Middle East

In: Social Issues

Submitted By sef1575
Words 320
Pages 2
The conflict between the two sects of Islam, Shia and Sunni, dates back to the death of Muhammad the prophet, in the year 632. Yet, despite its ancient roots, the battle between the two hasn’t been this bloody in centuries. Islam’s schism, simmering for fourteen centuries, doesn’t explain all the political, economic, and geostrategic factors involved in current conflict. But it has become one way to understand the underlying tensions.
Two countries that compete for the leadership of Islam, Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran, have used the sectarian divide to further their ambitions. How their rivalry is settled will likely shape the political balance between Sunnis and Shias and the future of the region, especially in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain, and Yemen. This paper will be examining the current conflict between the two sects and the way in which it has evolved from a religious war to that of political and territorial. The war that fueled the current violence between the sects was the Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979. The divide has also giving leaders of the two sects to unite its people for divine purpose.

But to fully comprehend the conflict between the two sects, you have to take a look at where it all started. Mohammed unveiled a new faith to the people of Mecca in 610. Known as Islam, or submission to God, the monotheistic religion incorporated some Jewish and Christian traditions and expanded with a set of laws that governed most aspects of life, including political authority. By the time of his death in 632, Mohammed had consolidated power in Arabia. His followers subsequently built an empire that would stretch from Central Asia to Spain less than a century after his death. But a debate over succession split the community, with some arguing that leadership should be awarded to qualified individuals and others insisting that the only legitimate…...

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