The recent election of hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president of Iran surprised the world. The victory of Ayatollah Sistani’s list in the Iraqi parliamentary election provoked fears of a Shia threat. The current debates within the Shia communities testify to great religious and political diversity.
by Ahmad Salamatian
GRAND Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani’s coalition list won the Iraqi elections on 30 January. Since then the palaces, chancelleries and media of the Arab world have been haunted by the spectre of a “Shia crescent” from the peaks of Mount Lebanon to the mountains of Khorasan in northeastern Iran, via (...)