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In the Name of God بسم الله


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Everything posted by Saintly_Jinn23

  1. Speaking from personal experience, yes many young anarchists are extremely gullible to the point of believing there could be a world without any governments at all or that such a world would perfect or at least good enough that a government would not form. There are plenty of anarchists, especially now, who are growing to accept that such things are a pipe dream. If Anarchists accept that perhaps some form of government may be tolerable to those of an anarchist disposition under conditions in which the society is just not ready for complete anarchy (unless of course they don't care about the quality of said anarchy so long as there is anarchy), then the discussion opens up as to which type of government is most tolerable according to principles accepted by many anarchists. Most of the discussion has been limited to forms of democratic government, preferably of a socialist variety. I think the discussion could be opened up to far less left-wing forms of government as complimentary or at least less hostile to a particular anarchist project, depending on what sort of anarchist vision guides said project. They would if there was no other option is the point and if the monarchy was proven to be the most tolerable form of social system after anarchy, there would be no reason to oppose it as violently as other forms. I have no huge issue with the Scandinavian monarchies, though I think they're probably a little too liberal and I don't think the socialists who dominate the Parliament of places like Sweden are very interested in decreasing statism like anarchists wish. If anything they want to decrease the power of the monarch as an individual and increase the power of the state. But the fact that your own understanding of anarchism at least concedes that perhaps the Scandinavian monarchies may come closer to that particular anarchist vision than many republics probably actually validates my opinion that when it comes to discussing which government an anarchist should support with the aim of complete anarchy in mind or as just a failsafe in situations where an anarchist social system is untenable at least for a certain time being, the first answer shouldn't be some kind of republican structure. It's an also an admission that a monarchy is not necessarily authoritarian in such a way that is radically at odds with an anarchist's opposition to authority. My position is that if one admits that anarchy is ideal but not possible in a particular context without such a cost that doesn't make it worth it, if one would prefer anarchy, then they should choose the government that has the least cost to the ideals and goals of that particular anarchist vision. In my case, as far as what I feel the goals of anarchists should be or generally are, most forms of monarchy are superior to most forms of republican government and democracy is more often at odds with anarchism in essence than it is in harmony with it, and it is probably many anarchists committment to democratic ideals that has held back the anarchist movement because many anarchists are contradicting themselves by touting these anarchist ideals which champion individual on the one hand and championing collectivist ideals which actually endanger the sanctity of the individual. Now, you might say in response to this "Well, contradictory or not, anarchism is defined this way, so unless you accept this definition with all its apparent contradictions, you are not an anarchist." That's understandable but I think it's a bit silly. I can understand when it comes to religion. After all, as Muslims and Shi'a it is necessary to trace our beliefs and practices historically through a genealogy of persons to a source (the Prophet, Ahlul Bayt, the various other saints and prophets of God and such), and it is to be expected that our current beliefs reflect the ideas and concepts expounded by these sources. That works for religion. But when it comes to these ideologies (capitalism, socialism, communism, anarchism, monarchism), it is not necessary,for example, to agree with everything Marx says to identify as a "communist" unless you live in a communist country where there's a kind of pseudo-ecclesiastical structure with the reigning Communist Party which tells you what communism is and tries you for ideological heresy if you don't agree with their understanding of Marx or everything Marx says for that matter. Same with anarchism. The first to call himself an "Anarchist" in the ideological sense we are familiar with today was Pierre Joseph Proudhon (before that "anarchy" was just a general term for disorder), but many of his views are very different from anarchist thinkers like Mikhail Bakunin and many liberal and female anarchists would disagree with some of Proudhon's chauvinistic views of women, and both Proudhon and Bakunin, for whom anarchism was juxtaposed by a belief in God which was part and parcel of the state (you should read both of their blasphemous writings on God), but yet this hasn't stopped so called "Christian anarchists" who take inspiration from writers like Leo Tolstoy, who harmonized his Christian faith and pacifism with the anarchist criticisms of the state and revolutionary social ideas nor did the anti-God and anti-religion attitude of Proudhon, Bakunin and others of their ilk stop Catholic thinkers like Dorothy Day from attempting to marry Catholicism with the anarcho-communist ideas of Peter Kropotkin (Tolstoy's atheist contemporary). The fact that even secular anarchists Noam Chomsky is even willing to accept Christian and other religious forms of anarchism as part of a single "anarchist tradition" along with Bakunin, Proudhon and Kropotkin's own brands. Chomsky of course would never accept anarcho-capitalism as part of this tradition nor would he probably accept my own "monarchy friendly" personal brand either. But who knows, perhaps 20 years from now, myself, the anarcho-capitalists, anarcho-syndicalists and others of both left and right wing affiliations will be united as one anarchist movement against some other new anarchist "heresy-ism" (I could actually see all of these groups disagreeing with my self-identification as an "anarchist," because of my monarchist leanings, including the anarcho-capitalists who are usually against monarchy in principle) What I'm trying to say here is that I don't feel like my own anarchist philosophy, if you want to call it that, needs to be a perfect reflection of any anarchist theorist's own philosophy in order to still be as "genuinely anarchist" as any other anarchists in this diverse and often contradicting movement that already selectively plays with the ideas of those past anarchist thinkers. Now, obviously, one could not reject all their ideas and call themselves an anarchist, but the question is what is essential to their thought that one needs to share in common with them to reasonably identify with the label. I don't deny that my own definition of anarchism may not be shared by most self-described anarchists, but I don't think it really needs to be. Anarcho-capitalism is also a good example of this as not only would many anarchists who are of a leftist variety reject it as "not real anarchism" so too would many free market capitalists reject it as "not real capitalism" and call it too leftist for how much its principal thinkers took from the left-wing socialist-leaning anarchists in devising it and how much many of the anarcho-capitalists oppose the right wing GOP as much as the socialist left. This I disagree with wholeheartedly. If one defines freedom as the absence of restrictions and to be liberated from forces which prevent one from living how they wish to live without any conflict with others and without any control by others, then to be alone completely is often much more free of a life than to live in society surrounded by people who are always trying