Why Saudi Arabia and Iran are bitter rivals – BBC News

Why Saudi Arabia and Iran are bitter rivals

Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (L) and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (L) and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Saudi Arabia and Iran are at loggerheads. They have long been rivals, but it’s all recently got a lot more tense. Here’s why.

How come Saudi Arabia and Iran don’t get along?

Saudi Arabia and Iran – two powerful neighbours – are locked in a fierce struggle for regional dominance.

The decades-old feud between them is exacerbated by religious differences. They each follow one of the two main sects in Islam – Iran is largely Shia Muslim, while Saudi Arabia sees itself as the leading Sunni Muslim power.   READ MORE

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  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On November 18, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    A religious divide that was no doubt exacerbated during Europe’s colonial expansion.

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On November 19, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    There will NEVER be peace between them. The division occurred 1400 years ago on the death of Muhammad and who had succession rights to ‘Allah’s FINAL prophet’. His daughter, Fatima, and husband on one side (Shia) and his youngest wife, Aisha, and her father Abu Bakr, the first caliph, and close followers on the other (Sunni) side.

    The other players just add to the complexity. Daily, in the Muslim world, this internecine conflict plays out with suicide bombings at mosques, in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan, etc. and endangers the rest of the world.

    Veda Nath Mohabir.

  • Ron Saywack  On November 20, 2017 at 6:14 am

    Very knowledgeable man you are, Veda.

    In addition, Abu Bakr was Muhammad’s brother and Aisha was his niece, who was only six years of age when Muhammad married her and nine years old when he consummated his marriage to her.

    It should also be noted that Muhammad was 40 when he founded Islam, claiming to have been the last ‘prophet’ set to Earth to save humankind. Which begs the question, what was he before that?

  • Ron Saywack  On November 20, 2017 at 6:18 am

    Penultimate line in the last para should read, sent to Earth …

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On November 20, 2017 at 9:08 am

    The obvious question Ron, if he couldn’t unite his own family then how can 1.5 billion people put faith in him as ‘Allah’s most favoured and “seal” of all prophets’.?
    Don’t believe in prophets anyway.
    Give me my Vedic philosophy any time which as I shown in past posts theoretical physicists and astrophysicts such as Carl Sagan have high respect for.

    • Ron Saywack  On November 21, 2017 at 7:37 am

      Indeed, Veda, Dr. Carl Sagan often referenced the ancient Hindu religion for its incredible, scientific and advanced perspective of the Cosmos as explained in the following 15-minute video:

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On November 20, 2017 at 10:49 am

    Should also mention that Muhammad was 50, yes 50, when he married his child bride, Aisha. Like so much in Muhammad’s actions, he said Allah wanted it so. Muslims defend this huge age disparity (aside from Allah’s Will) that Jesus’ mother, Mary, was also a child (and obvious virgin) when she was married to Joseph. So, throughout the Muslim world, child-marriage and marriage among first cousins is the norm.
    The child marriages and patriarchy you regularly hear of in India was brought in by Islamic invaders, which disrupted, slaughtered and ruled India for close to 1,000 years.

    Sorry, believers, these Abrahamic religions are based of deep patriarchy and (irrational) ‘faith’ in prophets who urged followers, or their later followers – as in Christianity and Islam – regularly led genocide on others not of their ‘race’/ethnicity or believers in different gods – as do so-called ‘polytheistic’ Hindus ; or as with Catholics vs Protestants; or as with Islam, Muhammad claiming he was superior to all other prophets).

    Think of it: Would the God of this magnificent , well-oiled (‘scientific’) universe want man to believe just in “faith” in some prophet? So, as long as “faith” only is the ruling criterion of modern people, the world is doomed. Betterment can only come about when science and spirituality (not faith) can tete a tete.
    This is why I would stick to Vedic philosophy – the philosophy of the “Veda” = Universal/Cosmic Knowledge! (My name is just accidental).


