Iran Condemns Charlie Hebdo Attack?
From the “can you believe this” file: Islamist Iran condemns the Jihadist slaughter at Charlie Hebdo? Can that be correct? Yes, it can but as in all things Jihad one must step back to see what is really going on here. In short, Iran’s condemnation is more a function of the power struggle between Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims as opposed to concern for innocent infidel lives:
BEIRUT (Reuters) – The deadly attack by Islamist gunmen on the offices of French newspaper Charlie Hebdo drew a somewhat unexpected response from Iranian clerics and officials: They condemned it.
Many Westerners had expected an altogether different reaction to the killings two weeks ago at the Paris weekly that had published satirical cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.
Still fresh in their memory is the “fatwa” issued in 1989 by Iran’s first religious Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, ordering the death of British author Salman Rushdie for allegedly insulting the Prophet in his book “The Satanic Verses”.
Some 25 years on, Iran’s stance must be viewed in light of the bitter sectarian rivalry in the Middle East between Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims, political analysts say.
The Paris attack was claimed by al-Qaeda, a leading Sunni militant movement which, along with its offshoot Islamic State, Shi’ite power Iran regards as a serious threat to its allies in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.
In a Friday prayer speech in Tehran two days after the Jan. 7 Charlie Hebdo attack, which saw gunmen kill 12 people, conservative cleric Ahmad Khatami denounced the violence.
This was not an isolated message from an individual cleric, but came straight from the top, according to analysts.