Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

What divides Sunni and Shiite Muslims?
swissinfo.ch ^ | Apr 2, 2011 | Eveline Kobler,

Posted on 04/02/2011 7:41:16 PM PDT by george76

Tensions and violence between Sunni and Shiite Muslims are often in the news in countries like Iraq, Pakistan and Bahrain, but why are they at daggers drawn?

swissinfo.ch: How did it come about that a Sunni minority should rule over a Shiite majority, as for example in Bahrain, where there are currently popular protests?

Arnold Hottinger: This is a matter of power which has historical roots. Bahrain has a Sunni government but the majority of the population – 70 per cent - is Shiite. The example of Iraq, which also has a Shiite majority, can be easily explained in the same way.

Iraq belonged to the Ottoman Empire. The Turks were Sunnis and installed a Sunni governor in Baghdad. Later, when the British were in power in Iraq, they kept the Shiites down and promoted the Sunnis.

There were no direct descendants left by around the ninth century. The Shiites believe that the last Imam has disappeared into eternity and will return. This is a kind of Messianic belief...

Iran is the only Shiite state. There the belief has developed that each of the faithful should choose a spiritual leader. If a cleric has many followers he may be called an Ayatollah.

It is important to point out that the Iranian Shiites are very different from the Arabic-speaking Shiites.

The Persian Shia Islam is strongly mixed with the ancient religion of Zoroastrianism. The Persians, today’s Iranians, have a different language, history and culture.

(Excerpt) Read more at swissinfo.ch ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: arabs; bahrain; iran; iraq; islam; lebanon; muslims; pakistan; persians; qatar; saudiarabia; shiamuslims; shiite; sunni; sunnimuslim; syria
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-79 next last

1 posted on 04/02/2011 7:41:17 PM PDT by george76
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: george76
What divides Sunni and Shiite Muslims?

Insanity ?

2 posted on 04/02/2011 7:43:11 PM PDT by Popman (Obama. First Marxist to turn a five year Marxist plan into a 4 year administration.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: george76
My understanding of the Shia-Sunni split among Muslims came about because the prophet Mohammed died without naming a successor. Therefore, a great debate grew up as to who was his legitimate heir. Was it his uncle or was it his brother-in-law? Suffice to say that Muslims have been butchering each other in the name of Allah ever since, except when they're murdering Infidels (non-believers).
3 posted on 04/02/2011 7:47:48 PM PDT by MasterGunner01 (To err is human; to forgive is not our policy. -- SEAL Team SIX)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: george76

Left handed head hackers vs right handed head hackers?


4 posted on 04/02/2011 7:48:12 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: george76
"What divides Sunni and Shiite Muslims?"

One sect prefers to have relations with goats, while the other prefers sheep.

Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!

5 posted on 04/02/2011 7:52:13 PM PDT by wku man (Who says conservatives don't rock? www.myspace.com/10poundtest)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cripplecreek

One believes you get 70 virgins for indiscriminate killing, the other believes you get 72, I don’t remember which one is which.

Speaking of Muzzies, I have always thought it strange the complete misapplication of the word martyr. I don’t think it means what they think it means.


6 posted on 04/02/2011 7:53:27 PM PDT by dsrtsage (One half of all people have below average IQ...In the US the number is 54%)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: dsrtsage

Fighting over who gets all the goats.


7 posted on 04/02/2011 7:56:17 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: george76

The Sunni Muslims believe in killing all infidels and all Shiite Muslims whereas teh Shiite Muslims believe in killing all infidels and all Sunni Muslims.


8 posted on 04/02/2011 8:05:48 PM PDT by MIchaelTArchangel (Obama makes me miss Jimmah Cahtah!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: george76
What divides Sunni and Shiite Muslims?

Center mass hits from a .50BMG?

