In a nutshell: They were:
- Non-Persian, Azeri Turks (with Kurdish ancestry as stated by some historians)
- Former Sufis (extreme forms of Sufism have always been a gateway to Shi’ism)
- Revived Zoroastrian holiday (Norooz) with the help of the likes of Mullah Majlisi
- Opium addicts
- Allies of the crusading west against the Ottomans
- Self-proclaimed semi-divine rulers (copying ancient Persian Zoroastrian rulers who like Shia Imams were infallible and divine)
To many Iranian nationalists and chauvinists (who are often Anti-Islam bigots of the beast kind) these very Safavids are some sort of national heroes who managed to re-created a semi-pre-Islamic Sassanian empire revived Pre-Islamic Persian Zoroastrian identitiy with the help of heterodox Twelver Shi’ism. Basically they turn a blind eye to the facts that the Turko-Safavids have literally committed a genocide against the native Persian [Sunni] population of Iran. What is important is that some man-made border of the ancient Persian empire had been (more or less) restored and elements of Sassanian-Zoroastrian Persia revived.
On the other hand, religious Iranian Shias (and many non-Iranian Shias who due to their secterian bias champion everything Shi’ite, including child murderers such as Bashar Al-Assad, the Nusayri Alawi) are united with their fellow nationalist and chauvinist countrymen when it comes to the veneration of the criminal Safavid dynasty, purely due to secterian sentiments, after all it were the Safavids to declared Twelver Shi’ism as the official religion of Persia and slaughtered – or in the best case forced to conversion – as many Sunnis as possible. Additionaly, the most important Shia Twelver scholars in Safavid and Post-Safavid era have all praised the Safavids and their palace Mullahs. Ironically many of these palace scholars were of non-Persian (Iraqi, Bahraini) origin such as Mulla Baqir Al-Majlisi, Al-Mulla al-Karaki(Lebanese/Jabal ‘Ameli region) and of course of Turkic origin (like many Ayatollats today, such as Jawad Tabrizi, Ali Khamenei and many others).
It is of course true that Islamic (Sunni) empires too were ruled by open Fasiqs (evil doers), yet the history of Ahl al-Sunnah is filled with the likes of Imam Ahmad, Abu Hanifah etc. who spoke out the truth by either exposing the false creed of the rulers or at the very least not attributing divine like statuses to the tyrant rulers, let alone actively backing them as the Shia clergy did in the case of the Safavid dynasty. Here a collection from a research by various historians on the nature of the Safavid dynasty.
Extremists Sufis and their Tasawwuf (Sufism) paved the way for Rafd and Shi’ism and not the “natural inclination of Iranian to Shi’sim” as Persian chauvinists and Shia zealouts claim.
Sodomy, drugs alcohol, opium …
The Safavids were the saviours of crusading Europe against the Muslims
The Major Powers in the west favoured the Safavids because they were an obstacle to the Islamic expansion of the Sunni Ottomans i.e. they (Shia Safavids) were one of the major causes why the Muslims couldn’t conquer Europe. Ferdinand, the ambassador to the Austrian King remarked,
“Had it not been for the (Shi’ite) Safavids in Persia, we would have been reading the Qur’an this day like the Algerians,”
meaning that his nation would have been conquered by the Ottoman Muslims. It was the Safavid state that kept the Ottoman state busy with fighting the Safavids, instead of the crusaders. The Safavids had never beaten their western neighbours in a straight fight. Hence Safavid Persia and Europe formed an alliance against the Sunni Ottomans. A dramatic example of this is the role of the English engineer/adventurers, known as the Sherley brothers who helped Shah Abbas create an indigenous musket and cannon industry to fight the formidable Ottomans. Shah Abbas’ personal bodyguard were recruited from the Armenians and the Georgians of the Caucasus. How true is the famous statement of Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah who more than two centories before the emergence of the Safavid dynasty said:
“The Rafidis are the donkeys of the Jews, they ride them for every fitnah”
[Ibn Taymiyyah, Minhaaj-us-Sunnah 1/20-21]
Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.