Can You Tell a Sunni From a Shiite?

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by armchair_jihad, Oct 17, 2006.

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  1. I’ve been wrapping up lengthy interviews with Washington counterterrorism officials with a fundamental question: “Do you know the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite?”

    After all, wouldn’t British counterterrorism officials responsible for Northern Ireland know the difference between Catholics and Protestants?

    But so far, most American officials I’ve interviewed don’t have a clue. That includes not just intelligence and law enforcement officials, but also members of Congress who have important roles overseeing our spy agencies. How can they do their jobs without knowing the basics?

    I asked Willie Hulon, chief of the FBI’s new national security branch Which one is Iran — Sunni or Shiite? He thought for a second. “Iran and Hezbollah,” I prompted. “Which are they?”

    He took a stab: “Sunni.”

    Take Representative Terry Everett, a seven-term Alabama Republican who is vice chairman of the House intelligence subcommittee on technical and tactical intelligence.
    “Do you know the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite?” I asked him a few weeks ago.

    Mr. Everett responded with a low chuckle. He thought for a moment: “One’s in one location, another’s in another location. No, to be honest with you, I don’t know. I thought it was differences in their religion, different families or something.”

    Representative Jo Ann Davis, a Virginia Republican who heads a House intelligence subcommittee charged with overseeing the C.I.A.’s performance in recruiting Islamic spies and analyzing information, was similarly dumbfounded when I asked her if she knew the difference between Sunnis and Shiites.

    “Do I?” she asked me. A look of concentration came over her face. “You know, I should.” She took a stab at it: “It’s a difference in their fundamental religious beliefs. The Sunni are more radical than the Shia. Or vice versa.

    Article in full - worth a read
  2. Unless you have taken the time to study these things, you can't.Just as it is impossible to tell a Jew from a gentile, or a German from from a Nowregian.Not until they open their mouths anyway or reveal their names.Even the Iraqis have problems telling Sunnis from Shiites.That's why they insist on showing positive ID before they start slashing away.
  3. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Some good news from Iraq for a change:

    Iraqi Leaders Call For Moment Of Violence During Ramadan
    October 17, 2006

    BAGHDAD—A coalition of sectarian leaders from the approximately 185 separate political and insurgent groups vying for dominance in Iraq called for a nationwide moment of violence, to be held shortly before noon Friday in the remaining days of Ramadan.

    Leaders from some of Iraq's many warring factions called for a unified moment of violence to mark the blessed month of Ramadan.
    "All of us fighting for control of this land, whether Baathists, Sunni militants, al-Qaeda sympathizers, al-Sadrites, or just plain street criminals, have one thing in common," read a statement released Monday by the ad-hoc group. "We all share a deep abiding commitment to the indiscriminate use of murder, mayhem, and massacre as a means of achieving our various ends."

    "Therefore," the statement continued, "this Ramadan, we shall take time to see past the things that separate us, and celebrate, together, a moment of horrifying brutality for the citizens of Iraq."

    Full story:

    Glad to see they are all speaking from the same hymnsheet (I am presuming that they do use hymnsheets of some sort?)
  4. I've just had a Shiite from where the Sunni don't shine :twisted:
  5. Which just goes to prove the point of the thread.

    One lot are fine with singing/music another lot only allow drums along with speaking the words, a third bunch reckon music of any type is forbidden and so on and so forth.

    Which is which? Not got the foggiest idea and don't really give a shi'ite to be honest.
  6. I didn't know Himmler was a Norgie!
  7. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    It's easy enough if you see them at prayer - the Shia hold their forearms and hands like this, and the Sunni hold them like that.

    Shia approval of 'trial' marriages, and their predilection for self-flagellation get my vote every time :)
  8. AJ - not having the same conections as you I asked Baldrick:

    Sunni: A big warm globby thing that shouldn't be touched

    Shiite: A big warm globby thing that shouldn't be touched

    So we're going with Tony Everett until the Cap arrives.<<One’s in one location, another’s in another location. No, to be honest with you, I don’t know.>>

    Don't worry though... the Cap'll be back soon. He's all het up looking for someone who understands irony, but don't worry he'll be back with some metal soon and then we can answer your question ('cos he's as clever as a... a... really really clever thing OK... ) but if you're not going to help us now with the answer now Private... well you can... you can jolly well get back to your amchair and make it really shiny.)
  9. I always thought Sunnis' eyes were closer together and they kicked with their left foot?
  10. Pillager mate

    far too slow, sloppy drills what!
  11. Hmmmm good point,

    One smells awful, the other fills my day with joy!

    Have fun........
  12. It mostly comes down to structure (a la Protestant vs Catholic). Of course, that's only if we want to discuss the issue seriously.

    Sunni I'm going to have to take a big Shiite after eating so much for supper
  13. This is a real good news story: Iraq wakes up to new 'Sunni Delight' drink.

  14. Actually, I believe that both groups' eyes are a wee bit too close together.

    arf !

    Anyway, it'll be all over by Christmas - Gen. Dannett says so!