to force you to do what they want through laws, who are always burdening you with responsibilities you never asked for and even take away your own means of self-sufficiency so that you become a slave to their social order and dependent on them for all your needs and wants when you may not have to be. I disagree almost with the idea that liberty is a collective pursuit. There are certainly people who find a sense of peace and liberation through collective goals and means, but there are many who are more content and feel more free in relative solitude. There are people who find a sense of what they feel is true freedom in a society where there are many choices available to the individual thanks to the collective efforts of everyone in that society. And there are those who find the opportunities presented in such collective systems to be shallow and pointless and only making one a slave to something and never knowing "real freedom" because they are unwilling to break away from this kind of control. As far as that feeling of freedom is concerned and what the person feels he or she needs to feel truly free, that is much more an individual affair and should be left to the individual to decide for his or herself or to experiment with to his or her own greatest spiritual or material benefit or his or her greatest spiritual or physical harm. The way I definitely see it is that the individual should have the freedom to choose. I also think that many anarchists are too collectivist in their mentality. If there is a way to describe my own anarchism, it would probably be something closer to what is normally referred to by terms like "individualistic" or "philosophical" anarchism, though I don't suggest my own views perfectly reflect those who normally use such terms. But if I can explain this best, I think the best way to explain it would be to point out Dr. Shariati (who I would say definitely moved towards a more modernized Shi'a anarchist view) criticized Karl Marx. Although Shariati freely used terms like "socialist" and "communist" to describe his ideal Islamic system, he was critical of Marx in this way: Marx praised the selfless virtues of man and his greater spiritual or moral qualities while simultaneously contradicting this by placing man in his system in the context of a materialistic and deterministic worldview. Dr. Shariati felt that this contradiction was responsible for the great maladies of the the communist world because although communists movements had the pretension of championing higher virtues, the same worldview that came from Marx denied these virtues any value through its materialism and even justified the evils of humankind including the evil Marx saw in capitalism through his worldview's deterministic aspects which saw these evils as just another necessary part of a natural progression. I feel similarly about anarchism myself. There's a spirit to Shi'a Islam I can only identify as "anarchist" and feel that some anarchist social systems may even reach their greater potential in the context of a Shi'a religious order, but the problem with what is normally categorized as "anarchism" often has a collectivism that ultimately contradicts what it claims it wants to do. Now does this mean that the label of "anarchist" is off limits to me, maybe some would feel that way, I suppose, but I think my understanding of the inherent "anarchism" of Shi'ism which I feel leans more towards an individualist brand than a strictly collectivist brand which may sometimes contradict the individualistic form is not too different I think from how Shariati made use of terms like "socialism" and "communism" in relation to his understanding of the Islamic system, which he felt was opposed to "capitalism" especially that capitalism which he felt was embodied by dynasties like the Umayyads. If you don't agree with any of this, that's fine by me though. But I would say the social system of the Shi'a Muslim tradition can either be described more accurately as "anarchist" or "monarchist" or some sort yin and yang relationship between the two. And certainly not what normally is called "democratic" and looking at Iran today, I don't think they'll ever quite get this democracy thing right, but then even the west can hardly do it. I think the total nature of the Shi'a system and tradition kind of allows us though to almost equally identify with a lot of different labels though: capitalist, socialist, monarchist, anarchist, etc. etc. etc. The reason I am more opposed to republics and collectivist democratic ideals that often come with republics being merged with Islam though, however, is because I feel they don't really have a precedent in Islamic tradition. There are societies in Islamic civilization, both Shi'a and Sunni, we can say "that's monarchism" or "that's anarchism" and "that's capitalism" or even "that's socialism" perhaps and not be totally incorrect as far as the mainstream western definitions of these terms is concerned, but there's little to no precedent for the republican government system in Islam especially not in the more often intensely monarchist and/or (at various times) anti-authoritarian, individualistic and minority conscious Shi'a tradition which is probably much more critical of the "democracy" which was used to justify and is still often used today to justify the brutal victimization of the Ahlul Bayt (as) and their Shi'a. tell that to these guys https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchist_communism
  2. In a sense, the thing is many Alevi don't identify as "Shi'a". From what I can tell in my studies, in the Ottoman period, you had this idea of the "Alevi" path which was synonymous pretty much with the path of a Sufi. But many of the Alevi beliefs come from the same Sufi and Shi'a sources that inform much of Shi'a spirituality. I think I mentioned this, but the Janissaries followed "Alevism" through the Bektashi Order, and the Janissaries were loyal to the Sunni Ottomans. Then you had the Bektashi and Qizilbash tribes who supported the Shi'a Safavids who were more decidedly Shi'a themselves but also followed "Alevism". Many of the Alevi in Turkey are members of the Bektashi Order or come from the Qizilbash tribes who lived in that area and never migrated to Safavid Iran. So the extent to which the Alevi identify personally with the Sunnis or Shi'a or as a separate branch of Islam or as a current that includes both Shi'a and Sunni leaning groups of people is up for discussion and is what has made it hard for Alevis and scholars of Turkish Alevis. Most Alevis seem to identify themselves as separate from both Sunni and Shi'a while a significant minority identifies themselves with the Iranian and Iraqi Shi'a. Another group sees Alevism more as a philosophy that acts as a bridge between Sunni and Shi'a through a common Ali-centric spirituality. And there are a minority of Alevis who don't even see Alevism as part of Islam (which personally doesn't make sense to me since Alevi literally means "follower of Ali" and the Alevi "trinity" is Allah-Muhammad-Ali).
  3. Wow, judgmental much? Look dude, just because I don't waste my time trying to prop an inherently flawed or unjust system that will only fade away soon doesn't mean I do nothing. I devote myself a lot to what I feel is necessary to help others and myself and to try to create a better world, if not for myself, then for future people. Just because I don't waste time, sweat and energy doing whatever it is you do, which probably amounts to nothing, and just because you refuse to acknowledge that anything I do has worth is not my problem. On top of that, you don't even know what it is I do, you're just making a whole bunch of assumptions about me after a few posts on an internet forum and plugging your ears because I refuse to agree with you that our government is worth supporting any further or that democracy is the bees knees and the military is awesome and on the American people's side (which I see no reason to believe it is). Seriously, get over yourself.
