Shiites up in Sunni Gaza, Sunnis up in Shiite Iran

The number of Shiites is increasing in the Gaza Strip, which has a majority of Sunni population, an Iranian website reported last week. Iran, on the other hand, is irritated by a notable rise in the number of Sunnis in the Iranian southwestern province of Khuzestan, whose population has a majority of Arabs.

The conservative Asr Iran (Iran Age) Website reported that a large number of Palestinians in Gaza have converted to the Shiite doctrine within the past few years, although the enclave is controlled by the Sunni Islamist Hamas rulers.

A similar report by Agence-France Press said that a large number of Gazans have converted to the Shiite doctrine within the past few years, signaling a clear sign of an increase in the Iranian influence among the Palestinians.

Arab states accuse Iran of inciting hatred and igniting sectarian tensions among their peoples.

Hamas rulers, meanwhile, are obliged to deal with the converters carefully, in order not to jeopardize their relationship with their closest ally Tehran.

Abdul Rahim Hamad, a converted Shiite who lives in Jabalia refugee camp, told AFP that he converted to the Shiite doctrine five years ago. He said that the increase in the number of Shiites in Gaza was “due to the influence of Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah in the region.”

“We are now hundreds in Gaza. We will start our political activities soon. Palestinian Shiites will play an important role in controlling this region in the future,” he was quoted as saying by AFP.

Ahmed Youssef, adviser of Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haneya, denied any increase in the number of Shiites in Gaza, but he added that the Palestinians “love Iran and Hezbollah.”

However, security sources from the Gaza Strip said that police forces last Thursday shut down the premises of the Shiite “al-Baqeyat al-Salehat” society, which is located in northern Gaza.

“We were surprised today by the shutdown of the society premises and all its affiliated utilities including its sports track, the Quran reciting class and the youth center,” Hisham Salem, the society chairman, told the Palestinian MAAN news agency.

He said that “al-Baqeyat al-Salehat” was a charitable society that was given the municipal license four years ago.

“The society receives funds from several foreign states, including Iran,” he said.

Iran, on the other hand, is irritated by the spread of the Sunni doctrine in the Khuzestan province–also known as Arabstan or Ahvaz–which has a majority of Arab population.

Some Arab inhabitants of the province believe that conversion to the Sunni doctrine might end their only link to Iran. Others believe that the Ahvaz problem is a national problem that would never be solved through conversion from one sect to the other.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in a visit to Khuzestan in 2010, hinted to the quick spread of the Sunni doctrine among the Arabs in the province.

Iranian cleric Mohammed Jawad Adel also warned against the notable rise in the number of Sunnis in Iran, especially on the border areas, describing it as a “very serious issue” and urged the Iranian authorities to strongly confront what he called the “Sunni missionary.” arabiya

  • Rafic

    Does any body think Palestinians being converted to Shiite sect( In Gaza) would keep them busy eventually fighting each other and leaving Israel alone. Just a thought.

  • Anonymous

    Does any body think Palestinians being converted to Shiite sect( In Gaza) would keep them busy eventually fighting each other and leaving Israel alone. Just a thought.

  • master09

    Amazing what money will do to people, but yes they will fight each other.
    What gets me is Hamas fires rockets at the jews FIRST and when the jews fire back the world condemns the jews and not Hamas how is that ? Three weeks ago Hamas kills a Jewish family of 5, youngest been 2 all had the throat slit and after doing that they go out in the streets and give out candy in celebration. The world said nothing, how is THAT.

  • Anonymous

    Amazing what money will do to people, but yes they will fight each other.
    What gets me is Hamas fires rockets at the jews FIRST and when the jews fire back the world condemns the jews and not Hamas how is that ?

  • alihozi

    I hope the virtuous writer to make sure some information in regards to Ahwaz Arabs who now live in Iran.
    First: the recent events did not break out just against the hard-line regime of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
    Ahwazi Arab people are a nation that had Arabic independent Emirate had many names through the history (Mohammara, Arabistan, Al- Ahwaz, ….), occupied by Iran in 25/04/1925, and the people resist this since then and so far against the occupation and to recover their national and humanitarian rights.
    II: The Arabs in Iran are not only the majority in Khuzestan, but also in Hormozgan and Bushehr, and also invite the author or any observer of the Iranian matter to go to these provinces to see a particular fact, despite the existence of a strong Persinasation policy against natives in the provinces mentioned above.
    Third: As you know, Madam, based on official statistic in Iran regime, 1997, the population of Khuzestan alone more than 4 million people and according to all documents Arabs constitute the majority in Khuzestan, and this means logically Arabs there are more than 2 million, plus the Arabs in Bushehr and in Hormozgan as well as Arabs who migrated in the war (Iran, Iraq:1980-1988) and Iran did not re-construct of their home areas in Khuzestan, and therefore remained in Iranian cities and did not return to Khuzestan.
    If you calculate the population of Arabs in Iran in this logical form shall be numbered even more than 5 million people, despite the fact that the census shows the real if the international community forced the Iranian government to count the hearts of non-Persian people in Iran to end all either.
    As for the Arabs of Ahwaz (Khuzestan, Bushehr, Hormozgan), they believe that their population are more than 8 million people, and based on the statistic that done by the former Iranian regime in 1966, which confirmed that the Arabs make up 2.6 million of the 26 million and this means more than 10% Iran’s population are Arabs. But now and according to the official announcement of the population of Iran, about 80 million people and Ahwazi Arabs that they were by the logic of mathematics increased to over 8 million people.
    Thank you.
    Ali Abojrah