  • Albert  On November 21, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Ron you have made some wonderful contribution with your research material. Dont underestimate the contributIon of the Catholic church on this subject. They spend millions on scientific research in astronomy/biology as they relates to religion. They are the only religious group, I know of, who accept Evolution. The problem they have is in communicating “religious science” to their members.

    • Ron Saywack  On November 21, 2017 at 4:26 pm

      Yes, the Roman Catholic Church made contributions to the educational process by funding universities, for example. But it is tempered by its obscurantist involvement in the process.

      The early Church associated science with paganism and thus made a concerted effort to uproot it wherever it existed. The Great Library of Alexandria was the epicenter of science and learning in the ancient world. It contained thousands of priceless books. Hypatia, a brilliant scientist in many disciplines, was its chief librarian. One day as she rode her chariot to work, she was attacked and killed by a Christian bob in a most horrific manner.

      Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, ordered a bunch of monks to flay her flesh off to the bone with abalone shells and then burn her to death. Within a year of Hypatia’s death, the library was razed to the ground. It was an immense and immeasurable loss to mankind.

      Later, several prominent thinkers were charged with heresy. For example:

      1) Giordano Bruno suggested that ours was not the only solar system in the universe, that there were distant stars with solar systems (exoplanets). For his crime, he was burnt at the stake at Rome in February 1600;

      2) Galileo Galilei suggested that the Earth revolved around the Sun. At his trial, he was ordered to recant or be executed. He recanted;

      3) Nicolaus Copernicus postulated that the Earth was not the center of the Universe, but rather the Sun was. For his crime, he was placed under house arrests.

      Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace traveled to South America on the Voyage of the Beagles in the 1800s. They made startling, revolutionary discoveries; and brought home numerous fossil and plant samples for analyses. After they fully studied the samples, their conclusion would change the world. But, throughout the process, they feared that the Church of England would bring heresy charges against them along with the death penalty, sadly!

      On this occasion, happily, the two intrepid scientists prevailed.

      Alas, had early scientists been given free range to do their work, without fear of reprisal, mankind, arguably, could have made significantly more progress before the present.

      Ron Saywack.

      • Ron Saywack  On November 21, 2017 at 5:14 pm

        Correction: In the last line of the second paragraph above it should read, Christian mob.

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On November 21, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    Yes, Ron, I mentioned Sagan because he is considered the greatest astrophysicist of the 20th C. and he chose to include in an episode of his TV series COSMOS the huge time scales of the Hindus and how Hinduism is the ONLY one of all the religions which time scale matches the age of the universe (I think it’s still on the internet).

    In the background he has the effigy of Lord Shiva as Nataraja -Lord of the Dance – which Aldoux Huxley ( the philosophers’ philosopher) explains below; and which graces the front entrance of the CERN’s headquarter in Switzerland and was also on the front cover of the original copy (I have) of theoretical physicist, Fritjojj Capra’s, 1975 bestseller, ‘Tao of Physics’.
    Huxley also has an introductory essay in a copy of the Bhagavad Gita by Christopher Isherwood and Swami Pravananda which obviously links Hindu spirituality, as laid out by Lord Krishna, with modern scientific views on the universe. In fact, Krishna at one point reveals his multifarious Cosmic Self to Arjuna (leading to physicist, Robert Oppenheimer, to quote Krishna when Oppenheimer tested the Atom bomb in Arizona desert.

    Now, here we have very high-profile obviously very learned scientists and philosopher paying huge respect to the venerable Hindu-Vedic philosophy and effigies/idols (murtis in Sanskrit) – which portray complex cosmological truths – but the Abrahamic prophets, Moses and Muhammad, especially, are known to rant and rave against and break these idols.

    This irrational Abrahamic prejudice can be seen in the proliferation of Christian and Muslim Yoga where the Sanskrit chants, including “OM” (which also cosmological meaning) is excised out and replaced with verses from the Bible and Koran (I saw a video recently where a Muslim young woman, Muslim Yoga teacher, claim that chanting OM offends Allah – called “shirk” in Islam).

