Monday, May 7, 2012

Saudi Arabia and Iran, rivals till the end?

Let's take a look at the rivalry between the Saudis and the Iranians for pre-eminence in the Middle Eastern region. We can start by looking at this recent article:

Saudi cleric: 'Sin' has led to Middle East unrest

Well, that's true but not in the way the Muslim cleric thinks... Here's the excerpt-

"Saudi Arabia's top religious official has blamed Muslim sinfulness for instability in the Middle East, where pro-democracy unrest has toppled four heads of state. "The schism, instability, the malfunctioning of security and the breakdown of unity that Islamic countries are facing these days is a result of the sins of the public and their transgressions," Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh was quoted as saying by al-Watan newspaper.'

We tend to think of all Muslims as Muslim, the same, and working in concert to accomplish the global dominance of their goals. They do want to conquer the world for Islam but they are definitely not working in concert with one another. Just as there is not one "Christian" mindset, instead we are split by denominational lines, the false mixed in with the true (Catholicism, B'Hai), it is the same with Islam. The faith they practice is tempered by doctrinal interpretations, national or tribal history, and geography.

Here is an example. Iran is a powerful entity in the Middle East and seeks to be more so every day. However, adjacent nations which are also Muslim are not friendly toward Iran. Both Iran and Saudi Arabia are the two powerhouses vying for dominance, and the smaller ducklings are lined up behind each. The two Middle Eastern powers have been battling for preeminence in the Muslim world for decades. The LA Times wrote in Oct 2011, "Saudi Arabia and Iran seek to outmaneuver each other in matters such as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the future of Iraq and the bloody political uprisings sweeping much of the region. Their mistrust, fueled in part by sectarian strain, is sharpened by Iran's nuclear development program and Saudi Arabia's long-standing ties to the U.S., Tehran's most potent enemy. The animosity between the Sunni Muslim monarchy in Riyadh and the Shiite Muslim theocracy in Tehran has played out for years in diplomatic back channels and in proxy conflicts from Iraq to Lebanon."

CNN wrote a few months ago, "The two countries, at odds since the 1979 revolution in Iran and ever more so in the wake of the Arab Spring, are competing for dominance in global energy markets and nuclear technology and for political influence in the Persian Gulf and the Levant. Their conflict, with its sectarian overtones, has the potential to weaken pro-democracy forces in the Middle East and North Africa, empower Islamists, and drag the United States into military interventions. To avoid all this, the United States will need strategic imagination to devise ways to mitigate and manage the rivalry between Riyadh and Tehran."

The prediction that the rivalry will "empower Islamists" is turning out to be true. Witness the Muslim Brotherhood's success in Egypt. While Iran and Saudi Arabia rival each other, the Brotherhood sneaks in under the radar, cements seats in Parliament, and before they know it, have the people backing them and political power to wield.

It is out of this mess that Jesus causes the final lineup to occur, and it seems that Iran comes out on top, given their prominent placement as a leader in the aggression toward Israel in the Ezekiel 38 prophecy. The old Arabic proverb goes, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." Just keep that in mind as we read news articles about these nations today and in the future. As a matter of fact, here is one Op-Ed piece in the Kuwaiti Al Watan Daily newspaper today that captures the mood:

"In worst case scenarios; especially during those times when we are really left with little or absolutely no options at all - and have to choose between showing solidarity with the Iranians (God Almighty forbid) or surrendering our earthly possessions, I am certain that we would much rather prefer to live in our deserts as shepherds - wandering around barefoot and working real hard for our livelihoods - than live under the imposing and tyrannical shade of the Iranian umbrella. We'd rather prefer going to bed on a half-empty stomach than enjoy the ill-gotten gains of the Iranians that once actually belonged and still belong to us. We'd rather sleep on the bare earth with no pillow under our heads or even a thin sheet covering our cold bodies than sleep under their silken sheets and warm comforters. Most importantly; we'd rather prefer to die in dignity than live under the shade of their deceptive umbrella."

Gee, what do you really think of the Iranians, Mufarej Barjas Al-Dosari? Actually, the writer and the colleague Abdullah Al-Hadlaq that he mentions are known as Muslim Zionists, that is, Muslim supporters of Israel.

Al-Dosari and the colleague he mentions have urged his country to normalize relations with Israel. On Wikipedia, it states, 'Responding to a question whether he believed that Muslims have a right to rule Jerusalem, Hadlaq said, "On the contrary, verse number 21 of Surat Al-Maeda of the Holy Quran emphasizes the right of 'Bani Israel'". He said that Israel's model of democracy is unique and surpassed many of what he described as the "tyrannical, totalitarian" Arab regimes. In his 2008 article, "The Right of Self-defense," Al-Hadlaq supported "Israel's right to defend itself" and told the international community "not to criticize Israel if it continues its fight against Persian terror committed by the terrorist Hamas (...) and not to criticize Israel for using force to defend its citizens and its territory". In 2011, Hadlaq warned against a unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state, which he says will shatter the idea of real peace in the region. According to Al-Hadlaq, Israel has in the past made strategic concessions for peace, in Sinai, the Gaza Strip and South Lebanon, proving her desire for peaceful negotiations, but the response she earned was a hail of rockets from the "terrorists of Hizballah and Hamas". ' [emphasis mine].

