Mosque in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Islam vs. Islam

LAHORE – Gran parte del mundo musulmán está sumido en la agitación. En Siria, una guerra brutal ya se ha cobrado 250.000 vidas, desplazado a la mitad de los 21 millones de habitantes del país y enviado a un millón de refugiados a Europa en busca de asilo. En Yemen, la tribu houthi se alzó contra el gobierno y ahora enfrenta ataques aéreos liderados por los sauditas. Conflictos como esos reflejan una cantidad de factores, siendo el más prominente los conflictos entre dos sectas del Islam, los sunitas y los chiitas, y entre fundamentalistas y reformistas.

El régimen alauita del presidente sirio, Bashar al-Assad, cuenta con el respaldo de las potencias chiitas, especialmente Irán, cuya influencia regional depende de que un régimen chiita se mantenga en el poder. Y, precisamente, esa es la razón por la cual las potencias sunitas -especialmente Arabia Saudita- están decididas a derribar al régimen. El gobierno de Yemen, por el contrario, es liderado por los sunitas y, en consecuencia, cuenta con el respaldo de Arabia Saudita, de ahí los bombardeos de los houthis chiitas respaldados por Irán. Como era de esperar, las tensiones entre Irán y Arabia Saudita se han intensificado últimamente, una tendencia que culminó en la ruptura de las relaciones diplomáticas, motivada por la ejecución por parte de Arabia Saudita de un clérigo chiita popular.

El caos alimentado por estos conflictos -y por la inestabilidad en otros países de la región, como Afganistán e Irak- ha permitido el ascenso de algunas fuerzas verdaderamente despreciables, empezando por el Estado Islámico (ISIS). Ese grupo ha ganado tanta influencia que los generales norteamericanos le han solicitado al presidente Barack Obama que autorice que se incorporen más tropas a la lucha contra esta organización. Es más, existen informes de que Estados Unidos puede posponer el retiro de sus tropas de Afganistán, donde una guerra cada vez más brutal contra el gobierno ha permitido que los talibán ganen territorio y ha generado una grieta que permitió que el ISIS se volviera activo. ISIS también ha penetrado en Pakistán.

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