city for 42 months.” • Revelation 17 (Mecca is surrounded by [built on] seven hills) – 17:3 “I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names, and had seven heads and ten horns.” – 17:9 “The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits.” – 17:18 “The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.” • Is Mecca the “Babylon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes and the Abominations of the Earth” described in John’s Revelation? 5
  • 6. Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam Saudi Arabia: Summary • The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – Second largest Arab state • Founded in 1932 by Ibn Saud – Close ties to Salafist adherents • Oil discovered in 1938 – World’s 2nd largest oil reserve, 6th largest gas reserve • Governed using Sharia law – Human rights abuses, terrorism, discrimination against Shi’a citizens • Growing discontent in populace – Royal family under pressure 6
  • 7. Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam Early History • Pre-Islamic times – Nomadic tribes and crossroads of trade • Muhammad united multiple tribes under Islamic rule – Abu Bakr pulled disparate breakaways back into allegiance • 16th century Ottomans added area to empire 7 Ottoman control 1517 - 1918
  • 8. Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam al-Wahhab and al Saud • Muhammad al Saud, founder of Saud dynasty, joined forces with Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, founder of Wahhabi movement in 1744 – Uniting a powerful kingdom with most puritanical form of Islam • Formed first ”Saudi state” near Riyadh – Rapidly expanded to include all of the peninsula • Destroyed in 1818 by Ottoman viceroy of Egypt • A second smaller “Saudi State” founded in Nejd in 1824 • Throughout 19th century Al Saud contested for control of interior of peninsula with rival al Rashid – al Saud driven to exile in Kuwait in 1891 8
  • 9. Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam Wahhabism = Islamic Fundamentalism 9 • Wahhabism is ultra- puritanical form of Islam • Revivalist movement to purge Islam of its “modern elements” in 1700’s – Offered political obedience and religious leadership in return for al Saud protection – Became official state- sponsored form of Saudi Arabian Islam – All Wahhabists are Sunni Wahhabis disdain all changes since the 2nd generation of Islam. Reject Sufiism. Coercion should be used to enforce sharia. Forced conversion of Shi’a.
  • 10. Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam Return of the House of Saud • 1902: Abdul Aziz, later known as ibn Saud, recaptured control of Riyadh • Aziz gained support of Wahhabist tribes and regained control of much of Arabia. – Multiple struggles for control, including the “Arab Revolt,” WW-I, and ibn Saud’s struggle to modernize the nation and to bring in non-Muslims • ibn Saud united two kingdoms of Hija and Nejd into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932 10 Abdul Aziz ibn Saud, the first king of Saudi Arabia
  • 11. Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam Unified Saudi Arabia • Oil discovered 1938 • Aramco built oil fields 1941 • Influx of oil monies led to waste in government • 1953: New King Saud – Deposed in 1964 by Faisal • 1972: Saudis took 20% control of Aramco • 1973 oil boycott of countries that supported Israel in Yom Kippur war • 1975: Faisal assassinated by nephew. 11
  • 12. Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam Emerging Saudi World Power • 1976: – World’s largest oil producer • 1979: – Islamic revolution in Iran – Seizure of Grand Mosque in Mecca by extremists upset by corruption and un-Islamic nature of the Saudis • Royal family chose to enforce stricter Islamic law – Rise of Islamism, forcing significant change to culture 12
  • 13. Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam The Rise of Terrorism in Saudi Arabia • 1980’s: $25B to support Saddam Hussein against Iran • 1990: Invasion of Kuwait. US forces stationed in Saudi • Growing discontent due to foreign influence, stagnant economy, unemployment, infusion of foreign nationals – Students of Wahhabism upset with the loss of Islamic culture – Multiple Saudis turned to extremism, including Osama bin Laden – 15 of 19 9/11 attackers were Saudi Arabian • 2005: King Fahd died, succeeded by Abdullah – Instituted some modernization despite rising protests • 2011: Arab spring protests – Male-only municipal elections September 2011 13
  • 14. Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam Saudi Arabian Issues • Absolute monarchy: Total dictatorship • 1992: “Basic Law of Saudi Arabia” - must rule by Sharia – Qur’an and Hadith are the country’s constitution • Human rights abuses: no jury trials • Extreme disadvantage for women • Lack of religious freedom • Punishment of homosexuality • Multiple executions each year • Toleration of a ”jihadist culture” • Funding of Wahhabist madrassas 14 King Salman
  • 15. Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam Bankrolling International Terror • World’s largest funding source for Salafist jihadism • Joins with Qatar, Kuwait and UAE to pump funds into terror groups around the globe – al Qaeda, ISIS, Taliban, al Nusra Front, among others – Built over 1500 mosques around the world and thousands of madrassas – Reward scholars and journalists who promote Islamic extremism tied back to Wahhabi teachings – Home to Osama bin Laden, 15 of the 19 attackers of 9/11, others • “Saudi donors and unregulated charities are major source of financing to … terrorist groups over the past 25 years – 2005 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Dept. State 15
  • 16. Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam Religion • 75-90% Sunni, 10-25% Shi’a% • Sunnis practice extreme form of Islam= “Salafism” – “Wahhabi” term is now considered derogatory – Believe that salafism purifies the practice of Islam and brings the religion back to the fundamentals taught by Muhammad – Salafism denounces Shi’a faith – Strict application of sharia law • 1.5M Christians – Cannot worship openly. – No houses of worship are permitted – Conversion to Christianity punishable by death – 2015 survey shows 60,000 Saudis converted to Christianity 16