9 posted on 04/02/2011 8:06:33 PM PDT by EricT. (Can we start hanging them yet?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: george76

On a much more serious note than most of the responses here, exactly why doesn’t the western world exploit the deep differences between the major flavors of islam, promoting shooting war after shooting war until they are exhausted enough to be easily defeated?


10 posted on 04/02/2011 8:14:33 PM PDT by CurlyDave
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CurlyDave

“On a much more serious note than most of the responses here, exactly why doesn’t the western world exploit the deep differences between the major flavors of islam, promoting shooting war after shooting war until they are exhausted enough to be easily defeated?”

That was part of supporting Saddam Hussein in Iraq’s war with Iran. It didn’t work out entirely well for us, besides the money we made selling him the poison gas he used.


11 posted on 04/02/2011 8:17:51 PM PDT by OldNewYork (social justice isn't justice; it's just socialism)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: george76

12 posted on 04/02/2011 8:19:40 PM PDT by AndrewB (FUBO)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: george76
There were no direct descendants left by around the ninth century. The Shiites believe that the last Imam has disappeared into eternity and will return.

Misleading. The Ismailis are Shiite, and they think there is a direct descendant and living imam. IIRC he is a Harvard man, class of '57. :) Back in the day, had a lovely home on the Rue des Ursins in the heart of Paris...built a very cool resort in Sardinia...my human almanac is on a tear.

13 posted on 04/02/2011 8:21:13 PM PDT by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast (Public education is WELFARE.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 668 - Neighbor of the Beast

Do they each have a distinct version of the Koran?


14 posted on 04/02/2011 8:34:32 PM PDT by NoLibZone (Impeach Obama & try him for treason / Homosexuals reject diversity / Unions finally caught for theft)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: NoLibZone

If only. There might then be some hope of a reformation.


15 posted on 04/02/2011 8:35:52 PM PDT by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast (Public education is WELFARE.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: george76

Seems by now Freepers would know enough to add Islam to keywords.


16 posted on 04/02/2011 8:36:12 PM PDT by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade, There are only two sides. Pick one.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NoLibZone

Shorter answer : no. Just one quran. The hadith, or traditions, are somewhat open to dispute, but not the quran.


17 posted on 04/02/2011 8:38:27 PM PDT by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast (Public education is WELFARE.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: george76

The split and its variations between sunni and 5er,7er and 12er shia all point to the issue of succession after Ali’s death, which has deepened into an argument of which faction is ‘right.’ As late as the 20th century, sunnis destroyed Hasan’s burial mosque.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shi%27a_view_of_Hassan_ibn_Ali

So much for muslims not killing other muslims.

THe 3rd caliph was murdered, and the inclination extended to generations thereafter.


18 posted on 04/02/2011 8:50:15 PM PDT by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spiritui Sancto.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AndrewB
You, or should I say, Star Trek nailed it 45 years ago. The irreconcilable bigotry of perceived differences that will never be settled until they annihilate each other, taking entire civilizations with them.
19 posted on 04/02/2011 8:51:49 PM PDT by SpaceBar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: cripplecreek

20 posted on 04/02/2011 9:11:22 PM PDT by Yehuda (Land of the free, THANKS TO THE BRAVE!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: george76

There’s a book called “The Closing of The Muslim Mind” (haven’t read it, but heard the author interviewed) that I think sheds much light on this. One group or the other rejected reason and became fundamentalist slaves.


21 posted on 04/02/2011 9:34:09 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (You is what you am.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: george76
This is, as they say, academic - in more ways than one.

Hottinger glosses over the division forgetting to mention its origins literally with the death of Mohamed, himself. And his equating of American evangelicals with fundamentalists in Pakistan is academic bigotry, or pompous bigotry.

There are better sources for those interested in the origins of the divisions among Muslims, and the differences between Persians and Arabs.

22 posted on 04/02/2011 9:49:26 PM PDT by Prospero (non est ad astra mollis e terris via)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 668 - Neighbor of the Beast

Ok Got it.

Thank you.