  4. No, I want more people to have the right to bear arms and decide however many guns they feel they need. I actually think it's better if the society moves towards not requiring as many guns in the hands of the people, but imposing arbitrary restrictions from a far too over-reaching center of government does not make anyone safer and it has proven to be unnecessary to reducing guns in the society. Just because I think gun restrictions are unnecessary and I believe people have the right to guns doesn't mean I believe every person should have a gun. Wrong, wrong and wrong again. You either are the most deceptive user I have met on this site or you are really just dense. I want the LEAST authoritarian rule possible. History has proven that only monarchy is capable of creating the least authoritarian rule with the least risk of society's violent collapse. And a monarchy that promotes religion but is not in charge of defining orthodoxy is best. No, I just believe Shi'a need to focus on unifying and strengthening themselves before trying to unite with the Sunnis, who don't really need us. I believe in a restoration of traditional chivalric orders of knights, which were essentially private security companies who offered their services to God or their respective kings and lords. I don't believe we need an actual state police or military, at least not a large one.
  5. Except it hasn't succeeded in a great capacity anywhere, not even in the Islamic world. Prohibition in Islamic countries has not led to significant decreases in the amount of people actually drinking there, because even in these countries there was always a significant, albeit a small section, of the population who drank and even today in some countries there may even be more drinkers than before since alcohol is no longer as expensive of a luxury which only nobles can afford and entices people through its illegality (it certainly is easy to get a drink in Iran). And every time a Muslim ruler tried to ban alcohol in the past, they repealed it almost as soon as they implemented it because no matter how many purges of alcohol they tried, it never went away. The reason alcohol declined in Muslim areas that had cultures of alcohol had more to do with people, particularly the common people in this case, choosing not to drink and the governments' laws at best curtailing the production and distribution without necessarily banning it for those who wanted to drink and were probably going to continue drinking even if it was banned. Enforcement is often a costly affair that doesn't always produce satisfactory results that justify the costs. That's just reality. Many Americans remember or are reminded of the horrible failure of Prohibition, a movement largely headed by religious housewives who were tired of their overworked and underpaid husbands spending so much time drinking and smoking. Many Americans are unlikely to accept a religion whose followers are demanding sweeping policies that failed miserably in the American past and whose moral zeal appears to overcome their reason. Likewise, when Muslims champion the morality of their cultures, only for Americans to see that under the surface, things are far from rosy, it makes one cynical. In this case, non-Muslims are led to believe the Muslims ranting against alcohol are supposed to be more moral in general and yet as far as alcohol is concerned, one can find plenty of drinkers in Muslim countries, sometimes indulging in their habit in full view of authorities who are supposed to enforce laws but don't always do so because they have bigger fish to fry. If we look at something like tobacco, although I believe alcohol is haram but not tobacco, we have managed to greatly marginalize and reduce the habit in America without a violent shut-down of tobacco companies. Through many public programs designed to spread awareness of the dangers of tobacco, private businesses forbidding smoking on their own properties, high taxes on cigarettes and swaying public opinion, smoking has been reduced significantly and more marginalized in the social sphere than it used to be. If instead of widespread prohibition through law enforcement which is unlikely to yield the results we want and may even just result in authorities looking the other way when people drink cause they have something more serious to deal with, in a culture like America, if Muslims were willing to adopt a policy against alcohol that put a gradual weaning of the society off the substance through more soft measures that don't radically attack certain embedded cultural norms, you'd probably see a lot more people who drink being attracted to Islam and being convinced to either quit completely or at least lower the amount they consume, eventually quitting, if they can, at their own pace. I'm not saying let the alcohol companies have free reign, I'm saying do what you did to big tobacco: tax them more, charge them more for ad space on television, wage a public ad campaign against drinking (not just driving drunk) exhaust every non-violent measure you can to reduce alcohol in the society and you may find that aggressive law enforcement is totally unnecessary. Something unique you can do for alcohol is impose higher penalties for criminal actions committed under the influence (which we are already kind of doing here). I don't think this would go against Islamic law at all and it's pretty close to the policies many Muslim rulers in the past adopted to try to lower alcohol consumption in their realms or at least marginalize it without getting stubborn drinkers too angry. Also, in these times, it's important for us to work with those who like us are marginalized from mainstream Islam like ourselves so that we can defend ourselves politically and economically against our opponents. If some of these groups consider themselves Muslims or Shi'a and permit alcohol but forbid drunkenness, whether we agree or not, I believe we can work with them easily since ultimately we desire the same thing, and such a policy as above would be perfectly acceptable to these groups as well as ourselves and they would respond positively to our lack of forceful measures against their own more moderated alcohol consumption, which for the most part does not result in a culture of excess.
  6. That wasn't why I brought that stuff up. What I was trying to make more clear is that Islam's, or Islamic societies', relationship with alcohol and other substances was always a little more complex than we give it credit for. Muslims in the past dealt with deeply ingrained cultural traditions which would not be easy to reform or completely throw away any more than many Western traditions today that Muslims are just now being forced to deal with. With the pre-Islamic traditions of alcohol, the policy was usually one of embrace where the tradition was incorporated directly into the new religious practice with maybe a few tweaks here and there or the tradition was morally objected to but legally tolerated with all sorts of guidelines like "you shouldn't drink, but if you're going to, here's what you need to do..." Most attempts to completely rid Islamic societies of alcohol ended in failure as even those who moved hard against the habit often ended up succumbing to it themselves. I agree that Islam prohibits alcohol outright and I'm not advocating it under any religious pretense, but I also think an Islamic society could still accommodate for alcohol and moderate it better than it can prohibit it. I also think some of the marginal Muslim groups who happen to permit alcohol among their own ranks such as the Bektashi and some Ismailis and Sufis don't have to be completely ostracized just for that one thing, especially when many possess such intellect and moral uprightness that is greater than many of those who think their abstinence from alcohol is a point of pride. And there is precedence for such a policy of tolerance and accommodation in Islamic history. Considering what we encounter in the West as far as substances are concerned, we'd do well to study how Muslims dealt with the same substances in their own backyards.
