The destruction of another Sunni mosque in Iran and its consequences
Reza Hossein Borr
The security forces of Iran attacked a mosque and a religious school at three o’clock in the morning today, 27 August 2008, arrested the students and staff and destroyed the mosque and the religious school in the North East of Baluchistan, Iran. The security forces used several bulldozers and tractors to completely destroy the building of Imam Abu Hanifa Mosque in Azimabad, a suburb of the city of Zabol. Nobody knows what has happened to the students, teachers and staff of the school and the mosque. The people who witnessed this morning operations observed that the students and teachers were very frightened. The security forces began beating them as soon as they attacked the school and bundled them into secure police cars as they were crying and screaming. The attack happened at a time that all of the students and staff were sleeping. There was not any warning by the police or security forces about the destruction of the mosque and the school.
The Iranian authorities destroyed another mosque about a year ago in the northern part of Iran and its Imam and staff were arrested and thrown into prison. Several mosques which belonged to the Sunnis of Iran have been destroyed since the emergence of the Shia fanatic Republic of Iran. There are 15 to 20 million Sunnis in Iran. They have been discriminated against systematically. Molana Ahamad Narouee, the deputy director of the main theological school in Zahedan was arrested two weeks ago. The security forces have demanded that the religious school must expel all foreign students who are studying at the school. According to the head of the school a small number of students from the Central Asian republics are studying in the school. But they have been denied students visas. There are hundreds of Shia students from the Central Asian republics who are studying in different Shia theological schools of Iran.
Fifteen thousand foreign students are studying in the Iranian Shia schools. The Iranian regime has given them scholarship and pays for their families too. These students learn the Iranian version of Shia which believes the Sunnis are infidels. The students will return back to their home countries with very strong radical, militant and anti-Sunni studies which will create enormous divisions between the Sunnis and Shia population of Islamic countries.
Imam Abu Hanifa Mosque was destroyed once before and the people had to relocate it. The religious leaders of Baluchistan and Iran protested against destruction of the Sunni mosques but so far the Iranian regime has continued its policy of destroying Sunni mosques in different parts of Iran while it is building new Shia mosques in Sunni dominated villages and cities. The Irna news agency reported on 25th of August that the government has sent 600 Shia missionaries to the Sunni dominated areas of Baluchistan to convert the Sunnis in Islam as if the Sunnis are not Moslems. The way they have trained these missionaries indicate that they clearly believe that the Sunnis are not Moslems and they must be converted into Shiism which is the real Islam. The process of Shiaeezation of the Sunnis began from the beginning of Islamic Republic but so far the regime has very little success in converting the Sunnis into Shiism, yet the financial rewards that the Iranian regime is providing for the newly-converted Moslems
( Shia) have been very tempting as some of the Afghani and Pakistani Shias have gone to Iran and claimed to be Baluch Sunnis and they were ready to have the honour of becoming Moslems (Shia). The Shia fanatic regime pays thousands of dollars to the newly converted Shias to persuade them to convert their relatives and children. Consequently some bloody disputes have happened among the members of the same family who have refused to change their religion.
The destruction of Imam Abu Hanifa Mosque in Azimabad will not be the last onslaught of the Shia regime on the Sunnis of Iran. The Iranian constitution allows diversity of religion and respects the performance of religious duties but the Iranian regime ignores its own constitution and arrests religious leaders, destroys the Sunni schools and mosques. In reaction to the systematic Shia offensive on the Baluch and other Sunnis of Iran, the process of intensification of religious feelings in Sunnis are widening and deepening all over ran. As the Iranian regime defines itself as the lawful and legitimate heritage of Islam, the Iranian Sunnis have responded by identifying themselves as true Moslems.
The Iranian Sunnis were usually secular minded people but the Shia aggression has turned them into Sunni political militants. Lack of support by the international community and Islamic countries have pushed the Sunni Muslims of Iran towards the only sources of support that are available and they are Taleban and Alqaedah. The international community could have supported the Sunnis of Iran to move them away from Taleban and Alqaedah but it seems that there is a concerted effort to allow the Islamic Shia regime of Iran to continue the oppression of the Sunnis. There was some news that some young Iranian Sunnis who have been disappointed by the Islamic and Arab governments have become sympathetic to Taleban. The majority of the people who live in the Eastern part of Iran are Sunnis and when they become sympathetic to Taleban, the movement of Taleban and Alqaedah members and the power of their manoeuvres in the region become more dynamic and widespread. The pressure by the government on the Sunnis is so brutal that the Sunnis feel desperate for any kind of help which relieves some of the pressures on them. The Sunni governments and countries so far have refused to help them directly as the Iranian regime is widely supporting the Shias of all countries, or exerting some practical pressure on the Iranian regime to stop further discrimination and pressure on them.
The international community must use all United Nations Conventions and human rights charters which allow freedom of worship to exert pressure on the Iranian regime to halt the destruction of Sunni mosques and media onslaught on Sunni principles. The Iranian Sunnis witness everyday unbearable offences against the Sunni principles of Islam. The intensification of pressure on Sunnis would have severe consequences, not only for Iran and Iranians but also for international community when the patience of Sunnis ran out and a religious war between the two sects of Islam may begin. At the same time when the pressure becomes unbearable on the Sunnis of Iran they may look for separation from Iran as their locations are located near the borders of Iran with other countries.
The Iranian government, the Shia population of Iran and the opposition groups of Iran, Iranian intellectuals, journalists and human rights activists will be responsible for any civil or religious war in Iran or for any separatist movement that maybe created in Iran if they do not stop the regime from further execution of the Sunni leaders and destruction of their schools, mosques and violations of their rights. The political, social and cultural discrimination against the Sunnis would have added consequences in which the Sunni people of Iran will lose any hope for a better life in Iran. Those Iranian who choose silence over the brutal oppression of the Iranian nationalities and Sunnis will be responsible for any civil war that might follow as the consequence of these repressive policies.
Reza Hossein Borr is an NLP Master Trainer and a leadership consultant and the creator of 150 CDs and 14 Change management models. He is also the author of Manual Success, Manual of Coaching and Mentoring, Motivational Stories that Can Change Your Life, and a New Vision for the Islamic World. He can be contacted by email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.rezaaa.com