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October 31, 2014

Christians! Muslims Gain!

Roy Meachum

Muslims claim 22.7 billion among their ranks. Sunni and the rest of the Islamist population; we have to call them Shiites. Christians list one billion men, women and children more. Within our lifetimes, Islamists figure to take the lead.


We have seen the rush to take over the churches, at Christmas and Easter. Not!


In my native Louisiana, and particularly New Orleans, children were bought shiny new clothes to celebrate the feasts – that’s a custom that’s dying out. In the modern world, we pretend the holy days are observed. Frequently they‘re not, but rather as off-days from work; I remember, in the middle years of my childhood, we gathered in a saloon at six. We drove over to Ocean Springs, Mississippi. We never saw the inside of a church: We’re talking 80 years ago.


In my travels through Egypt, Morocco, Bangladesh and Malaysia, people go to mosque; again. But there is furor in the streets. I was assigned to Rome in order to keep my eyes on the Vatican; when a moon shot launched on Friday it turns out the older generation stayed inside, knowing the television schedule. That would not happen in Muslim countries, particularly a Shiite land. They are more enthusiastic about their religion.


The reason why they came into existence is simply, hereditary. After the Prophet Muhammad, they expected, as means of succession, to proceed through his family. But it does not. Instead they confronted anyone at all with the title. Today there are thousands of sharifs; they have a kinship to the prophet. The head of Cairo’s public relations arm was a sharif. It can be safely put they are all Muhammad’s family.


All the Shiites in the Middle East don’t come with a sharif. But it would be neat and tidy if some of the prophet’s family could start them. For example, there came a branch of Shiites that came into existence as late as the latter part of the 19th Century. The latest Shiites came together under the name of Ahmed Chalabi.


This is a living religion beholden to no one, least of all, the Prophet Muhammad. Christianity limps off: 2,000 years makes it responsible. Anyway, the God of the Hebrews still stands. More so, they have established a modern branch: Israel, in 1948.


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