  7. If I may bring a little history into this, more Muslims probably smoked more marijuana than they drank alcohol. Hashish by some Muslims, especially more ordinary folk, was seen as the healthier and superior spiritual alternative to wine. And there are even some poems by Muslims praising Hashish and juxtaposing it with the wine used by Christians as this poem by one Syrian poet goes: Give up wine and drink from the wine of Haydar (ie Cannabis).... It is virginal, not deflowered by rain, Nor has it ever been squeezed by feet or hands. No Christian priest has ever played around with the cup containing it, Nor have they ever given communion from its cask to any heretic's soul. Nothing has been said expressly by (Imam) Malik to declare it unlawful, Nor is the had penalty for its use found prescribed. Again, to bring some history into the discussion, it was usually nobles who drank wine, especially in Iran where wine had always been seen as part of aristocratic pageantry and hospitality since before Islamic times (some theories suggest wine may have even first been created in Iran). Because the nobles were so persistent in keeping their alcohol, the religious scholars and even the more abstinent kings thought it better to let them have it. But the majority of Muslims didn't drink. If anything, things like hashish, tobacco and opium became more popular among more common folks because they were easier to get and didn't have as strict religious prohibitions which the common people had enough aristocratic privilege to challenge. Plenty of religious scholars, mystics and aristocrats thought the ban on alcohol only applied to the common people anyway and not to those believed to be of higher breeding, enlightenment or temperament. Though it's important to remember these people were always a minority, albeit relatively influential ones. Among some nomadic tribes there were traditions of alcohol consumption that went back generations. This may be a historical explanation for why drinking became custom among some dervish groups like the Bektashis, who always had strong ties to nomadic turkomen tribes of Anatolia and to more radical antinomian Sufis who made it their business to challenge some norms of mainstream Islamic society. Some even justified wine consumption by appeal to the Qur'an and its mentioning the wine of paradise and connecting the material wine to the "intoxicating wine of love" that figures into a lot of Sufi poetic traditions (though most Sufis understood these things metaphorically). Another tradition which made it hard for kings to quit drinking was the tradition common among Turkish and Persian people that masculinity was somehow judged by how well you could hold your liquor. This also tied into the idea that it was drunkenness not so much the substance. The more a leader could drink without getting too inebriated, the more manly he was seen by his peers and the more it proved his superiority over the general masses who could not be expected to drink as much as himself and retain that level of self control, which is why of course it was forbidden for the masses to consume wine but not himself because they could never match his own resilience to its potential negative effects. Of course this sometimes backfired as you then had kings, governors, nobles, tax collectors, even some ulama who fell into complete inebriation or alcoholism all just to be able to maintain such customs and appearances.But even those who abstained from wine found each attempt to stop it completely to be fruitless.
  8. Many anarchists these days accept that the dream of a worldwide anarchist utopia is a pipe dream and that the most one can hope for is a society in which anarchism lives outside of but in relative peace with a more government controlled sphere of influence. In pre-modern times, one could say that anarchy and monarchy actually lived side by side, either competing or working together for the good of humanity or for the good of their respective groups, in this case anarchy was represented by the nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes and other detached communities from the centers of urban power, the latter normally ruled by some some of monarchy. While the two often fought, generally speaking, their clashes were a lot less catastrophic as the clashes between modern nation-states. So I think to consider oneself a supporter of monarchy and anarchy would probably mean to be a supporter of a return to a more traditional order of things Also, if one is anarchist but accepts the reality that one is unlikely to ever live in a full-blown anarchist society before one dies and many people in the future will be in the same precarious position, one has to ask which form of government comes closer to aims of one's particular anarchist vision. For me personally, that form of government is monarchy, but for others it may be some kind of socialist or libertarian republic. So the theory goes. But if anarchism is as I defined merely the abolition of external forms of control over the individual, one has every right to question democracy's effectiveness towards this goal. Democracy, after all, often puts the individual under the boot of the collective will of the majority, something which is not anymore compatible with an individualistic form of anarchism which places the freedom and self-sufficiency of an individual as his sacred right than is a despot stealing his property and forcing him to do things his honest conscience would otherwise bid him not to do. It depends on the goal of the anarchists in question. If some anarchists understand anarchism as a form of collective emancipation of groups who are supposedly equal, then supposedly more genuinely democratic governments certainly have greater appeal, whether or not it is a particularly good form of government, and if forced into a position where they must put their anarchist dreams aside and choose a government to support for the time being, they are likely to choose such a collective form of government that is closest to their collective anarchist ideal. The way I see it, if the goal of anarchy is for individuals to become more self-reliant and self-sufficient. Monarchy, out of all forms of government, has proven most able to create the conditions for this. If the goal is a higher amount of social equity and less of a divide between those who have extremely little and those who have way too much for themselves, then again monarchy, with some exceptions, has proven it can do this just as well if not better than most forms of government. Even in the countries that are supposedly the bastions of equality, the divide between rich and poor is far greater than some of those which don't necessarily have those pretensions. And certainly social equality is greater in a country like Norway, Denmark or Sweden than in America. And the monarchies of Europe had always been more efficient at ending slavery than the United States was. If the goal of an anarchist was the greatest amount of person freedom with the least risk to others' lives or property, then monarchy has often provided this better than other kinds of government. If the goal of anarchist is greater rights of worker to what they produce and greater freedom of workers to manage their own labor, again monarchies often created such environments. Monarchs and nobles usually trusted the peasants to manage their own work, and outside of the tribute one gave, one kept everything else he or she produced. So I don't think one has to feel there is a contradiction in generally supporting anarchy, in the sense of general individual independence, voluntary relations and self-sufficiency, and at least conceding to the superiority of monarchy over most forms of government available. This does not mean one has to advocate monarchy itself against anarchy. One can perhaps advocate anarchy and monarchy side by side as it was in the past. Or work towards complete anarchy while still preferring to live under a kind of monarchy if forced to. Or even advocating monarchy as a stepping stone to anarchy if one accepts that traditional monarchies were closer to complete anarchy than our current system of affairs. It's not exactly closed to debate. Same goes for the whole anarcho-capitalism thing, there are people who say "Oh, this is a contradiction" but it's probably not anymore a contradiction than trying to bring together anarchism (which ideally is emancipating the individual from control) and communism (which basically forces the individual to live under supposedly collective control). This is the way ideologies tend to work, you start with an ideal and then propose a plan of action and over time, people may agree with the basic principles of the idea but propose a different course of action and then maybe further down the line, especially when the ideology hasn't seemed to produce enough satisfactory results, people re-examine the basic principles to see if there is a contradiction in the principles that needs revising. And we can do this because ideologies are not dogmas unless enforced by a government or some kind of church. If I want to consider myself both anarchist and monarchist or anarchist and capitalist or anarchist and whateverist, nobody has the right or ability to stop me, really. And if I can provide a consistent definition of "anarchy" in this case and justify it rationally with this such and such other system, that's all that matters. Anarchists and communists often fought each other to bloody ends and hated and criticized one another, but this didn't stop thinkers from trying to mold the two systems together and rationally defend both as somehow compatible and these days most anarchists and even criticis of anarchism probably see anarchy and communism more or less the same thing. A shift occurring where some people consider anarchism compatible with capitalism because they don't think the wedding of this other school with anarchism would work is par the course for this school or umbrella of thought. Whether or not the first writers who called themselves anarchists would recognize these developments as "legitimate" is irrelevant. Murray Rothbard and David Friedman are as different from Proudhon and Mikhail Bakunin as all four are as different from Henry David Thoreau.
