CPM: So, is Iran “not as much of a perversion of Islam” or is it not a perversion at all?
Deen: No, compared to Saudi Arabia, I would say not at all, because the Koran says that there are going to be different sects of Islam. You’re not going to be able to fix that. Only Allah’s going to be able to fix that. However, in the Koran it says that every place that you see a king, you’ll have problems. If kings and queens were permissible, it would say that. I haven’t found it. I mean, if someone can find it, please show it to me.
Sayed: I’m not saying Iran is not a threat. But Saudi Arabia is a bigger threat.
I think the Iranian Islamic Revolution was by the people. I think the people saw Islam as a way to get outside influences out. They saw a way to get rid of a corrupt king, the Shah.
This is my opinion. I think, as you saw in the Green Revolution, they want to change. They elected Rouhani. For Iranian politics, he’s pretty moderate isn’t he?
CPM: I actually just wrote about Rouhani. He has resumed using Hezbollah and the Quds Force to help courier drugs to fund terror in Latin America. And, under Rouhani, Iran has violated the nuke deal for the second time by testing nuclear-capable ICBMs with the ability to reach the United States.
That’s why, for me, I look at Iran and ask, “Isn’t that a destabilizing threat?” Or, do you think Shia terror is so centered around the Israel issue, it doesn’t pose the same threat as the Saudi-backed Wahhabism that fuels ISIS and al-Qaeda?
Deen: Let’s take a look at that. When Saddam was in power, he was the buffer against Iran. Now, if Saddam’s army — which was a joke — was the buffer to the Iranian military, then how big of a threat is the Iranian military to us?
CPM: An excellent point. And I think you can argue that, territoriality, Iraq was a buffer. But, even during the Iran/Iraq War, Iraq didn’t stop Iran from exporting terrorism and using its proxy forces, like Hezbollah, worldwide.
Deen: Yeah, I’m not saying that Iran’s not something that we have to worry about. They’re really good at having their little proxies work in destabilized areas, especially when there’s a power vacuum. But Iran is really an afterthought when it comes to any specific problems in Islam.
CPM: So, just to be clear, you’re saying that Iran may be a threat geopolitically, but theologically it isn’t? Iran isn’t the threat to Islam that Saudi Arabia is?
Deen: Yeah. How many of these groups that you’re seeing — Al-Shabaab, Boko Haram, ISIS — how many of them are Shia?
Deen: How many of these Shia groups that you’re seeing are going to try to come and take over all of Islam? They’re not. The groups that want to do that are all Sunni.
Sayed: Right, 90% of the Muslim world is Sunni.
Deen: Look, the Saudis buy a lot of influence. That’s what they do to stay alive. Are you going to fault them as a country? No.
Do we really give a rat’s ass about what’s going on in the Middle East? Does the Middle East affect us like Canada and Mexico could?
CPM: Well, Americans didn’t concern themselves at all with the Middle East and then 9/11 happened and suddenly everybody was like, “Wait, what the hell is going on in the Middle East? Maybe we need to start paying attention to what’s going on over there because it seems to be impacting us.”
Deen: This all stems from the fact that no one wants to live under a repressive regime. That’s like the United States being under British law. It got to a point where we were like, “Screw it. We’ll take on this big badass in King George III just because he’s repressing us.” If you looked at what the US did to get its independence from Britain, you could see us as terrorists.
CPM: I disagree. We attempted lawful change under George III, followed by civil protests. It was only when those failed that we declared war, but it’s not like we were terrorizing British civilians in London. And the Revolution wasn’t fought to establish a fascist form of religion that demanded conformity from all the colonies.
Deen: No, no, you’re right. But what I’m saying is that we’re seeing terror groups evolve. It used to be that al-Qaeda was the boogie man. Now it’s ISIS. There will be another two to three groups that come out of ISIS. What are you going to do? They’re following the ideology. Their ideology is still skewed, but eventually one of these groups is going to get that ideology right.
In 18 months, ISIS doubled its recruits. If a terror group comes along where the ideology is refined, done right, they could probably double their recruits in a year.
CPM: When you say the ideology is “refined,” do you mean it is aligned perfectly with Islam?
Deen: Yeah, and it’s not right now. ISIS says they want to go back to Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and create a caliphate. The problem is, they’re not doing it the way it should be done. One, you can’t just make yourself the damn caliph.
CPM: Wait, if an organization establishes a more “refined” ideology,” shouldn’t that ideology — if it aligns with true Islam — be peaceful?
Deen: It will, but the problem is in order to establish a caliph, there’s going to have to be bloodshed.
Sayed: I’m getting the picture that you think we’re saying, “Oh, the radicals will lead us to the right path.” No, I think it’s that the radicalism will wake us up, and we will realize as Muslims that we have to fight back.
Deen: Yeah, that’s absolutely correct. Sometimes you have the maniacs open the door.
CPM: So, you’re saying that because of this internal tumult in Islam, eventually the Saudi monarchy falls apart and something much better comes to fruition?
Deen: Exactly, and that’s exactly what’s going on. There’s a war within Islam.
Christopher Paul Meyer writes noir fiction and nonfiction. He is a former bouncer, firefighter, soldier, comic, prison chaplain and actor. When not writing, he likes Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, improv comedy and directing political rants at his reflection in the bathroom mirror. His book, Icarus Falling: A True Story About the Broken Dreams, Broken Heart and Broken Bones of a Nightclub Bouncer in LA, is currently available on Amazon.com. He welcomes any questions, comments or snide remarks at www.christopherpaulmeyer.com.