    The irony, and plain foolishness, is these traditions could not come up with a spiritual/physical practice such as Yoga – that has huge psychological, spiritual/meditational and physical benefits – on their own, but they go to he pagan/heathen/infidel Hindu Yoga-well and retrieved its benefits/nourishment and then turn around and call it their own! (just as is done with the Indian Decimal Number system aka Arabic Numerals).

    Coincidentally, My ex is Catholic (mixed origin) and so are my two daughters, which I open-mindedly allowed; even got married in a Catholic church. I would regularly go to the Catholic church with them and on one occasion, I picked up a leaflet with a hymn which was to be sung. I was shocked to see the name was the “LORD of DANCE” which Hindus associate with Shiva as Nataraja = LORD of DANCE – clearly another case of plagiarism! Here Huxley explains the LORD of DANCE effigy.

    So, with the rigid exclusionary ideologies (claiming unique prophets) of Islam and Christianity, world peace will NOT ever be achieved.


  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On November 21, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    Albert: You wrote about the Catholic Church “They are the only religious group, I know of, who accept Evolution.” I am sorry to say that is not true.

    First of all, little known is that Hinduism has evolution of life built into its traditions. As I point out regularly, and Carl Sagan and Aldous Huxley explain above, Hinduism uses the medium of myths/metaphors to transmit deep/profound truths about the universe, which to the literal-minded reader looks like silliness, hence Hindus are deemed idolatrous and polytheists/pagans.

    You may have heard of Lord Vishnu. Among the Hindu pantheon of ‘gods’/deities, Vishnu represents the preserver/protector aspect of God whereas, Brahma is the Creator deity and Shiva the dissolver deity. Hindus know that the universe is created, expands and grows and the declines and goes back to ‘nothingness’ and this cycle continues, eternally. Vishnu presides over the expansion and growth stage.

    You may also have heard the term ‘avatar’ (Outar) associated with Hinduism. Rama and Krishna are two highly revered avatars of Hinduism. Now, how does all this relate to evolution. Rama and Krishna are the 7th and 8th avatars of Visnu. Now comes the clincher: The first avatar is Matsya, the fish.

    So, the Hindu tradition was well aware, before modern scientists figured it out, that life began in water. If that alone is not enough to demonstrate evolution, the second avatar is a Kurma the Tortoise (transition from water to land) and the third is Varaha, the Boar, a fully land avatar . Then these evolved into man by the 6th avatar.

    Incidentally, Matsya, the Fish avatar of Vishnu saved life on Earth after a great deluge – the prototype for the Noah’s story) Manu was thus the first man, after the deluge. And, it is from Manu we are called man/mankind! Manu is our progenitor. Check the etymology of ‘man’ in your dictionary.

    So, Hinduism is way, way ahead of the pack; yet some idiot (no euphemism is appropriate) chose to spread the word that Hinduism was recently created by the colonial British.



  • Albert  On November 22, 2017 at 12:42 am

    “Coincidentally, My ex is Catholic (mixed origin) and so are my two daughters, which I open-mindedly allowed; even got married in a Catholic church”

    Veda you surprise me with that googlie. Actually the Catholics have done some good. I know they have a terrible history (in answer to Ron). Good things get buried but the evil lives on. In the John Paul era there could be found in many parts of the U.S. Catholic institutions run by Nuns who provide a multitude of services to the poor. These Nuns, some with one or two masters degrees, work as simple unpaid servants who will get no pension or social security and live on public donations. I am no Catholic but how could one not respect such groups.
    Dont agree with much of their politics but there are other good things they do.

    Modern day Catholic scientists have written some about science as it relates to religion but they lose me when they attach a God to it. Must be difficult for them to preach or relate a constant Creator to changing scientific knowledge.

  • Ron Saywack  On November 22, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Carl Sagan was the foremost, preeminent scientist hired by NASA to work on and launch the Voyager I and Voyager II program in 1977.