  9. Yes, and no. Some anarchists were deeply skeptical the prevalent democratic values of their societies, even if they themselves were not anti-democratic per se. Also, like many other ideologies, anarchism is divided into many different schools and is always trying to re-evaluate itself and redefine its basic principles. A good example would be women's rights. Some anarchists a couple hundred years ago shared in the views predominant in their time of women being inferior physically and intellectually to men. Of course, later on many anarchists started wedding the school to feminism. A lot of these things are very subjective "isms" which often change meaning fast. Some anarchists for a long time thought that anarchism and communism were the perfect match. Others thought a light form of socialism that avoided the extremities of communism worked best. Some Christians agreed with the anarchist criticisms of the state and thought to develop a kind of Christian anarchism. You also have people who try to combine anarchism with capitalism or with ideals of white or black nationalism For me, I usually just define anarchism or anarchy (I think I may prefer the latter over the former) in a general sense of individual self-sufficiency and independence from all external forms of human forms of control. This is broad enough a definition to include all the different competing anarchist schools. Yes, but I'm not advocating an "anarchist monarchy". I'm saying that one can probably prefer monarchy and/or some kind of anarchy without contradicting one's own principles.
  10. I don't believe I have any duties to the government of this country. I don't support it morally and I would rather not support it financially in any capacity if I could help it. However, I separate that from my ordinary responsibilities to my fellow human being and my fellow countrymen and to the land that is my country, which will exist long after this current government collapses under the weight of its own ineptitude. Because I think this current system is soon to fall on its own and because I feel no sense of responsibility towards it when it has repeatedly failed in its responsibilities to its own citizens and others throughout the world, I don't see much of a point in putting any extra effort in keeping it alive. I think people like myself are far more useful investing our time into developing the private sphere and moving ourselves towards and encouraging others to move towards more general self-sufficiency. This may even help the government employees themselves.
  11. I think one problem is the media whipping people into frenzy just so they have something to fill the talking sections of their 24 hour news networks. With all due respect, I don't really trust our military and I've met veterans and service men who often some very dark and crazy ideas on how social order is supposed to be. I'd probably prefer being able to contract a private security provider of some kind.
  12. Monarchs can be authoritarian, sure, but as a general rule they have usually been much less authoritarian or tyrannical than dictators elected through democratic means who only prey on the masses' insecurities, fears and lowest desires and they are certainly more efficient than most republics. And a monarchy which protects the people from conquest or exploitation is much better than a republic in which parties spend more time squabbling with one another as a powerful enemy waits to take everything they have. In many ways, I consider myself more of anarchist, but I believe the monarchist arguments often serve a purpose to outlining the major flaws of the current "democratic" order of things. I vote, but mostly so people like yourself cannot pull the "if you don't vote, don't whine," card. And I'm mostly focused on helping my religion which I feel is the greatest thing I can help give to my country so that it might have a better future.
  13. Actually, I'm not because monarchies are often less authoritarian than republics or democracies. You're probably freer in Switzerland, Denmark or Norway than you are in the United States which isn't even considered the most "free" nation as far as civil liberties or economic freedom is concerned. And again, the Islamic Republic of Iran is far more authoritarian and regulative of people's private lives than countries like Kuwait or Oman. I would advocate monarchy sooner than a republic because a republic is more likely to become a more authoritarian state where the 60% persecute the 40% or where a dictator arises who is even more authoritarian than the most powerful emperors of old. Monarchs generally leave people alone so long as they aren't threatening the monarchy's power and are able to more easily curb the negative effects of capitalism. Even Saudi Arabia, probably the most authoritarian monarchy in the Middle East, as far as the Wahabis are concerned is "too liberal" for them, which is why they want more democracy so they can more freely implement Wahabi ideals and law. So a theocratic Shi'ite monarchy is probably more likely to be less authoritarian.
  14. If you payed any attention, you'd know that I want neither. Not my fault you don't have a counter argument that you have to infer what I never implied.
  15. Well the Bektashi generally permit alcohol but forbid drunkenness and the dervishes don't seem much less pious than many non-Bektashi. In the past many Islamic scholars resigned themselves to accepting alcohol in Islamic societies because it was so prevalent among certain classes of people in those societies. So they came up with all sorts rulings about how to deal with a problem that just wouldn't go away. Even today in countries that supposedly banned alcohol, it still doesn't seem to disappear with many countries that banned it still suffering from high rates of alcoholism and drunkenness. I think given the nature of the West and alcohol use in the West, being able to negotiate this issue will be important. In Europe, it's customary to drink just a little wine even at a young age and many business deals are sealed over a drink or to just use a tiny bit of wine for flavor in a meal. In America, it's a little different, we have had a habit of either being prone to excess or prone to complete abstention from liquor here (hey, a lot like some Muslim majority countries, amirite ) so it's different here. I think many Americans are actually quite open to mainstream Muslims' complete forbidding of alcoholic beverages. But I also think the ritual of wine drinking, especially in historically Catholic countries is a little different as Catholics, like some Muslims, forbade drunkenness more than wine itself and many such countries while having low alcoholism rates still keep up the social and/or religious rituals around wine, even if they aren't getting as drunk off of it as Americans are getting drunk off Sam Adams or Bud Light. In fact, I read a book about this subject where it was mentioned by the author that historical records show that the Persian/Iranians didn't like European wine because it was less strong and didn't get them drunk enough. So, I think these things can and should be a little more open to real discussion if only so we can learn to respect other views or find a way to make transition to Islam including the transition to complete abstinence of wine or alcohol easier for Westerners without compromising our principles.
