Sufis Under Attack as Sunni Rifts Widen – New York Times
Posted On August 22, 2005
(This is a compelling reason for us to stay in Iraq. Fuck weopons of mass destruction and self protection. If we stay it should be to protect and llearn from a peaceful and wise order of Islam. Like the sufis….cd)
As the twilight ritual of the Sufi Muslims reached its crescendo, the five drummers pounded harder and quicker, inspiring the men standing in a circle to spin their heads ever more rapidly, their shoulder-length hair twirling through the air.
The sun dipped low beyond the shrine’s inner courtyard, and the chanting rose in volume.
“God, you are the only surviving one, the only everlasting,” the dozen men said in unison, their eyes closed, more than a hundred spectators surrounding them at this shrine in western Baghdad. “The oneness, the oneness.”
Sufism, generally considered a branch of Sunni Islam, is divided into orders, the most famous being that of the Mevlevi, or whirling dervishes. Sufis seek, through dance, music, chanting and other intensely physical rituals, to transcend worldly existence and perceive the face of the divine. Their mysticism has contributed to their pacific reputation.
But in Iraq, no one is ever far removed from war. In a sign of the widening and increasingly complex rifts in Iraqi society, Sufis have suddenly found themselves the targets of attacks. Many Iraqis believe those responsible are probably fundamentalist Sunnis who view the Sufis as apostates, just one step removed from the Shiites. Sufis Under Attack as Sunni Rifts Widen – New York Times