  • alihozi

    I hope the virtuous writer to make sure some information in regards to Ahwaz Arabs who now live in Iran.
    First: the recent events did not break out just against the hard-line regime of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
    Ahwazi Arab people are a nation that had Arabic independent Emirate had many names through the history (Mohammara, Arabistan, Al- Ahwaz, ….), occupied by Iran in 25/04/1925, and the people resist this since then and so far against the occupation and to recover their national and humanitarian rights.
    II: The Arabs in Iran are not only the majority in Khuzestan, but also in Hormozgan and Bushehr, and also invite the author or any observer of the Iranian matter to go to these provinces to see a particular fact, despite the existence of a strong Persinasation policy against natives in the provinces mentioned above.
    Third: As you know, Madam, based on official statistic in Iran regime, 1997, the population of Khuzestan alone more than 4 million people and according to all documents Arabs constitute the majority in Khuzestan, and this means logically Arabs there are more than 2 million, plus the Arabs in Bushehr and in Hormozgan as well as Arabs who migrated in the war (Iran, Iraq:1980-1988) and Iran did not re-construct of their home areas in Khuzestan, and therefore remained in Iranian cities and did not return to Khuzestan.
    If you calculate the population of Arabs in Iran in this logical form shall be numbered even more than 5 million people, despite the fact that the census shows the real if the international community forced the Iranian government to count the hearts of non-Persian people in Iran to end all either.
    As for the Arabs of Ahwaz (Khuzestan, Bushehr, Hormozgan), they believe that their population are more than 8 million people, and based on the statistic that done by the former Iranian regime in 1966, which confirmed that the Arabs make up 2.6 million of the 26 million and this means more than 10% Iran’s population are Arabs. But now and according to the official announcement of the population of Iran, about 80 million people and Ahwazi Arabs that they were by the logic of mathematics increased to over 8 million people.
    Thank you.
    Ali Abojrah

  • Anonymous

    I hope the virtuous writer to make sure some information in regards to Ahwaz Arabs who now live in Iran.
    First: the recent events did not break out just against the hard-line regime of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
    Ahwazi Arab people are a nation that had Arabic independent Emirate had many names through the history (Mohammara, Arabistan, Al- Ahwaz, ….), occupied by Iran in 25/04/1925, and the people resist this since then and so far against the occupation and to recover their national and humanitarian rights.
    II: The Arabs in Iran are not only the majority in Khuzestan, but also in Hormozgan and Bushehr, and also invite the author or any observer of the Iranian matter to go to these provinces to see a particular fact, despite the existence of a strong Persinasation policy against natives in the provinces mentioned above.
    Third: As you know, Madam, based on official statistic in Iran regime, 1997, the population of Khuzestan alone more than 4 million people and according to all documents Arabs constitute the majority in Khuzestan, and this means logically Arabs there are more than 2 million, plus the Arabs in Bushehr and in Hormozgan as well as Arabs who migrated in the war (Iran, Iraq:1980-1988) and Iran did not re-construct of their home areas in Khuzestan, and therefore remained in Iranian cities and did not return to Khuzestan.
    If you calculate the population of Arabs in Iran in this logical form shall be numbered even more than 5 million people, despite the fact that the census shows the real if the international community forced the Iranian government to count the hearts of non-Persian people in Iran to end all either.
    As for the Arabs of Ahwaz (Khuzestan, Bushehr, Hormozgan), they believe that their population are more than 8 million people, and based on the statistic that done by the former Iranian regime in 1966, which confirmed that the Arabs make up 2.6 million of the 26 million and this means more than 10% Iran’s population are Arabs. But now and according to the official announcement of the population of Iran, about 80 million people and Ahwazi Arabs that they were by the logic of mathematics increased to over 8 million people.
    Thank you.
    Ali Abojrah