There are theological differences between Shias and Sunnis, but while these matter to Muslims themselves, they are of secondary importance to non-Muslims. Both Shia Islam and Sunni Islam encourage Jihad expansion, doctrines of Islamic supremacy and violent hatred of non-Muslims. As Bostom states on page 28 of Iran’s Final Solution for Israel:
“Sharia supremacism—in its Twelver Shiite guise—was the fervent motivation for the Shiite theocracy established by Iran‘s first Safavid Shah Ismail I, at the outset of the 16th century. This belief system—which was always redolent with Islamic Jew-hatred in Safavid Iran, and across a 500-year continuum, ever since remains the guiding ideology in the Khomeini revival (and post-Khomeini) era, at present. Intentionally obfuscating apologetics, aside, Sharia, Islamic law, whether Sunni or Shiite, is not merely holistic, in the general sense of all-encompassing, but totalitarian, regulating everything from the ritual aspects of religion, to personal hygiene, to the governance of a Muslim minority community, Islamic state, bloc of states, or global Islamic order. Clearly, this latter political aspect is the most troubling, being an ancient antecedent of more familiar modern totalitarian systems. Specifically, Sharia‘s liberty-crushing and dehumanizing political aspects feature: open ended jihadism to subjugate the world to a totalitarian Islamic order; rejection of bedrock Western liberties—including freedom of conscience and speech—enforced by imprisonment, beating, or death; discriminatory relegation of non-Muslims to outcast, vulnerable pariahs, and even Muslim women to subservient chattel; and barbaric punishments which violate human dignity, such as amputation for theft, stoning for adultery, and lashing for alcohol consumption.”
Bostom highlights many texts and examples, also notes from personal letters that are not well known, even to those who are somewhat knowledgeable in the field. He has done an excellent job over the past decade highlighting the continuity between Islamic religious texts and Muslim behavior in everyday life, as well as the continuity between what Islamic scholars wrote a thousand years ago and what Islamic scholars write today. Upholding the illusion that “radical Islam” is a recent invention and that there is a substantial difference between Islam and so-called “Islamism” becomes very difficult after reading Andrew Bostom’s carefully researched works.
Based on explicit statements by senior Iranian officials and military leaders, there is every reason to believe that there are powerful forces within Iran that desire the complete annihilation of the Jewish state of Israel. Bostom makes it quite clear in his book that Islamic religious Jew-hatred partially fuels this genocidal desire.
However, a fanatical Islamic regime in Iran armed with nuclear weapons should worry nations and peoples other than the Israelis. Israel may be at the front lines of this struggle, but it’s far from the only line of battle. Already today, Europeans leaders tend towards appeasement when dealing with Muslims. How will they behave towards a nuclear armed Iran? Moreover, now that the Shiites of Iran have a nuclear program, major regional Sunni powers such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt are toying with the idea of creating nuclear programs of their own. How will it affect the Western world, Russia and global security if there is a nuclear arms race at the very doorsteps of Europe?
Western leaders need to face up to this question, and soon.
Read it all.