Reposted entry dated 12 May 2008..
I recently read an article in the "Nadi" magazine about Shi'aism or the Shi'ah sect. While I applaud the effort made to explain about the sect and highlight some of thier similarities with Sunnis, thus trying to bridge the gap between the two, there are many important points that the article didn't point out.
It's true that in a country such as Singapore, it is important to practice tolerance and respect for all in order to ensure a safe and healthy environment in the multi-religious society. I have no problems with Shi'ahs living in Singapore, in fact, once, I had a colleague who's a Shi'ah and despite our differences in the understanding and practice of Islam, we got along well as we share a common interest in Liverpool FC. It also helped that we viewed each other not as Sunni or Shi'ah but as fellow Muslims, colleagues and Singaporeans.
However, it is still important for Sunnis to know the truth about Shi'aism. That there exist many dangerous and resentful doctrines in Shi'ah books which are against the Sunnis and Islamic values itself. Sure, you may see on TVs, the political scene or on the surface that thier leaders, may appear friendly, welcoming and always propose the ideas that 'we are all brothers in Islam' but how does this tally with what is being taught by their Grand Mullahs in thier sacred books?
Behind all that, they slander, curse, acknowledge hatred and resentment for Sunnis and the Prophets' best companions, they promote racism towards others, they allow prohibited, immoral values and acts on top of fabricated traditions and misguided translations of the Quranic verses, they disrespect and dishonor the Qur'an and prophetic traditions of our Prophet (peace be upon him)... All these are taught in the main Shi'ah books.
To search for proof on these, just search the internet and you will find many sites of Sunnis and ex-Shi'ahs from Iran uncovering the dangers and evil of Shi'aism and the dismal reality about the state of Sunnis in Iran itself.
Think about it.. How can we support Shi'aism when they promote all these atrocities and while our fellow brothers in Iran and now Iraq are still suffering at the hands of blood thirsty Shi'ahs ever since the spread of Shi'aism took place in thier countries?
I'm not saying that by knowing all these we should start viewing any Shi'ahs we know or meet as enemies, there are Shi'ahs who practice thier views moderately. But this is the reality and we shouldn't hide it.
To conclude, YES, we should practice tolerance and respect for all religions, race, cultures to ensure a safe and healthy environment in Singapore but NO if we were to encourage Muslims to understand Shi'aism by the few similarities it has with Sunnis while neglecting the larger and more important aspects that exist within Shi'aism which are highly detrimental to the state of Sunnis and Islam itself.
And Allah SWT knows best.
Here's a couple of links..
and here's a video by Dr Yusuf al-Qaradawi on Sunnis and Shi'ahs (with Malay subtitles).