See? The enemy of my enemy is my friend. The group hates Iran so badly they support Israel. I think it is interesting that the Kuwaiti newspaper continues to allow them to publish their Op-Ed pieces.

He writes, "On the contrary, we will never ever be deceived even in the event that Iran changes its tactics and tries to win us over through soothing words of comfort and never ending support. We will never fall prey to their false claims of solidarity under the pretext of being Muslims and true followers of Islam. If they were indeed true followers of Islam, they would never have trampled on the rights of their own brethren and fellowmen. It is open knowledge that they do not believe in brotherhood despite their futile claims that they are indeed devout Muslims and hence encourage the welfare of all other Muslims."

As for the Grand Mufti...Saudi Arabia's top cleric? This is the same man who criticized those who want to raise the legal marriageable age, He said that raising the age of marriage for Muslim girls to 25 is not necessary, because girls aged 10 or 12 are fully ready for all marital duties if raised properly and those who want to raise it are absolutely mistaken. (source Turkish newspaper). He is the same man who said just last week that a fatwa should be issued against all Christian churches in the Gulf region, that they should all be destroyed. And... he is one of the most influential religious leaders in the Muslim world.

Now here is something interesting. It is extra-biblical but based on the bible. I know nothing about the Yalkut Shimoni, only having discovered it just now. Here is an article from Arutz Sheva from 5 months ago. This is their headline, not mine:

Iran and Saudis Acting Out Ancient Messiah Prophecy?

"Jews familiar with an ancient compilation of Aggadic exegesis called Yalkut Shimoni noticed in recent weeks that current tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia matches a prophecy it contains regarding the year in which the Messiah – the King who redeems Israel and the world – is to appear. In particular, the recently revealed Iranian plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S. and subsequent reports that the Arab nations are pressuring the West to attack Iran, appear to fit the sequence of events predicted in the Yalkut Shimoni. In to the part of the book dealing with the Book of Isaiah, the following passage appears:
"Rabbi Yitzchak said: 'In the year in which the Messiah-King appears, all the nations of the world are provoking each other. The King of Persia provokes an Arab king and the Arab king turns to Aram for advice. And the King of Persia goes back and destroys the entire world. And all the nations of the world are in panic and distress and they fall upon their faces and are seized with pains like those of a woman giving birth, and Israel are in panic and distress and asking 'where shall we go? Where shall we go?,' and He says to them 'my sons, do not fear; all that I have done, I have done only for you. Why are you afraid? Do not fear, your time of redemption has come, and the final redemption is not like the first redemption, because the first redemption was followed by sorrow and servitude under other kingdoms, but the final redemption is not followed by sorrow and servitude under other kingdoms." 
The article continues- "Persia is currently known as Iran, and an Arab king – or the Arab king – can be reasonably understood, in modern eyes, as referring to the king of [Saudi] Arabia, the Arab homeland. This passage is relatively well-known and oft-quoted, and some modern versions of it substitute "Edom" for "Aram."... The instability in precisely this area is reportedly what most concerns the Saudis, as a U.S. pullout from Iraq looms and Syria's pro-Iranian regime teeters. The prophecy bodes ill for much of the world, which, if Rabbi Yitzchak's quote is to be taken literally, is to be destroyed by Iran before the Messiah steps in."

In biblical prophecy, it is generally interpreted that in Ezekiel 38:13 the Sheba and Dedan that are mentioned are the Saudi Arabian peninsula peoples, including Kuwait, and their question to the aggressors Iran and Russia "have you come to take a spoil?" indicate that Sheba and Dedan do NOT participate in the Gog-Magog attack, perhaps even then, still rivals in a warring and dying world.

The burden of knowing these insults against the Graceful and Merciful Jesus and His people exist, and are getting more outrageous is getting heavier by the day. But what a promise of deliverance we have! When He comes, He will destroy the enemies of the cross, and institute a theocracy that is perfect in all its facets! We will be fully released from the bondage of our sin nature, and will worship Him in united love for Him the perfect Lamb. What a joy it will be to see children safe and the world restored to Edenic glory- and Jesus occupying His rightful pace at the Head, on the throne, and visible to all!

2 comments:

  1. The PLO and Yasser Arafat backed Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait. That is first and foremost the reason for Kuwaiti antagonism toward Palestinian interests. They retaliated by kicking out scores of Palestinians who lived in Kuwait. It is thus no surprise that amongst those same people would be those who support action against Palestinian groups like Hamas and the right of self-defense (as they claim the same in the face of SH's aggression-rightfully of course.) This is addition to the centuries long rivalry between the Arabs and the Persians; KSA and Iran just being the most recent incarnation: Shia vs. Sunni too.

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