  16. I wouldn't say more authoritarian outright. In my opinion, based on historical fact, republics and democracies have generally devolved into much worse forms of tyranny than say a monarchy. After the Americans broke from the British Empire, the American republic from its onset acquired a more authoritarian character than the colonial government. The disaster that was the French Revolution every one knows. Even the beloved revolution in Iran did not really create a less authoritarian regime than the Pahlavis. Sure, the Pahlavis may have tried to force secularism on a people who didn't want it and tried to mix Western liberalism and fascism together complete with the spending of money on Westernized discos coupled with a brutal secret police. But even the Shah's government probably imprisoned less people for crimes of conscience or non-violent offenses. And more people, particularly political prisoners, have probably been purged or tortured while in custody than was ever done by the SAVAK. There's more surveillance of citizens now than before and while Iran has one of the freer economies in the Middle East and one of the better qualities of life available, it actually trails behind most of the gulf countries which are under absolute monarchs in terms of economic freedom and overall prosperity. Compared even to Saudi Arabia, Iran has the second highest execution rate in the world, with KSA in third place and the People's Republic of China being the only country ahead of it (by a huge mile I might add) Even if we compare the situation of Shi'a Muslims as minorities in the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, there's a huge difference. In the United Arab Emirates, while Shi'a are monitored for possible Hezbollah loyalties and there is concern over their rights to build new mosques, they are generally tolerated and given a lot of autonomy as a religious community with freedom to practice and benefit more financially from the general wealth of the Emirates. The UAE may assist the KSA in exporting terrorism worldwide, but they don't tolerate much of that in the country itself, not even against the Shi'a or other religious minorities. While the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has always funded terror abroad against the Shi'a in the hopes of checking Iran and even before that when it allied itself with the Wahabis and marginalized the Shi'a economically and socially and restricting their freedom of open practice, the one thing that has probably prevented the Shi'a from being slaughtered like they have been in Pakistan has been the autocratic power of the al-Saud family. Were the KSA to become a democracy, the horde that is the most radical of Wahhabi elements which are currently held back by the royal family, who prefer "soft punishment" of the Shi'a in the country in order to make them invisible to sheer brutality, would unleash themselves on the hapless Shi'a and create a bloodbath while so-called "moderate" Sunnis and liberals turn the other way either because they can't be bothered to care or are afraid of retaliation for sticking up for the Shi'a. At least al-Saud (la) has on occasion made some concessions to the Shi'a in the Eastern Province and has generally refrained from instituting wholesale genocide like that seen in parts of Pakistan, a country which was principally founded by and advocated for by fairly modern Shi'a to be a free and democratic nation for all Muslims. Were it necessary or possible, I would advocate for a "theocratic Shi'ite monarchy" with only a few constitutional limits (if that were necessary). Chances are the Shi'a would be much safer, more free both in their religious freedoms and private lives, and more confident in themselves and enjoy a great amount of social equality under a strong and benevolent even if not totally infallible emperor or king. If that's impossible, then it's probably better to have no government. If you can't have no government, then I guess a republic suffices until you can afford to live without one. But give me a king who is not blinded by impossible ideals of democracy, egalitarianism or secularism and who strikes fear into the hearts of the enemies of Ahlul Bayt (as) any day.
  17. I said "it's not as big of a concern to me" as say murder, rape, armed robbery ending in death and all these other things. If people want to kill themselves badly enough, nothing you can really do will stop them and if anything it can be more cruel and unjust to force someone to continue living when they just find no purpose in life. It's a waste of time and resources. Suicides are a terrible thing, but they're probably not something you can really ever eliminate because even the happiest, most crime free and financially stable countries suffer from higher suicide rates than even many so-called third world countries Also, I would rather have a society where people only kill themselves than a society where people kill others who don't want to die and are interested in being productive members of society and contributing to the happiness and well being of others as well as themselves. I'm not a fan of this idea of forcing people who want to die to continue living only to continue feeling miserable. Do what you can to prevent suicide, but don't think you can force people who don't want to live to continue living. Everybody should have at least the legal right to kill themselves. That says nothing of my own moral stance on the issue. Possibly, but the question isn't whether guns make it easier for some people to kill themselves on impulse, the question is whether the rates of suicides by gun owners justifies limiting gun ownership for everyone not just people who may seem suicidal. If it were possible to prevent suicidal people from owning guns without taking guns away from the majority of non-suicidal people in the process, I would definitely be inclined to support that, although I do not think there is as much correlation between high gun ownership and high suicide rates as you think. Case in point, Japan and South Korea both have suicide rates of 18.5 and 28.9 respectively. In 2012, South Korea was the second highest suicide country according to the World Health Organization and Japan was 17th. The United States' rate is/was only 12.1 and Switzerland's is/was 9.2. Pakistan's is/was 9.3 and India's was 21.1 (India was the 11th highest in the world in 2012 according to the WHO, while Pakistan was 76th, just above Switzerland) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate#List_by_the_World_Health_Organization_.282012.29 The estimated number of private firearms owned by American civilians, both legally and illegally, is estimated to be about 101.5 for every 100 people The estimated number of guns own by Swiss civilians both legally and illegally is estimated to be about 45.7 per 100 people The estimated amount of guns own by Japanese civilians is estimated to be 0.6 per every 100 people The estimated amount of guns owned by South Korean civilians is estimated to be 1.1 per every 100 people The estimated amount of guns owned by Indian civilians is estimated to be 3.36 per every 100 people (again, this is both legal and illegal). The estimated amount of guns owned by Pakistani civilians is estimated to be 11.6 firearms per every 100 people. http://www.gunpolicy.org/ So I don't think there is any reason to think that suicide rates are increased exponentially by the presence of more firearms, even if there might be some correlation in some other countries between high gun ownership and their respective suicide rate. I'm not saying it's all about productivity or even just the majority's happiness. I'm only saying that you probably do more harm to everybody by trying to force suicidal people not to kill themselves through different forms of legislation as opposed to, let's say, convincing rationally and through emotional appeals that life is worth living. Using gun related suicides as an excuse to impose stricter gun regulations will probably not decrease suicide rates, considering how many countries with more guns have less suicides and fall far down on the list of most suicidal countries and how many gun resistant or gun deprived countries have extremely high suicide rates and rank high on such lists. Not to mention those countries which have an equal suicide rate to another country while having either more or less guns than one another or different gun policies. There is no proof to suggest that more guns=higher numbers of suicides. This is a pretty low blow. I do care about people killing themselves, but I just personally find people voluntarily killing themselves less of a concern as murder, especially since the latter is sometimes much more preventable than the former. I also don't think the attempts to stop suicides should trample on people's basic rights to bear arms or even their basic right to their own lives. And there are plenty of ways to reduce the overall suicide rates, not just gun related ones, without taking away people's guns. What you seem to be suggesting is that because 10 gun owners shot and killed themselves and 20 or 30 killed other people that this means it's right for the rest of the gun-owners in that group of say 1,000 gun owners who probably never shot anything living or at least nothing larger than a duck or a deer should have their guns taken away. I don't agree with that. It's clear that less gun restrictions and a focus on social programs and supporting civil institutions are better than investing tons of money into passing and enforcing new and more strict laws that just further erode our personal freedoms but do little to make us safer. Also, gun violence is not always the worst thing to have. Like I said, our society would probably be better and safer if we only ever had to worry about a couple mass shootings every year. That's not the argument though. The argument is not about the INCREASING PRODUCTION of weapons but the legal right to produce, trade and purchase them whether these amounts be large or small. Quite a few countries where guns are easier to acquire legally actually have smaller gun markets in general. Sometimes when you outlaw something people want bad enough and try to force them to stop using it or buying it, they just defy you and buy more of it. In those cases, a policy of accommodation is better. In America, we're only starting to realize we probably should have done this with stuff like cannabis. And we didn't have to outlaw tobacco in order to radically decrease the number of smokers. Guns, at least in American society, occupy a similar position. Americans wants guns, and they're determined to get them whether the government says they can or not. Better the government adopts a policy where it simply discourages people from purchasing guns in the same way it discourages things like smoking or finances better gun awareness and training for those who plan to get them. Both of these attached to a libertine policy towards guns that doesn't trample on the rights of legal gun makers, gun sellers or gun owners would probably be best and create a safer society.
