Shia v Sunni

A piece by an Andrew Tabler on the “shiitization” of sunni believers in parts of the Middle East made the NY Times Sunday Magazine last weekend. Here it is on his web-site.

Catalytic Converters


The Middle East is abuzz with talk of “Shiitization.” Since the war in Lebanon last summer, newspapers, TV news channels and Web sites in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere have reported that Sunnis, taken with Hezbollah’s charismatic Shiite leader Hassan Nasrallah and his group’s “resistance” to Israel, were converting to Shiite Islam. When I recently visited the semi-arid plains of eastern Syria, known as the Jazeera, Sunni tribal leaders whispered stories of Iranians roaming the Syrian countryside handing out bags of cash and macaroni to convert families and even entire villages to Shiite Islam.

Catalytic Converters

I don’t know Tabler other than this piece, nor his long-term experience, nor his ability to interview the folks he says he did. The magazine he is Editor in Chief of, Syria Today, has gotten some good reviews.

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