23 posted on 04/02/2011 9:57:29 PM PDT by NoLibZone (Impeach Obama & try him for treason / Homosexuals reject diversity / Unions finally caught for theft)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Popman

No, insanity is one attribute that Sunni and Shia share in common.


24 posted on 04/02/2011 10:20:51 PM PDT by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: george76

A preference for billy or nanny goats?


25 posted on 04/02/2011 11:29:25 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (The heresy of heresies was common sense - Orwell)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: george76
What divides Sunni and Shiite Muslims?

A well wielded sabre?

26 posted on 04/02/2011 11:34:04 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Islam: A Satanically Transmitted Disease spread by unprotected intimate contact with the Koranus)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CurlyDave

“....until they are exhausted enough to be easily defeated?”

.
Hell, they could be defeated right now without any problem.

But instead, we invite them into our country, treat them like honored guests hoping they won’t pull another 9/11.

It’s not Islam that is the problem — the problem lies with us and our deepseated politically correct attitude.


27 posted on 04/02/2011 11:51:07 PM PDT by 353FMG (The M1911 is mightier than the sword.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: george76

Comparison of Shia, Sunni and Sufi Factions of Islam

http://staff.jccc.net/jbacon/readings/world_religions/Sunni-Shia.htm


28 posted on 04/02/2011 11:59:33 PM PDT by MestaMachine (Note: I do NOT capitalize anything I don't respect...like obama and/or islam...but I repeat myself.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 353FMG

It’s not even us. It’s the kamakazi pilots who have grabbed the control yoke of the United States who are really to blame.


29 posted on 04/03/2011 12:14:41 AM PDT by SpaceBar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: george76

Is there such a huge difference? Given their behavior, I figure they’re nearly all Sh*tites..


30 posted on 04/03/2011 1:12:32 AM PDT by sheik yerbouty ( Make America and the world a jihad free zone!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CurlyDave

“why doesn’t the western world exploit the deep differences between the major flavors of islam”

Because they all are united in their hatred of the infidels. Only when the infidels are subjected in their own lands, and they are too weak to attack elsewhere, do they really get to work killing each other.


31 posted on 04/03/2011 1:34:53 AM PDT by Boogieman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: george76

They consider the Koran perfect, so the Sunni should defer to the Shiite. After all, the entire Koran is full of Shiite.


32 posted on 04/03/2011 4:15:22 AM PDT by Pollster1 (Natural born citizen of the USA, with the birth certificate to prove it)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CurlyDave

On a much more serious note than most of the responses here, exactly why doesn’t the western world exploit the deep differences ...

Exploit their differencees with 5 Mt warheads - much cheaper and quicker ...


33 posted on 04/03/2011 5:18:07 AM PDT by PIF (They came for me and mine ... now it is your turn ...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: 668 - Neighbor of the Beast
hope of a reformation.

Strickly forbidden by Mohammad. Potential reformers have an automatic fatwa of death placed on them - every muslim is obligated to kill them. (Reformers you see on TV are practicing taqyyia - sanctioned lying in defense of the movement to deceive infidels).

Christianity can be reformed - Islam cannot. There are many variations of the Bible, but only one version of the koran.

Christ killed no one. Mohammad killed 400 by his own hand - all Jews (beheading, a technique he popularized).

34 posted on 04/03/2011 5:30:03 AM PDT by PIF (They came for me and mine ... now it is your turn ...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: PIF

The uprisings aren’t about Freedom....they are about establishing islam sahria over every ME country....looks like Egypt will be going that way already.

There is no such thing as moderate Islam. It’s either you are Islamic or you are marked for death.


35 posted on 04/03/2011 5:33:48 AM PDT by caww
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: NoLibZone
The koran can only be understood by reading the sunnahs and hadiths - these are the collected sayings and the life of Mohanned. Most authoritative among these other ‘holy’ books: Tabari, Muslim, Bukhari, and Ishaq.

