Monday, April 14, 2008

Shia Conspiracy to take over Oman

I’ve now heard this conspiracy theory from several Omani colleagues and friends independently, so, while I can’t say its true, I can certainly confirm it is a ‘currently circulating Oman rumour’.

This is the upshot of the rumour/conspiracy theory:
The Shias are coming. Its always been known that the Al Lawati clan here are Shia, and they have co-existed with the dominant Ibadhi and standard Sunni here with (apparently) no problem. But, so they say, they are now being infiltrated by Al Lawatis from Iran & enabling the rapid build up of a well resourced and organised Iranian Mafia. Iranian Government money is being channeled through these foreign Al Lawatis, and is being used to buy up large tracts of lands up and down along the coast, especially between Seeb and Shinas. In these villages (but also throughout Oman), new Shia mosques are being built with Iranian money, and there is also funding from Iran to encourage prostelizing and convert Omani Ibadhi’s muslims to Shia muslims. The black flags (indicating Shia) are starting to spread like a wave across Oman, and they have the support of (note by UD: of all people) the Minister of MONE.

So, there you go. All my sources are otherwise seemingly well balanced people. But it reminds me of the UN ‘Black Helicopter’ theory common in the southern and Mid west USA a while ago, with the UN poised to take over the administration. I have no evidence what-so-ever that the good Mr Mackie has even heard of the Shia, let alone is participating (they admitted it could be 'unknowingly') in a conspiracy. Muscati, I'd be interested to know your take on this, naturally!

As always, any actual data can be sent with fully confidential terms and assurances to undercover.dragon (at)


  1. Let's see.

    1. Yes Lawatia are Shi'a.
    2. H.E. Ahmed Macki is also a shi'i, although he is not a Lawati. He's a Bahrani, which is the name used here to indicate shi'a who came to Oman from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and even Iraq. That said, he's not exactly devout.
    3. There is no such thing as Iranian Lawatia. All Lawatia are originally from katch which is a place in Sindh or Gujrat. The shi'a in Oman who are originally from Iran are called Ajam. They are very small minority among the Bahranis. In fact some Ajam families have started to use the name Al Bahrani even though they are not really Bahrani.

    This rumor probably started after the Bahrani shi'a built their new ma'tam in Shatti Al Qurum close to Mumtaz Mahal. When HM ordered the building of the ceremonial route in Muscat they had to tear down all but one of the shi'a mosques and ma'tams in Muscat. As compensation they were given land in Shatti Al Qurum and monetary comepensation to build a new one. Of course this caused another conspiracy theory because Abdullah Abbas, the president of Muscat Municipality is also shi'i so no doubt people are talking about favoritism in the location.

    There is no money coming from Iran for building mosques. Lawatia would be crazy, not to mention absolutely stupid if they ever accepted foreign funds. I'm sure that you would agree with me that you can call Lawatia anything you want, but stupid they are not. Tracing the source of money isn't very hard and if they were bringing money from abroad the government would know about it very easily. Besides, as was mentioned on this blog before, Oman's internal security is very very good and they have eyes everywhere. The number of shi'a mosques in Oman probably doesn't exceed a dozen. It makes no sense for them to build them except in areas with big shi'a concentrations. Shi'a are the smallest muslim group in Oman. They don't need too many mosques for them.

  2. Look no further than the CIA for the source of this. It happens in Bahrain all the time when the er, umm, 'need' arises.

    Wille Dryer

  3. Muscati,
    Can you tell me what a ma'tam is? Is this مأتم? My dictionary defines this as a funeral, but I can't find a reference to a ma'tam as a place.

  4. Leaving Soon - the definition is correct. But for shi'a the maatam is not just a funeral parlor- although funerals are held there. Another word used for them Hussainiyah, but shi'a in Oman never use that name. It's more of a congregation place. Shi'a gather in the maatam for religious lectures, religious events and rememberences (such as ashoura, for example). They play a very important role in the community, especially for women.

  5. leaving-soon: the word مأتم is also defined as a memorial gathering, which as muscati explained one of the reasons Shi'a use ma'tams for.

  6. I second anonymous-Wille Dryer’s comment.

    Undercover Dragon, what you say is absolutely nonsense. I am surprised that you name your blog “confidential” when you write what you hear of colleagues and friends, and excuse me, they don’t seem to me like “well balanced people”.

  7. aamnaa i think U.D. is right to post such rumours and giving someone a chance to answer them to dispel them because they can do a lot of harm if people dont question them.I'm sunni by the way and am based in london but i visit muscat often, and i have heard these rumours for a good few years.