  • 17. Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam Recent Developments • War with Yemeni rebels who are funded by Iran • Protection against ISIS incursions on northern border • Execution of 46 on terrorism charges, including Shi’a. – Led to multiple bombings/burnings in response and subsequent closure of Saudi Arabian embassy • Formation of Sunni coalition to “combat terrorism” – 34 Muslim nations to battle ISIS • Drop in oil prices has led to significant funding problems – Borrowing up to $5B per month. Budget shortfall 20% of GDP • Nationalism of jobs to ensure Saudi workers are hired – Leads to major cultural and “laziness” problem among young men 17
  • 18. Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam 18 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Advd-ij64m4 Video: ‘Absolute Baloney’: Geraldo Battles Bolling over Iran Being ‘Gravest Threat’
  • 19. Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam Historic Persia • Home to world’s oldest civilizations – Including Elamite kingdoms from 3200 BC. • Cyrus the Great 500 BC created the largest empire in the world – Conquered by Alexander the Great in 330 BC • Invaded by Rashidun Muslims in 633 AD, conquered in 651 AD – Major contributor to the “Islamic Golden Age” 19 Achaemenid Empire around the time of Xerxes I 486-465 BC
  • 20. Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam Modern Iran • Savafid Dynasty established 1501 – “Twelver Shi’a” became official religion • 1736 large empire under Nader Shah, largest since the Savafid Dynasty • 1906 Persian Constitutional Revolution led to a constitutional monarchy – Coup instigated by US and UK in 1953 overthrew the monarchy, as a result of nationalization of all oil reserves • 1979 Islamic Revolution – Parliamentary democracy with a theocracy governed by Islamic jurists under the concept of a Supreme Leadership 20
  • 21. Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam Turbulent Times in Iran • 1973 oil embargo flooded Iran with cash as oil prices quadrupled – Led to 1975-1976 recession – Leading to 1978 protests against Shah • April 1979 – Islamic Republic formed – 1979 Kurdish rebellion in response – Tens of thousands executed to purge the non-Islamist opposition • 1980 – 1988 – Iran-Iraq War – 160,000 dead • 2005 – Election of Ahmadinejad • 2013 – Election of Hassan Rouhani 21 Ruhollah Khomeini returning to Iran after 14 years exile, on February 1, 1979
  • 22. Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam Religion • 90-95% Shi’a Islam • 4-8% Sunni Islam • 2% Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians • Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran mandates that the official religion of Iran is Shi’a Islam and the “Twelver” Ja'fari school – Also mandates that other Islamic schools are to be accorded full respect, and their followers are free to act in accordance with their own jurisprudence in performing their religious rites – Recognizes Zoroastrian, Jewish, and Christian minorities – But… conversion from Islam is punishable by death for men, and life imprisonment for women 22
  • 23. Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam Bankrolling International Terror • Along with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, Iran is a leading exporter of jihadists and funding source for terror – Hamas, Hezbollah – Iranian Revolutionary Guard fighting in Syria • Fighting ”proxy” war in Syria, and fighting ISIS in Iraq, to extend the “Shi’a Crescent” from Iran to the Mediterranean – Aligned with Alawite Shi’a sect of President Assad in Syria • Aligned with Russia against U.S in multiple venues • Diplomatic relations with North Korea – Armed with the cash to purchase illicit nuclear and missile technology, missile components 23
  • 24. Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam A Nuclear Iran? • We have all had a hand in this… – Iranian nuclear program began in 1957 under President Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” program – 1970’s… the Shah embarked on US-supported effort to build 23 nuclear power plants before 2000 – 1979... Cut off nuclear activity after revolution shut off workers – 1981... Reestablished nuclear program – 1985... Blackmailed French to recover nuclear investments, including terror attacks against Paris. French accord in 1988 – 1988... Argentina nuclear support – 1995... Russian atomic energy work resumed – 2002 – 2015... Secrecy, stockpiling, sanctions – 2010-2011... Killing of Iranian nuclear scientists (by Mossad?) 24
  • 25. Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam Recent Developments • Sanctions lifted, $150B of assets freed for Iran’s use – Pending nuclear deal – will Congress get to approve it, or will President push it through on executive direction? • Test launch of long-range missiles in direct violation of nuclear agreement • Demonstrations against Saudi Arabia for execution of Shi’a cleric for terror charges – Significant concerns about a possible war with Saudi Arabia • Imprisonment, torture, and execution of Iranians who leave Islam for Christianity – Yet... a growing covert home church movement in Iran 25
  • 26. Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam 26 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4FkNbtkgps Video: The Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 27. Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam The Implications of Appeasement • Iran has promised not to create a nuclear weapon. – Yet... the Islamic Republic chants death threats to America, develops long range missiles, and seizes American sailors. • We champion human rights for all mankind. – Yet… Saudi Arabia and Iran are “modern” nations that flaunt human rights under the guise of Islamic law and sharia. • Oil is important to our economy. Saudi Arabia is our ally. – Yet… our petro-dollars flow back into Wahhabist-aligned Islamic extremism in Sunni terror groups all across the globe. • We seek peace in our time. – Yet... Iran calls for the destruction of Israel, and Saudi Arabian donors fund Islamist movements to overthrow America 27
  • 28. Understanding Islam: For Such A Time As This Saudi Arabia and Iran: The Divided House of Islam In the Next Lesson • Lesson 8 – Sexuality – Marriage – Divorce – Honor killings – Sharia law • Pray! – For peace – For insight and understanding – For a chance to share your faith – For Muslims to come to know Jesus 28