Never forget that whether sunni or shiite, both know that only the second given half of the koran is valid. The first given half was abrogated by Mohammed himself.

The second given half of the koran is the last revealed words of allah wherein the faithful are OBLIGATED to kill all non-believers.

36 posted on 04/03/2011 5:42:30 AM PDT by PIF (They came for me and mine ... now it is your turn ...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Boogieman
Only when the infidels are subjected in their own lands, and they are too weak to attack elsewhere, do they really get to work killing

I think that the Shiites under the Mahidi are not only obligated to bring all humanity to Paradise (human extinction), but the last two are obligated to kill each other ...

As you can see, they are natural allies of the voluntary human extinction movement mentioned on FR this weekend.

37 posted on 04/03/2011 5:49:15 AM PDT by PIF (They came for me and mine ... now it is your turn ...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: caww
The uprisings aren’t about Freedom....they are about establishing islam sahria over every ME country....looks like Egypt will be going that way already.

There is no such thing as moderate Islam. It’s either you are Islamic or you are marked for death.

Knew that when the whole thing began. Obvious. Egypt is now firmly in the Iranian camp, gearing up to help Hamas bring more advanced missiles and weapons into Gaza ... and perhaps all or some of the chemical warheads and arty shells looted from Libya.

All our heartfelt thanks goes out to Our Dear Leader and his minions at Google, Facebook, Code Pink, and the CIA for making all this possible.

38 posted on 04/03/2011 5:58:27 AM PDT by PIF (They came for me and mine ... now it is your turn ...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: george76
The Persian Shia Islam is strongly mixed with the ancient religion of Zoroastrianism.

Wrong. -- FR discussion - #16 plus

39 posted on 04/03/2011 4:51:25 PM PDT by odds
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: MasterGunner01; george76
My understanding of the Shia-Sunni split among Muslims came about because the prophet Mohammed died without naming a successor. Therefore, a great debate grew up as to who was his legitimate heir.

Exactly. Tho, the dispute eventually led to major wars between the shi'ites & sunnis. -- Comparison of Sunni and Shia Islam (provides a concise & accurate backgrd & overview of key similarities & differences)

40 posted on 04/03/2011 5:19:36 PM PDT by odds
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: george76

And we are continually told that islam is a religion. It is not a religion. It is an ideology with intent to rule according to shria law. That makes it a political entity and not a religion.


41 posted on 04/04/2011 12:57:54 AM PDT by taxesareforever (Release Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich and let him and his family get on with their lives.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: george76

>> What divides Sunni and Shiite Muslims?

My ignorance of the disparity in their hatred for Christians like me.


42 posted on 04/04/2011 1:03:35 AM PDT by Gene Eric (*** Jesus ***)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CurlyDave

good point — it is exactly what we should be doing. Why are we involved in Libya? And let Bahrain be the flash point between the Sunnis and Shias


43 posted on 04/04/2011 3:44:04 AM PDT by Cronos (The OPC/PCA don’t worship the same God we Christians do:)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: 668 - Neighbor of the Beast; george76

yes, the head of the Ismailis is the Aga Khan. his grandfather and father both married many Europeans and he has 3/4th European blood (or more). The Ismailis are more “open” than other Moslems as the Aga Khan interprets the Koran for them and does tend towards peacefulness.


44 posted on 04/04/2011 3:45:58 AM PDT by Cronos (The OPC/PCA don’t worship the same God we Christians do:)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: 668 - Neighbor of the Beast; NoLibZone
The problem is that the Koran is so contradictory to itself and so basically full of it that it is open to extremely different interpretations.

They do have differences of opinion on a lot of central beliefs besides the historical reasons.

Besides the Sunnis and Shias, there are Ibadis (Oman), Druze (Lebanon, Israel, Syria), Allawis (Syria), Ahmadiyyas (Pakistan mainly) and Bahai'is (Iran, India etc.)