    The purpose of the mission was to explore the outer reaches of the Solar System and beyond. As Voyager I approached the Heliopause (the area where the solar winds end and interstellar space begins), he directed NASA to turn the cameras back to look at all the planets from a distant perspective.

    The cameras captured the iconic sunbeam, a vast circular area of light amidst the pitch darkness of space. In the sunbeam lies a fuzzy speck of light, the Earth.

    This humbling speck of light inspired the Great Man to utter these immortal words in one of his final books Pale Blue Dot:

    ” Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”

    He continues:

    “The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

    Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

    The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

    It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”


  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On November 22, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    Albert: I quickly talked about the first avatar of Visnu, Matsya, and Manu without explaining the relationship. I didn’t want to detract from the Hindu knowledge of evolution. Below is a brief outline of the relationship from Britannica.

    MANU – Written By: The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica

    Manu, in the mythology of India, the first man, and the legendary author of an important Sanskrit law code, the Manu-smriti (Laws of Manu). The name is cognate with the Indo-European “man” and also has an etymological connection with the Sanskrit verb man-, “to think.”
    Manu appears in the Vedas, the sacred literature of Hinduism, as the performer of the first sacrifice [Comment: Not an animal sacrifice but a Yagna or Puja, if you ever attended a Hindu service]. He is also known as the first king, and most rulers of medieval India traced their genealogy back to him, either through his son (the solar line) or his daughter (the lunar line).

    In the story of the great flood, Manu combines the characteristics of the Hebrew Bible figures of Noah, who preserved life from extinction in a great flood, and Adam, the first man. The Shatapatha Brahmana recounts how he was warned by a fish, to whom he had done a kindness, that a flood would destroy the whole of humanity. He therefore built a boat, as the fish advised. When the flood came, he tied this boat to the fish’s horn and was safely steered to a resting place on a mountaintop [Himalaya]. When the flood receded, Manu, the sole human survivor, performed a sacrifice, pouring oblations of butter and sour milk into the waters. After a year there was born from the waters a woman who announced herself as “the daughter of Manu.” These two then became the ancestors of a new human race to replenish the earth.

    In the Mahabharata (“Great Epic of the Bharata Dynasty”), the fish is identified with the god Brahma, while in the Puranas (“Ancient Lore”) it is Matsya, the fish incarnation [avatar] of Lord Vishnu.
    In the cosmological speculations of later Hinduism, a day in the life of Brahma is divided into 14 periods called manvantara, each of which lasts for 306,720,000 years. In every secondary cycle the world is re-created, and a new Manu appears to become the father of the next human race. The present age is considered the seventh Manu cycle.


    Now, here is another shocking Hindu scientific parallel with Western science. In the ‘manvantara, each of which lasts for 306,720,000 years’ life on earth dies out according to the Hindu tradition and in the following manvantara, another Manu is born and, as above, he is the progenitor/father of a new species on earth.
    During a Manvantara, our solar system revolves around the Milky Way (galactic centre). Western science has determined this orbit/revolution to be 225-250,000,000 – called a Cosmic Year. Notice how closely the Hindu Manvantara (306 million years) approximates the Cosmic Year of 225-250 million years! (And. very likely Hindus didn’t have the sophisticated scientific instruments to make their calculations, yet they are virtually, bang-on. I don’t know if Carl Sagan ever knew this.

    See why I maintain that Hinduism is the most scientific of all the religions? But, it has to be transmitted via myths/metaphors/allegories because it is too complex for the ordinary Hindu to appreciate these cosmological truths of their tradition.

    And, of course, the RoW (esp the prophets, such as Moses and Muhammad, and their followers of the Abrahamic faiths see these myths as ‘jumbie stories’ of people following heathenism and need to be saved.

    BTW. You should read Sharon Westmaas’ ‘Sons of Gods – the Mahabharata Retold’, which she said she took 30 years to compress and make readable for a western audience.


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