Author Topic: Sunni---Shia Conflict  (Read 674 times)

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Sunni---Shia Conflict
« on: October 15, 2021, 07:13:33 AM »
What precisely is the cause of violence between Sunnis and Shias?

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-58925863
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The Yak

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Re: Sunni---Shia Conflict
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2021, 10:23:59 AM »
What precisely is the cause of violence between Sunnis and Shias?

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-58925863

The killing / martyrdom of Husayn at Karbala.
Rev. Dr. Scott Yak imow
Professor of Theology
Concordia University - Ann Arbor

DeHall1

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Re: Sunni---Shia Conflict
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2021, 10:28:58 AM »
I recommend these:

https://www.cfr.org/sunni-shia-divide/#!/   (Council on Foreign Relations)

and https://www.history.com/news/sunni-shia-divide-islam-muslim  (History Channel)

The short version is that CFR states that modern tensions between the two stem from their differing concepts of how to govern.  Shia supports the velayat-e faqih concept in which Imams (or rulers in the absence of Imams) have responsibility, including governance of the country.  Sunnis, on the other hand, have historically differentiated between political leadership and religious scholarship.

The History Channel states that a common thread in the Sunni/Shia conflict is "the ongoing battle Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran for influence in the oil-rich Middle East and surrounding regions."

So...Power and money. 

pearson

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Re: Sunni---Shia Conflict
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2021, 10:51:24 AM »

What precisely is the cause of violence between Sunnis and Shias?

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-58925863


Well, it's complicated, and the struggle goes back to the first generation after Muhammad.  When Muhammad died, a council of Muslim leaders met and elected one of their own, Abu Bakr, to be caliph, or official spiritual and military leader of Muhammad's movement.  Generally speaking, Sunnis regard Abu Bakr, and the process that appointed him caliph, to be legitimate; Shi'ites do not.  Shi'ites believe that the leadership of the movement founded by Muhammad should have remained within the family lineage of Muhammad; all genuine leaders (or imams) of Islam must be descendants of Muhammad.  They regard 'Ali, who was Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law, to be the true first caliph.  'Ali was assassinated by a radical Muslim believer because 'Ali was willing to negotiate this issue with the other side (the side that became Sunni Islam).  Later, 'Ali's younger son, Husayn, who assumed leadership of the Shi'ite cause after his father's assassination, was murdered at the famous battle with a Sunni army at Karbala in 680.  Since then, Shi'ites have historically regarded the Sunnis as usurpers, and as betrayers of authentic Islam.  Shi'ites emphasize martyrdom and suffering as integral to orthodox Islam, with such martyrdom and suffering originating at the hands of Sunnis.  Shi'ites and Sunnis do regard each other as Muslims, but are divided over the fundamental character of Islamic leadership, theology and practice (not entirely unlike the way some Protestants and some Roman Catholics regard each other, without the violence -- usually).

Tom Pearson     

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Re: Sunni---Shia Conflict
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2021, 02:09:18 PM »
Okay, thanks. Just wondered if there was anything new, other than settling scores.
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Michael Slusser

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Re: Sunni---Shia Conflict
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2021, 02:42:59 PM »
Okay, thanks. Just wondered if there was anything new, other than settling scores.
Settling scores does not capture the character of the divisions.

Check the geopolitical distribution, and who had reason to resist Arabian and Turkish domination; many Shi'ites there.

Being a theologian, I've perhaps overvalued the Shi'ite formal openness to new thought compared to the Sunni freezing of religious development after the first few centuries of Islam (apart from the existence of several major schools of interpretation, which preserved some variety).

The Saudi invasion of the Ottoman Empire and seizure of the Holy Places Mecca and Medina put them in a position to impose a very conservative version of Sunni tradition itself and propagate it worldwide, to the danger of fellow Muslims, both Shi'a and Sunni.

On the five pillars of Islam itself, there is largely agreement, though a Sunni told me that at prayers there are slight differences of movement between Sunnis and Shi'ítes that one can observe if one knows what to look for.

The Yemen situation is partly proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, but don't forget that after the British ceased to rule Aden, it was for many years divided into North Yemen and South Yemen.

Never forget the importance of tribes. Most tribes in Afghanistan are Sunni.

Peace,
Michael
Fr. Michael Slusser
Retired Roman Catholic priest and theologian

Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Re: Sunni---Shia Conflict
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2021, 04:02:46 PM »
Okay, thanks. Just wondered if there was anything new, other than settling scores.
Settling scores does not capture the character of the divisions.

Check the geopolitical distribution, and who had reason to resist Arabian and Turkish domination; many Shi'ites there.

Being a theologian, I've perhaps overvalued the Shi'ite formal openness to new thought compared to the Sunni freezing of religious development after the first few centuries of Islam (apart from the existence of several major schools of interpretation, which preserved some variety).

The Saudi invasion of the Ottoman Empire and seizure of the Holy Places Mecca and Medina put them in a position to impose a very conservative version of Sunni tradition itself and propagate it worldwide, to the danger of fellow Muslims, both Shi'a and Sunni.

On the five pillars of Islam itself, there is largely agreement, though a Sunni told me that at prayers there are slight differences of movement between Sunnis and Shi'ítes that one can observe if one knows what to look for.

The Yemen situation is partly proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, but don't forget that after the British ceased to rule Aden, it was for many years divided into North Yemen and South Yemen.

Never forget the importance of tribes. Most tribes in Afghanistan are Sunni.

Peace,
Michael

Thanks, Michael, for the further notes. I was simply noting the human habit to strike when struck, which ebbs and flows over the centuries.
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