Sunnis are divided into 4 groups based on interpretation (Hanafi etc.) -- not much difference but the Wahabbis and the Sufis are sub-groups that display quite divergent paths

Shias are divided into 12evrs, 7evers and I believer 5 evers depending on the number of Imams they hold as being "true". They are Ismailis, Bohris, Dawoodi Bohras, etc.

45 posted on 04/04/2011 3:49:33 AM PDT by Cronos (The OPC/PCA don’t worship the same God we Christians do:)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Prospero

the best option that I have discussed with others is to induce Iranis to convert en-masse to Zoroastrianism (or rather to RETURN to Zoroastrianism). In recent reports the numbers of Zoroastrians has soared to 2 million from 50,000 and there may be millions of hidden, secret Zoroastrians in Iran as many Iranis are truly fed up with Islam which they see as an Arab conspiracy to put down Persia (which if you go to the origins of Islam may very well be true)


46 posted on 04/04/2011 3:51:43 AM PDT by Cronos (The OPC/PCA don’t worship the same God we Christians do:)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: combat_boots
THe 3rd caliph was murdered...

And they're still flagellating themselves over this during Ashura centuries later...

47 posted on 04/04/2011 3:55:42 AM PDT by Allegra (Hey! Stop looking at my tagline like that.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: george76

What do you expect from servants of Satan?


48 posted on 04/04/2011 3:58:26 AM PDT by Fresh Wind (TOTUS knows how to give a speech. Obama knows how to read.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: combat_boots
THe 3rd caliph was murdered

Sorry, but not quite.

After Mohammad's death, according to sunnis & shi'ites, there were 3 "Caliphs" plus 1. They include: (Aba) Abu Bakr, Umar (Omar), Uthman (Osman), and Ali ibn Abi Talib being the 4th Caliph.

The dispute between Shi'ites & Sunnis, which began immediately after Mohammad's death, was not simply because there was no designated successor to Mohammad by Mohammad; it was also about who was the rightful successor to Mohammad to wage war on infidels (non-believers) & to bring Islam by the sword, among other ways, to other lands.

Sunnis argued the rightful successor, to Mohammad, had to be chosen/elected by Moslems or the Ummah (Moslem) community. Shi'ites believed the rightful successor was already designated thru hereditary lines to Mohammad, in which case they said, the most rightful/legitimate one, was Ali (Mohammad's cousin & son-in-law).

Ali, therefore, is considered the 4th Caliph in Islam, and the 1st Shia Imam (the 1st "Guardian" of the Shi'ite sect). Shia Islam in Iran dictates that the other 11 Shia Imams are Ali's descendants by "bloodline" - the 12th (hidden) Imam being "Mehdi or Mahdi" will appear "at the end of time".

When the despicable Safavid rulers of Iran in the 16th century AD enforced Shia Islam on Iranians & made Shia Islam the official state religion, their subhumans brutally forced Iranians to say out loud "Ali is Vali" (Ali is the Guardian). Hence, A basis for the Velayat_e Faghih (the guardianship/rule of Shia jurisprudence) AKA Khomeini's doctrine. Ring a bell ?

I understand your wiki link is about Ali's son "hussein" (the 3rd Shia Imam). Hussein was beheaded, hence the Ashura mournings and self-flogging in the Shia twelvers world. Well, they are nutjobs. Tho, based on Sunni "traditions" ("sunnah") alone, I would venture to say the Sunnis have the potential to be more democratic & secular. Tho, it isn't solely about theology; it is about Arab culture, which can't be changed easily, and certainly not quickly.

49 posted on 04/04/2011 7:00:05 AM PDT by odds
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Cronos
Interesting. I confess to being unaware of the growth of Zoroastrianism among the Persians, or, more proper, the reawakening, I suppose.

Thanks for the information.

50 posted on 04/04/2011 7:01:29 AM PDT by Prospero (non est ad astra mollis e terris via)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-79 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson