If you haven't already, I strongly recommend reading "The Shi'a Revival" by Vali Nasr. He was a lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School and the book was recommended reading for all Navy officers (I was just an enlisted man, btw).

What got my attention was when he related a statement by Al-Qaeda's second-in-command at the time (was it al-Zarkawi? I can't remember). He said, "My brothers, keep up the fight against the Zionists and the Great Satan, but never forget that the real enemy are the apostate Shi'a."

If that quote's not exact, it's very close.

That's when I realized just how deeply the schism is between Sunni and Shi'a, that to some extent, that's the real war going on in the region...and that to a significant extent, the calls for attacks against Israel and America are essentially fundraising events.

One more thing - you stated "This is because Salfism rejects all schools of thought that are not its own." That statement actually applies to a great many religions, including the majority of mainstream Christianity. I know the Church of which I am a member (see incmedia.org) also rejects the veracity of all other religions. What's more, since in this Church we do not believe that Jesus is or was ever God, we actually agree with Islam and Judaism that only God is God (though we do hold Christ to be our Savior).

I mention that because I take matters of religion seriously, and I cannot help but feel sympathy towards Muslims and Jews in America when they face a continual drumbeat of social (and even governmental) pressure from trinitarian "Christians".

Lastly, a story you might appreciate: my youngest son was attending high school in Manila, Philippines, and one day he was at a local eatery having a beer (age isn't much of a question there). He saw a Muslim friend of his eating some BBQ pork. My son asked him, "Hey - I thought you weren't supposed to eat pork," to which his friend (who knew my son belonged to the Church (which forbids alcohol consumption)) rightly replied, "And you're not supposed to drink beer, right?"

After allowing for religious and cultural differences, people really are the same, all over the world :)

Retired Navy. Inveterate contrarian. If I haven’t done it, I’ve usually done something close.

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