Arab Shia and National State
Mohammad Mahfoudh - 21 / 4 / 2015 - 1:43 pm

In a time occupied by political, ideological and intellectual wrangling, series political and social crises come into view. Among these problems is identity, the role and position of Arab Shia.

The emergence of this problem is due to the following reasons: 

1. The momentous role plays by Iran in the region and the world, and the religious relationship between Arab Shia and Iran and vice versa.

2. The existence of political groups alter their views and attitudes toward Shia. Usually in political and sectarian conflict, groups resort to stereotype opposite parties, whether they are competitors or not.

These political groups beside religious and social have managed to stereotype the reality of Arab Shia and make others consider them subordinators to Iran. Thus, any problems with Iran are reflected directly on Arab Shia and affect their relations with the state and other citizens.

This indeed exacerbates the tense relation between Arab Shia and their countries and between them and the Arab region where they belong to.

Whenever the Arab region faces political or security crisis, this problem comes to the view again under different titles.
Arab countries need to discuss Shia issue and work to solve it seriously.

On the basis of this urgent need I discussed the following points:
 1: Arab Shia believes that there is no alternative for their countries; there is a deep conviction among them that Arab Shia problem can be resolved by a national initiative. 

The existence of political or security problem doesn’t mean that Shia will sacrifice their states for utopia that can’t be achieved.        

Events and developments passed by Shia proved that all their political, social and cultural choices are in the interest of their countries.
Shia are not responsible for the political and sectarian accusations which aims to link Arab Shia with Iran; indeed they are part of their countries. 

2: the way to get out of this problem is through initiating a comprehensive national initiative aiming to integrate Arabs Shia in their countries, respect their religious freedom and deal with equal rights.  

National initiative deals with citizens alike regardless of their religions and sectarian identities is the only way to end this problem; finally Shia are not a burden to their countries.

Arab states hold the responsibility toward minorities. The majority of Shia religious and social leaders recognize that Arab states are their homes which can’t be replaced by any other country. 

3: dealing with Shia as on party or group is a critical mistake; Shia community like any other societies includes various political and intellectual currents.  

Arab societies have to be more open to Shia, as well as all religious, intellectual and political Shia leaders have to be open up to the Sunni Muslims. There is no other choice but coexistence and integration. Belonging to Shiisam or any other doctrine does not justify discrimination and abuses. Diversity existed in all societies, but it does not hinder national and social development process.

Arabs Shia are an essential part of the Arab region and not a separate group, thus the existence of problems and tensions hold everyone the responsibility for working to end this crisis without compromising the requirements of the political and social stability.

Political and cultural experience of the Arab Shia confirms their complete commitment to the requirements of national belonging. Shia never sacrifices their state’s interests to other political parties belongs to the same doctrine.