  18. Looks like you're the one here with the comprehension issues, not me. I never suggested that guns necessarily make a society safer at all, if anything I suggested that less guns is preferable to more guns if possible. All I said is that plenty of societies with more guns are safer than those with less guns, therefore the issue is not even about guns. Otherwise, the data would show a clear correlation between the amount of gun owners in a country and the increased rate of violent crime. We don't see this. Because the issue really has very little to do with guns themselves and whether or not people simply own guns. Would it be better if everybody lived together peacefully and didn't have to carry weapons all the time? Sure. But my position here is simply that you can do that without taking away people's right to own guns. Outlawing more guns and making it harder to legally acquire guns has not done anything to significantly curb gun crime. The United States has been putting more and more gun laws in place for years only to find it doesn't help at all. People still buy guns, more and more illegally, are still killing each other with them. My point is that the focus on guns is misguided and will only lead to law abiding and responsible gun owners being punished for something they didn't do and which is mostly being done by illegal gun owners anyway. Again, you keep falling into the trap that no mass shootings must mean a safer society . Australia's gun laws did very little to actually stop gun related crime. Plenty of people in Australia still own firearms and there's been no significant change in the homicide rates since their gun laws have been put in place that can be attributed to the gun laws themselves, considering that the homicide numbers in 1996, when the gun laws were first put in place was about 354, then 385 in 1999 after the laws were put in place, almost 354 again in 2001 to spike up to little over 354 in 2002, and only reached 282 in 2007. And if one looks at the weapons used before and after the gun laws were in place, even up to now, the most common weapon of homicide is a knife and the even before the gun laws were in place, there were less homicides being committed with guns than with other weapons. Heck, gun murder has actually increased back to a level closer to what it was in the early 1990's and homicide rates in Australia over the last few years have still been lower than they ever been. http://www.aic.gov.au/statistics/homicide/weapon.html There's no proof that the guns laws have necessarily affected Australia for the better. There's certainly no proof for this claim by gun advocates that Australia's murder rate has skyrocketed either, but my point has only been that the safety of people is far less dependent on gun laws and that there is no reason to restrict gun rights because guns aren't really even the problem. And if you had actually been paying attention to anything I have said, you'd know that is the furthest from my argument. Of course, morons shouldn't have guns, but it's obvious that tighter gun restrictions haven't helped keep guns out of the hands of idiots, at least as far as America is concerned. If anything, it's quite the opposite. Tighter gun restrictions have hurt law abiding gun owners, while driving up the price of illegal firearms, which are sold in plentiful amount to people on the street who avoid screenings, background checks and all that stuff. Our gun laws are quickly becoming as inefficient as our drug laws, focusing more on enforcement and restriction than accommodation for an item people are just going to keep buying anyway. You're just wasting money, time and energy and potentially endangering more people by placing tighter restrictions. The problem with America's gun situation is not that so many people want guns and get them, even though it would probably be better if less of those people in question who think they should get a gun wanted them. The issue is irresponsible use of guns by people who shouldn't have them and who normally acquire them illegally. Rather than focusing solely on the number of gun owners or reducing gun crime, efforts should be made towards reducing crime in general, gun related or not, and on making sure that only responsible individuals who know how to handle guns have guns at all and making sure said individuals have the easiest access to the guns they're entitled to and responsible enough to have. And this has been proven time and again to be easier under less gun restrictions and less costly enforcement of gun laws that do not work. It's the same with drugs, the drug war has not yielded any significant returns while countries with more relaxed drug laws suffer from less drug abuse, less drug related crime and sometimes even just less drug use in general. The emphasis on guns, while well intended by some, is extremely misguided. The gun control advocates focus a lot on these mass shootings, but even with how many have happened in the last few years, more people have died from ordinary single and double homicide by people using illegal firearms or no firearms at all than all these mass shootings combined. If anything, society would be a lot safer if all we had to worry about were these mass shootings, most of which probably could not be prevented or even if they could, would not significantly lower the overall murder rate, which is usually related to home invasions, private vendettas and criminal enterprises. Gun control advocates, however, would feel content with even just an illusion of security, even if things are hardly better than before such gun laws were put in place. As long as there are no mass shootings which remind them they aren't safe, even if the chances of them being shot are still almost as high as before or perhaps just as high if not higher, they're fine and they're fine with this illusion of security coming at the price of other citizens being prevented from having something they have every right to purchase for their own persona I was never arguing for mass gun ownership in the US. Mass gun knowledge or expertise, maybe. I just don't think the government has any right to set a limit on how many guns people can have or how many gun owners there can be. And countries with the least amount of gun restrictions actually have less guns than the USA does with all its gun restrictions, so obviously such laws are pointless if the population of the country is determined to keep its guns. Also, only a minority of Americans even own guns right now anyway. That's not really as big of a concern for me, because I think an individual pretty much has the right to take his own life if he can't stand living anymore and it's probably better that such people kill themselves than having them walking around society, going through everything being suicidal and not having any easy way out of the life they can't stand, which potentially endangers others or leads to less productivity. Unless the suicide rates are at such levels that the society is suffering a severe suicide problem that is just creating unprecedented levels of misery and affecting the society's overall productivity and thus the overall level of happiness or contentment, it's probably better to have more people taking their own lives than taking the lives of others who want to live. Besides, you don't need to make more guns illegal in order to lower suicide rates anyway. Heck, Japan practically doesn't have any guns and it can't seem to deal with its high suicide problem.
