During the last three decades, observers noted a significant development in the Shiites’ situation at the world level. Some observers called that development “Shiites’ Awakening” and “Emergence of the Sect”, and others named it “the Awakening of the Alienated”.
At the political level, Shiites, for the first time, had a state established on religious bases, and led by religious leaders after a revolution that eliminated a pro-western system. Although people might agree or disagree on what is happening in the Iranian scene, the survival of this country for thirty years despite all challenges is really a significant achievement.
Moreover, the Lebanese Shiites presented a good example in resisting Israelis, and were able of over throwing the belief of the undefeatable army; a belief that Israel had enforced consistently by all means. In 2000, the Israelis were forced to retreat due to the consecutive strikes by the remarkable Lebanese resistance. When they tried to regain that belief in their army in 2006 through another war in which they bombed cities and civilians, they, again, confronted an amazing power.
In another field, the Arab Shiites showed maturity and tolerance in the new Iraqi experience. Iraqi Shiites have just went out recently from a situation, that lasted for decades, in which they were persecuted, abused and deprived from their basic rights. However, they did not take revenge and alienate others when they had the power due to their wise religious and political leaderships that stood firmly against this orientation.
They insisted on the participation of other components of the Iraqi population. Despite the tension and the insecurity, they adopted free elections; the type of elections that usually take place in states other than Muslims states!
Balanced political action is noted in many Shiite regions as well as attempts for political participation after they were not allowed even theoretically. Such orientation, after quite a while of marginalization and alienation, would have a great impact on the Shiites' integration in their home countries.
Shiites’ passing the phase of passivity and emotions to the phase of action is the most significant sign for Shiites’ awakening.
Shiites’ Awakening Is Not Directed Against Any Sect
Unfortunately, some Muslims in Arab states dealt with this awakening from an unjustified sectarian prospect as if it was directed against other Muslims sects. They began to distort the image of Shiites’ rise, and exaggerate in what they called its negative impacts. This treatment was adopted by politicians, some intellectuals and naturally the public.
Many expressions against Shiites like the “Shiite Crescent” as well as “Shiites’ Allegiance to states other than theirs” are widely spread in media! Shiites believe that other sects should welcome such rise because the power in any group of the nation’s population would benefit the nation as a whole.
Shiites did not occupy other sects’ positions or intimidate them. They, in fact, became more powerful against systems associated with foreign colonization as in the Islamic revolution in Iran and confronting Israel. Therefore, the right response to such awakening is to be welcomed.
It is believed that Shiites’ tendency to political participation and integration with other components in the nation are important and beneficial to all Muslims. Such participation would organize the relations between all sects on a rational basis, and allows each sect to select their options within its ability.
It is noted that political systems exploited the mentioned expressions against states “considered Shiite”, Shiite leaderships and even their Shiite citizens who were accused of loyalty to foreign states until proven innocent; which will never happen! They are, also, accused of penetrating other non-Shiite communities, and, accordingly, converting to Shiism and the spread of their ideology would be evidence for the crime.
They sought to siege Shiism even in its regions because they claim that it is recently originated, and is a political phase that will not survive except for several decades. Some even said that Shiites must be expelled from Arab states to the places where they came from!