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A Difficult Marriage

By Gerecht, Reuel Marc

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Book Id: WPLBN0000675174
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 71.77 KB.
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Title: A Difficult Marriage  
Author: Gerecht, Reuel Marc
Volume:
Language: English
Subject: Political science., Philosophy & politics, Politics & international relations
Collections: New American Century Collection
Historic
Publication Date:
Publisher: The Project for the New American Century

Description
Government Reference Publication

Excerpt
Excerpt: Ever since 1979, Shiite Muslim clerics have scared Americans. The trepidation is, of course, understandable. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini energized a generation of Islamic radicals. His theocratic revolution in Iran held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days. His disciples directed and incited lethal attacks against the United States. The slaughter of U.S. soldiers in Beirut in 1983 and at Khobar in Saudi Arabia in 1996 were inspirational for Osama bin Laden and other Sunni holy warriors who have promised victory through terrorism. Far more often than their Sunni Muslim counterparts, Shiite clerics are charismatic. Their long, arduous legal education, which builds a self-confident, serious elite, and their historic position between ruler and ruled have often earned them the respect of common man and king. Shiite clerics have been powers to be reckoned with - complimented, appeased, or squashed - in great part because their authority has been popularly based. In an autocratic Muslim world, they have, more often than not, been defenders of decency. The greatest strength of the Muslim community has always been its secure and ordered home, and the clergy has been its redoubtable guardian. Even the most irreligious Shiites can revere these men because they are vivid, stubborn repositories of the wisdom, vicissitudes, and pride of an often abused and maligned community.

 

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