  19. If you mean the abandonment of the pursuit of equality, it is possible. Most human societies did not operate under the influence of the ideals of egalitarianism yet many were more equitable than those societies which have made egalitarianism their creed
  20. ^ ^ ^ ^ The fact is you are completely mistaken. Stricter gun laws WILL NOT reduce gun related crime in the United States because the problem is illegal firearms, not legal ones. Gun laws directed at restricting who can legally acquire a gun and or who can legally sell a gun and what types of gun can be sold to the general public do extremely little, if anything at all, to curb gun crime, because the vast majority of people committing violent acts with weapons are NOT legal gun owners. Secondly, you don't need to enforce stricter gun laws in order to reduce the amount of guns in a society. Again, Switzerland proves this. And the United States also proves that those who are determined to get guns, if they will not be able to get them legally will acquire them illegally and the higher prices for weapons charged by illegal arms dealers will only create a more lucrative market where there is a high demand for guns but no cheaper, legal means to get them. Thirdly, a higher amount of gun incidents does not mean more people are being killed. In Switzerland, the higher amount of gun related incidents are usually suicides (which is probably not as big of a deal since it's your life and you should probably be allowed to take it however you please if you aren't planning to take anyone with you who doesn't want to go) or hunting or cleaning accidents or something. But that doesn't mean more people are being murdered by others in the society. Switzerland has more guns, more gun related incidents than the UK, yet still less murders and violent crime. My argument is this: stricter gun laws aren't going to solve the United States' gun violence problem. If you impose stricter gun laws, as long as Americans are determined to have guns and resent these policies' preventing them from getting them, they will get them one way or another. Plus, most of America's problems with guns are related to irresponsible use of guns by those who have illegally purchased these firearms and so do not care about gun laws. The people who normally buy guns in the USA are people afraid of being defenseless against criminals (who may have guns) or criminals themselves. Whether your goal is to decrease gun crime through the reduction in the number of gun owners or through the responsible use of guns by those only most suited to own and operate them for the good of society, both of these goals can be achieved and have been proven to be achieved with LESS gun regulations, not more.
  21. Large and very diverse societies tend to be more prone to authoritarian government because the same micro-managing consensus techniques that work for small groups of a few dozen or even a couple hundred don't really work very much with millions of human beings from tons of different backgrounds, who may not even speak the same languages. The founders of the American republic recognized these potential problems with democracy, which is why many proposed the federal state that they did. Yugoslavia fell apart and returned to its history of petty nationalisms and genocide once Tito died. Likewise, look at the Middle East right now, whenever dictators are suddenly removed, the regions become chaotic. Now, I understand that some may say that the dictators contribute to this by creating a society more dependent on them instead making progressive moves toward a more self-sufficient,"democratic" society, but it seems to be a vicious cycle that never ends. Again, this is probably why out of most forms of government, I think monarchy is one of the few that works and will remain with us in the years to come. The republics will soon fade away like the Greek ones before them. Monarchies have usually (with some exceptions) been able to offer the greatest amount of individual freedom and the greatest amount of security and social equality while avoiding the pitfalls of complete totalitarianism and democratic chaos. That's not to say, of course, that in the context of the Islamic world that Shi'a benefit greatly from the present Sunni monarchies gathered around Saudi Arabia, the main Sunni power in the Middle East, but where Shi'a have suffered under Sunni monarchs, they have flourished twice as much and have been twice as much protected under a pious non-secular Shi'a monarchical system and at the very least, the Shi'a in Kuwait and the UAE are probably safer than the Shi'a in Iraq or even in Egypt so long as none of these governments suspect them of strong Hezbollah or IRI loyalties. And some more conservative voices would actually say Kuwait and the UAE are too liberal despite being absolute monarchies. However, I would support a Shi'a republic sooner than a Sunni monarchy because there are very few things that have been as deadly to the Shi'a as Sunni monarchs. Not even the Catholic Crusader kingdoms or the Eastern Oriental emperors have tormented us so badly with their wealth and power. And while Kuwait and the UAE tolerate their Shi'a populations, they assist Saudi Arabia and Qatar in the slaughter and subjugation of Shi'a abroad and the exporting of anti-Shi'ite terrorist groups to places where they may have fresh victims to satisfy their blood thirst. Even the King of Jordan, a very liberal and moderate guy, known for his guest appearance on Star Trek, and who wrote a book on the unity of Christianity and Islam as Abrahamic faiths, has done his part either through direct compliance or neglect, to help in the persecution of Shi'a. Some monarchs take a stand to the great benefit of the Shi'a though. One of Iran and Yemen's greatest allies in the Arabian peninsula is the Ibadi Sultanate of Oman, which has stood more firmly against Saudi Arabia's persecution of the Yemenis than any of the other monarchies with whom it normally has had peaceful relations. Of course, the Sultan of Oman is neither Sunni nor Shi'a.
  22. But what if these political issues concern things of vital importance to one's sect? Do you think a Shi'a dude married to a Sunni girl is necessarily going to have a first and foremost loyalty to his Shi'a brethren. We've seen this before with some users on this site who have Sunni family members or Sunni spouses trying to advocate greater unity between Sunni and Shi'a and being less likely to support religious and political positions which would be in the interest of all or most Shi'a. Sometimes it feels like the Shi'a who marry Sunnis tend to have a weak faith in Shi'a Islam in general. And I'm not sure if we can always trust such individuals to look out for Shi'a interests. I'm not against unity and intermarriage can sometimes help foster better relations between individual families of different sectarian identity or end feuds, but Sunni and Shi'a interests will clash at times and in those areas, we will need the full support of strong, intellectual Shi'a men and women. And if those individuals are married to Sunnis and too concerned with upsetting their spouses or their Sunni relatives, it might weaken Shi'a political and religious solidarity.
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