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The Safavids were Shia Islam( Shiite). This is a section of Islam that believes that the Shah is to be a direct descendent of Muhammod. The sha was thought to be a semi divine person. Some of the Ritual Of this section of Islam were very hash to the body. This created a theocracy that ran the Safavid empire.The Safavids were killing Sunni Muslims .Like Ashura , on this day the Shiite sec. would cut there forhead and let the blood rundown there face. This was commemortion of the grandson of the prophet(Hussein). This tied Religion and state together.