Thursday, May 03, 2012

Al-Houthis Desecrate Quran, Yemen Sunnis Outraged

Muslims are at each other's throats again, this time in Yemen. The Sunni Salafis over there are infuriated with the Shia al-Houthi militants over the desecration of a Quran. Yes, they desecrate their own holy books, as witnessed in a video of a dead Salafi being dragged by al-Houthi extremists. Apparently, a man in Sana'a saw the video posted somewhere on-line, noticed the Quran dropping from the dead man's pocket, and subsequently being trampled on. According to the Yemen Observer, the man said that

...  he felt utterly disgusted with al-Houthis, stressing further that the move was a declaration of war against every respectful Muslim. “The Quran is our heart and soul, walking on it equates to insulting our beloved Prophet, his teachings and God himself. Surely our clerics will issue a fatwa condemning the culprits. Those men should be tried for apostasy,” said Abdullah Goorgoor.

Hello, the al-Houthis are also Muslims, and the Quran is their heart and soul, as well.

I haven't been able to track down the video, so it's not clear whether the trampling was deliberate or not, though that doesn't seem to matter much to religious fanatics. We know how outraged they became when a few of our soldiers in Afghanistan inadvertently burned some Qurans which had extremist messages written all over them, which is desecration in and of itself. But they're not smart enough to distinguish the difference.

But the al-Houthis and Salafist Sunnis have been battling for the heart and soul of  northern Yemen for a long time:

Al-Houthi militants, a group of Shia Muslim which advocates a return to the ancestral rule of the Imams have been enthralled in a war with Salafists, a group of hard-liner Sunni Muslims calling for a strict application of the Scriptures; both factions seeking to control Yemen northern territories.
Al-Houthis which famously fought the government back in 2004-2009 in a lengthy and bloody war, used last year’s unrest to awaken its army, finding in Teheran an enthusiastic ally against the Saudis, and hence Sunni hegemony in the Peninsula.

Some are afraid this 'desecration' incident will flame the fires of sectarianism, not that that's a big surprise.  Yemeni political analyst Ahmed al-Sofi said:

“Yemenis do not take lightly to religiously driven insult, especially when it comes to its most sacred and revered book, the Quran. Unless some apologies are formulated, Salafists will retaliate in the most violent manner possible as it constitutes for them a clear call for Jihad [holy war].”

Ironically, the leader of the al-Houthis, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, vociferously condemned the Bagram Quran desecration, calling on all Muslims to  stage anti-American "anger protests", and that accepting a US apology would be "of no benefit." Does that mean they have no intention of apologizing to the Salafists?
If it was indeed desecrated, where are all the violent protests in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Malaysia and Bangladesh? Oh, that's right, it wasn't American soldiers that were responsible.

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