  8. Guys. Thanks. I don't normally re-reprint rumours, as there are so many, and most are impossible to actually get evidence for. Tabloid may be OK occasionally, but National Inquirer is a bit low brow even for UD! But in this case I made an exception as its a 'strong' rumour (ie current and heard from several sources), and I thought a bizaar one.

    Muscati, thank you v. much for taking the time on this one. Interesting. Would inter-Muslim prostelizing be legal/OK? (Christian protelizing certainly isn't of course. Thats one of the things I like about Oman - no Jehovah's Witnesses!)

    Wille. You may be right. Of course, in Bahrain the vast majority ARE Shia, its just the ruling elite is Sunni, so quite a different situation.

    Aamnaa. It wasn't what I was saying, just for the record. Don't take it too seriously. You probably haven't met them, so you'll have to trust me on my 3 word psycological profile of my friends. And read the disclaimer please. You're free to not read what you want.

    Navcity. Thanks. One of the side-effects of the non-free press in Oman is the resulting rumour factories, almost always wrong. And I figured in this case someone like Muscati would be able to bring some sunlight onto the issue(and even better, actual information).

  9. I heard this "rumour" my self, and I somewhat inclined not to belive it all, but aspect of it are correct.

    One thing is deffenetaly not true is the money from Iran, and the conspiracey to "overtake Oman", but a conspiracey to gather money and inlfunce through treasury through the many shia cabinet ministers and other government official is very true, and this tend to concentrate within the shia in MONE, MM, MOT, MOTI and of course SCCP "supreme council of city planning", all these entities play a huge role in a vst infrastructure contracting undertaking, especially when it comes to land ownership.

    In 2001 I came to hear of the Duqum project from a Bahraini friend, I started looking for a plot in Duqom, and I found sellers, all lawatias, riddle me this, how lawatias came to knwo about before any one else?

  10. Anon,
    I wouldn't call the observation that the friends and relatives of senior Government officials get in early on various nice commercial situations a Shia conspiracy, just because some of them happen to be Shia. Its called coincidence. Lots of those people are also Ibadhi and Sunni. The Khinjis aren't Shia either. No, its just business, in my opinion.

    Plus, otherwise, why would they leave out Muscati? If anyone deserves a few nice insider deals, I'd vote for him.

  11. UD

    Not coinidence at all. It is an orchestrated system of giving the right information to a select few at a very early stage of development, it is equivalent to inside trading in stocks, which is illegal in any country, including Oman.

    I dont find the fact that the majority of people who bought land in Duqum before the government announced it intension to develop the area are Lawatias as coincidence.

  12. No, I agree that part is not a coincidence, its just not a conspiracy of Shias. In this specific case, it's consistent with insider dealing by relatives of the minister of MONE or some other ministry in the know perhaps, who are called Lawati and happen to be Shia.

    There's a difference. Still, yeah, illegal, but everyone knows it happens. Hell, it happens everywhere. Its just that in many other countries the press would act as a powerful defense, and that sure ain't about to happen here.

    And, pick a nick name! Its still anonymous.

  13. As everyone knows, and as Anonymous so clearly mentioned here, the Lawatia secretly control Oman's economy. This is not new. We've been doing for centuries. For proof look no further than Mattrah, a town built by the Lawatia when they first started to come to Oman in the 15th century. At that time Omanis were mostly poor farmers or fishermen, and there came the Lawatia and where did they choose to live? Oman's only natural harbor. Talk about long term vision!

    One of the reasons why I don't have time to come and reply to every one of UD's brilliant blog posts is because I'm just way too busy making money and conspiring with other Lawatia on new ways to make money and screw with the Omani economy. Between my day time job, which is nothing but a facade where I pretend that I need to work to make a living, and my clandestine economic activities, I don't really have time for bullshit non money-making activitis.

    I am really really pissed off at the Lawatia. For one thing, they never let me in on the Duqum secret take over plan where they apparently told all the other Lawatia except me to go buy up Duqum since way back in 2001. At first I thought maybe I was excluded because I am half Bahrani, but then Anonymous blew the cover on a super top secret conspiracy in which the Minister of National Economy (a Bahrani) has apparently been collaborating and conspiring with Lawatia!! When the hell was this bridge built? Why wasn't I informed? Damn it, I must be the only Lawatia in Oman who isn't a millionaire. The only land I own is the one I borrowed through the nose to buy and build on.

    Screw these Lawatia. I should have been born Zanzibari.

