That Shiite Muslims, like those in Iran, could never collaborate with Sunni Muslims, like al Qaeda, is an article of faith on the left which is often repeated in American newspapers. Like so much of what we read in newspapers, the fact that the claim is obviously false doesn’t prevent it from being repeated. As we have pointed out before, Iran’s control of Hamas is just one obvious example of Shia-Sunni cooperation for terrorist purposes.
At National Review’s Media Blog, Tom Gross adds a number of similar instances:
The repeated claim by Barack Obama and his supporters in the media that Shia Iran doesnt help Sunni terror groups is wrong very wrong and yet again reveals their ignorance of foreign affairs, an ignorance that may prove extremely dangerous were Obama to become president.
While Shia and Sunni extremists do of course have deep theological differences they cooperate in at least a dozen countries on a political and terroristic level to work against the interests of the United States.
* In AFGHANISTAN, Iran has financed and armed the Sunni Hizb Islami (Islamic Party) since the 1990s.
* In the former Soviet republics (and now independent states) of TAJIKISTAN and UZBEKISTAN, Iran has for years supported two Sunni movements, the Rastakhiz Islami (Islamic Awakening) and Hizb Tahrir Islami (Islamic Liberation Party).
* In AZERBAIJAN, Tehran supports the Sunni Taleshi groups against the Azeri Shia majority (who are pro-American).
* In ALGERIA between 1992 and 2005, Iran financed the Sunni terrorist group, The Front for Islamic Salvation (FIS).
* In 1996, a suicide attack claimed the lives of 19 American servicemen in Al Khobar, in eastern SAUDI ARABIA. The operation was carried out by the Hizbullah in Hejaz, an Iranian-financed outfit, with the help of the Sunni militant group Sword of the Peninsula.
* In 2000, Sunni groups linked to al-Qaeda killed 17 U.S. servicemen in a suicide attack on USS Cole off the coast of YEMEN. A Shia militant group led by Sheikh al-Houti, Irans man in Yemen, helped with the operation.
* There are no PALESTINIAN Shia, yet Tehran has become the principal source of funding for Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian Sunni terror groups.
* Indeed, Iran is now the chief direct state funder of HAMAS. The new Iranian budget, which came into effect on March 21, allocates over $2 billion to the promotion of revolutionary causes. Much of the money will go to Hamas and Hizbullah.
That’s not all. One might say that when it comes to promoting terrorism, cooperation between Sunni and Shia extremists is the rule, not the exception.