Thursday, January 07, 2016

One non-theological root of the modern Shia-Sunni conflict

As my longtime readers know (yes, both of you), I am a bit obsessed with the Saudi's obsession with Iran and its assumption that any time a Shiite does anything anywhere in the world, they must have been put up to it by the people in Tehran. I think I have also mentioned that the Saudi government is so spooked by any signs of Shia power, not just because of its Wahhabi ideology, but also because the Shia minority of Saudi Arabia happen to live where most of the kingdom's oil is. So most of the KSA's vast wealth is extracted from the lands of its weakest and poorest religious minority. If the Shia were to gain control of their own lands, that would directly affect the House of Saud's gravy train.

But until I saw this post and map, I had not thought about, if you look at where the oil is in Saudi Arabia, and then include where much of the oil is in Iraq and almost all of it in Iran, how much of the Middle East's oil reserves happen to sit underneath where Shia live. Shiites are only 10-13% of the world's total Muslim population. But they have most of the Middle East's oil. Or at least they would if a certain royal family in Riyadh weren't claiming the riches from all Saudi oil as their own.