  14. Muscati you are a gem. To me its one of life's rewards that the sign of good grace is that one can begin to laugh at ones self unhindered. If ever the Omani stop telling jokes about themselves it will be a dark day. Did you ever hear a Saudi make fun of himself? On, On. Willie Dryer

  15. Muscatis reply reminds me of Chandler bing in the sitcom Friends, but Chandlers efforts to deflect questions by humour, are, well funny, Muscatis reply borders on sad.

    Sorry to hear that you were left in the dark on the Duqum, better luck next time.

    And to set the records straigh, I didnt say that it is a conspiracey, I only said that the evidence we have indicate favourtism for a very small group of, how muscati put it, not dumb people.

    So you created Mutrah harbour, and my geology teacher told me that Mutrah harbour was created by feloivian river 30 million years ago.

  16. Nice one Muscati.
    Sorry you're getting left out mate. I'm still on the outlook for a suitable candidate for you to sponsor a nice company!

    Anons. Using a fcuking nickname.

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. Its as simple as this, Lawatias and Bahranis (mostly lawatias) represent a higher fraction of the businessmen (or women) in Oman when compared to their fraction of the population. It is a choice they made, you could call it whatever you want but I think this is what getting everyone stressed out. Why is it such a problem, they did their research and found good investments! The rest of us should be upset that our sources are not sharing good opportunities. No money from Iran just wise business investments. I apologize if this sounds rude, but this ideology that no one can succeed with out it being a “free lunch” undermines the hard work and business risk people take. I guess you believe that if and when their businesses fail it’s just an act to throw people off their tracks. Also, Muscati’s statement follows from the statements made earlier, if you believe that’s sad then I suggest you examine your conspiracy theory.

  19. Per,

    Exactly. (and no need to apologise) That was the interesting thing about the so-called conspiracy, and why I thought it would interesting to post the rumour. Thanks for the insight.

  20. Muscati,

    Big Props for a great explanation, and a hilarious follow up smack-down.

    Dragon, good topic. I hate those sort of rumors, nobody gains.

  21. If that true, then you will find mekki and others have been kicked out of their ministries, the omani cia is pretty sharp with such cases!!

  22. you know whats intersting is that this rumour is spreading all over the GCC region.. Kuwait, Sharqiya region of Saudi, Bahrain, & Qatar - (not sure about UAE) have this conspiracy theories that each of their countries will be taken over by Iran!

  23. when people start discussing some thing it means some percent this is true, like smoke before the fire. i dont want to hurt my shia fellows but it is true that Iran and some agencies are promoting shia izam in the muslim world in the areas of their interests. we can see examples of iraq, now american r doing nothing but shia and suni r fighting. also in pakistan now shia is the ruuling the country from civil, miltary and political sides, so they r trying to kill innocent people in colaboration with west and US

    1. Mr Rizwan brother don't spread such big lies and absolutely wrong rumors made by CIA about these countries. I am a student of "International Relation and Strategic Studies" and have knowledge of all these things. I am a sunni Muslim but will never give any statement of Hypocrisy. The majority of 77 % of Iraq are Shia Muslims but were ruled for so long time by Saddam Hussain (A Sunni) as a dictator and did a lot of brutalities on shia and on Kurd tribes. Now when Shia have come in power this is a threat to USA because mostly shia people follow Iran in their religious affairs.
      The second thing about Pakistan:It is the densely populated Muslim country with almost 30 % of Shia Muslims which is wrongly shown as 20 % by the Government for an unknown political reason. Here the whole Government is led by Sunnis and have no ruling in Civil, Military or Politically although they have a good contribution in all of them. Your this statement is totally based on wrong theory . We have all (off the record) data in our department in the University which shows that Shia genocide and the peaceful Pakhtoon tribal genocide is increasing day by day by the Agencies of Pakistan for the reason that they are against USA and the CIA pays to these pakistani agencies for suppressing these two communities in Pakistan which may be a possible threat to USA in future.The genocide of pakhtoon tribals is via military operations in tribal areas wile that of shias is via Agencies made military organizations like sipah-e-sahabe and lashkar-e-jhungvi etc. there is no any day that shia people traveling for pilgrimage or marking their processions, are not killed in masses although some sunni sects are also targeted by these military organization who believes in the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his households. This is a very fetal strategy made by CIA for Pakistan and the pakistani agencies are acting upon this strategy for earning money (due to total economic dependence on USA) which will (God Forbid) blaze pakistan into ashes if not stopped because suppressing such a big population is a question mark for these stupid agencies.
      finally I would like to say that we all Sunni and shia should promote Muslim brotherhood instead of promoting Muslim-CIA brotherhood, so please dont contribute to the policies of CIA. (If someone of you don't trust me they should study about the leaders participating in first OIC meeting, most of them have been assassinated in a way or other by CIA and now this is an old theory of USA "Divide and Rule" the new world order's new theory for Muslims is " Divide and finish". now think over it......... Every Muslim.....

