Political Tensions Between The Islamic 30 Years ' War

1637 Words7 Pages
As they struggle to understand the different dimensions of the geo-political tensions between the Islamic republic of Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia- a rivalry that has some sectarian elements to it, western security experts often resort to use of such terms like “Islam’s ancient blood feud” and the “Islamic 30 years’ war”. Useful though those terms may be and understandable as they are when the Middle East is viewed with a western lense, they fail to accurately capture the ground reality. The shiat ali, or party of Ali split off from mainstream Islam after the tragic (to all sects) battle of Karbala in 660 AD to form a distinct sect within the Islamic religion ( Richard 1995, page 2). In the first millennia of Islamic history, Shia dynasties…show more content…
(Delong-Bas 2004, page 23). Lastly, the states erected by the Western powers on the ruins of the Ottoman empire in the Middle East, such as Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon have gone through a period of weakening due to the Arab spring and other recent events. In the power struggle that has ensued in those countries, Iran and Saudi Arabia are currently involved in a power struggle, in cahoots with their proxies, for regional supremacy. The modern processes of state formation and rise of nationalism ( Halliday, page 26) are the main forces driving animosity between Islamic republic of Iran and sunni Saudi Arabia. National leaders often resort to narratives and myths to rouse nationalist sentiment when they realise the need to rationalize their legitimacy in the state-building process. When the regimes try to position themselves as saviours of particular brand of a religion, an explosive element is added to the narrative which can heighten geo-political tensions ( Halliday 2000, page 29).

During the late 18th century, the Al Saud family, which ruled a remote kingdom of the Arabian peninsula came into an agreement with Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab. As part of their alliance, the Al-Saud family agreed to be the patron and military spearhead of Wahhabism ( Delong-Bas, 2004, page 27). Thus formed a
Get Access