The two parts video below are from a debate between an Iraqi political analyst, Sabah Il Khuzaey and a Mohammed Al Qizwini, a religious scholar from Iran. It is part of a coverage of the anniversary of the death of Fatima Al Zahra, the daughter of the Prophet Mohammed, and the wife of Imam Ali.
The video begins with a question by Sabah Al Khuzay asking the Iranian Cleric's permission to ask questions about the Shiite faith. The latter declined and saying something like "pleae address all your questions to my office in Tehran (the voice is not that clear). The Iraqi man appealed "... Can I talk to you, please, from a Shiite to a Shiite"? The Iranian cleric answer came quickly and with confidence "I don't consider you as Shiite. I saw you on TV last night and you said that you are neither a Sunni or a Shiite, so I don't consider you as Shiite".
Sabah Al Khuzaey was not intimated by this answer, with eyes rolling, trying to focus to understand the voice on the other side due to its bad telephone communication, he asked back:
- Are you... are you Shiite or Sunni?
- I am Shiite (with more confidence and pride in the cleric voice)
- and I am Shiite too
Al Qizuiny replied calmly
- no! you are not Shiite...
But before the cleric finished his sentence Al Khuzay extended his hand to the camera as a gesture of questionning the last remark of the Iranian cleric and said:
"is it for you to decided?"... "are you in the right position to decide if I can be sunni or Shiite"?
The Iranian man replied with the same tone "yesterday you came on TV and said that you are neither Sunni or Shiite, you said that you are just a Muslim".
That reply was the trigger that marked the end of the Iraqi man's tolerance. The influence of provocation was clear, so he said "but (if I say that) do you think of it as blasphemy?"
"which one is better in your opinion? to be referred to as Sunni or Shiite? or is it better to be identified as Muslim who believe in no god but the one god and Mohammed is the prophet of God? Which one is better in your opinion?"
The Iranian cleric said " "Yes, anyone believe in that is a Muslim, but I still don't consider you Shiite, because non of what you said yesterday and today on TV is coming from a Shiite person"
At the question by Al Khuzay, it looks like the Iranian has dropped the line, but that did not prevent the Iraqi political analyst from having the urge to say his mind. He made emphasize on a number of facts, most importantly that the common Shiites in Iraq are different in their believes and mentality from their counterparts in Iran. That Iran with its interference and their fraud in writing history of Islam hundreds of years ago did ruin the beautiful principles and basics of this believes.
After that broadcast, Al Khuzay became the target of many who didn't agree with his opinion on Shiism and various internet sites and discussion forums either put him as the rightous Shiite, or the infidel Shiite - depending where to look.
One of the attempts to undermine Al Khuaey own theory of tolerance among different sects in Islam was from a Shiite who called him on phone, recorded his conversation, and uploaded it on YouTube as 7 to 8 parts, under the title "The Truth About Sabah Al Khzaey". The interviwer named himself Abu Ali. This Abu Ali is claiming in the info of his voice video that all what Al Khuzaey is doing by coming on TV and bash clerics from Iran like Al Qiuiny was only an attempt from the Iraqi to win the affection of the Wahabies", especially that he is only appearing on Al Mustakillah satellite TV and he sits with other Saudi religious figures on debate shows.
By the way, I am not a fan of Al Khuzaey, and the only reason is his compassion for Saddam as a former leader of Iraq and his praise for Saddam's achievements. Clear enough to say that his support for the ressistence is unconditional in fighting the US occupation. But which ressistence he is refering to? Interuptation does not need a lot to know which ressistence in question!
However, I like his concept of never to differentiate between one Shiite and a Sunni and his strong opposition to accepting such a concept as blasphemy?
I agree with him when say "it is the most shameful thing to call this man a Shiite or that man a Sunni".
He identify the current Iraqi Regime as "sectarian".
He also identify Shiites rituals as imported to Iraq, such rituals as slapping the face, hitting the head with an axe on the anniversary of the death of Imam Hussain, or saying bad things about the three Caliphates Abu Bakr, Omar and Othman..etc
From all what I have said about this man above, my conclusion is simple, Al Khuzaey is an example of how Iraqi people became divided, or is it that the comparison between now and then made many feel sorry for the days when Saddam used to rule the country, forgetting that one Saddam in power has been substituted with 10, carrying the same methods on every aspect and every way one can imagine.