  24. As a shia arab we are always accused of somehow conspiring with iran or having hidden agendes. We are arab,we share language culture and blood with arabs.The only link we have with iran is shia but nothing else. There are all these rumors that we are trying to take over the region and all that.I dont care if someone is christian,shia,sunni or jewish,as long as there respective and not inhumane.

  25. I'm an iraqi shia arab I have reltives that are sunni arab and sunni kurd. All this hatred you see on aljazeera and other channels is bullshit. Iraq has been one mixed country for centuries. Who said Iraqi sunnis and iraqi shia are fighting? Groups that are killing fellow iraqi are disloyal to iraq and are backed by iran and saudia and we Iraqis are stuck in the middle of it. This violence will end and Iraq will be united without arab and Iranian interference.

  26. I am a Muslim and wonder why is it that the US Israel and Muslim enemies can provoke violence and hate among Muslims? It seems to me this Shai Sunni divide is conspired by enemies of Muslims. This is the idea of divide and rule. Muslims should come together and respect each other and be aware of enemy provocation.

  27. Middle
    There is nothing to wonder, it's the nature of humans to provoke violence. Having groups separate themselves is the vehicle to which this is easily achieved.

  28. As an outsider who has never been to Oman (google got me onto this site), what interests me is this: If the West can foment Shia-Sunni divides in the Muslim world, why have anti-Western countries such as Iran, Libya, Syria, China, North Korea etc never succeeded in fomenting Catholic-Protestant tensions in the West?

    Is this because they lack the power, skills and/or inclination to do so? Or is it because you can only fuel the flames with oil when there is some heat in the kitchen stove in the first place?

    This is an honest question, not a rhetorical one.

    Mr Curious

  29. i am not trying to under stand why we are figting its really a sham that if wwe will fight like that we will never be abale to go for the devlopment my all dear musloims sunni @ shia and any other we must not fight other wise very soon we all will be destroy in a decad and the west will catch all the power like they did in iraaq they will do in oman also

  30. my dear how pass this comment thatwill not be the real muslim after seeing the world status any one can say the westen they are trying to do such a rubbesh thing in this world through their anancyees so i request the person ho post this dont thell a lia which give the bad massage to over society please try to do the things which are good

  31. dear people... shia are simple people or human being. they dont want to dominate the world. they just want a place to sit and do mourning do matam and majalis... leave them alone to do what ever they want there iwll not hurt anyone because its not there in there dictionary.

  32. Saudia, Kuwait, UAE, and other arab countries have tight their lips against Israel and they never speak about USA and its allied who are always making conspiracies against Islam, but make propaganda against Iran. There are 100s of examples that with Saudi funds poor people in Pakistan are being converted to Salafi group here no body cares. If u r a true Muslim then be careful about conspiracy of Israel and USA who are sowing seeds of sectarian. These arab rulers are not worried out abut Palestine they are worried about their dictatorships. so be carefule

  33. Whenever anyone in this world becomes rich, the guy next door starts getting jealous. And of course then to discredit the hard working people, the OTHERS start rumors. Instead of seeing lawatis as hardworking ideals that you should aspire to be as, you start criticizing them WHY, Because you can't do anything yourself. " I CAN NEVER BE RICH/EDUCATED LIKE THEM SOO, IM GONNA PULL THEM DOWN TOO' The non-lawati omanis are no where near as educated as the lawtia. Today oman has progressed to where it is much in part thanks to the lawatis. Who develops the country, who has been running the banks for the past 40 years, who has expanded omans very very small economy to where it is today. 1 answer, Lawatis.

    Lets suppose we let the poorly educated bulooshis who drive the taxis, run all the banks and economy in Oman Just for 1 day. Do you know whats gonna happen. Overnight the country will collapse.

    SOOOO, why were/are a lot of the top officals and some ministers shia/lawati- take a guess. When I appoint ministers, obviously I want the most educated people to fill such important posts. Lawatis worked hard and they bear the fruits today. Had your ancestors bothered to move their backsides u might have thanked them today. Alas, tis not the case. Oh, I aLmost forgot to add, if u dont like this country, u dont like how things r run here. then please get lost. Lawatis have been here for more than 300 years.

    As they say in the west " Don't hate the Player- Hate the Game :)"


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