The roots of the conflict:
The Islam religion was founded by Muhammad in the seventh century. In 622 he founded the first Islamic state, a theocracy in Medina, a city in western Saudi Arabia located north of Mecca. There are two branches of the religion he founded.
The Sunni branch believes that the first four caliphs--Muhammad's successors--rightfully took his place as the leaders of Muslims. They recognize the heirs of the four caliphs as legitimate religious leaders. These heirs ruled continuously in the Arab world until the break-up of the Ottoman Empire following the end of the First World War.
Shiites, in contrast, believe that only the heirs of the fourth caliph, Ali, are the legitimate successors of Muhammad. In 931 the Twelfth Imam disappeared. This was a seminal event in the history of Shiite Muslims.
Another difference between Sunnis and Shiites has to do with the Mahdi, “the rightly-guided one” whose role is to bring a just global caliphate into being.
* Multi-party Battleground – Iraq started a battlefield of a" many-to-many fighting gala". Hostilities exist between different Sunni and Shiite groups and fighting rages on at different levels. Shiites in general have started to believe that Sunni’s are after killing all Shiites. Sunnis on the other hand do not trust the Iraqi police that are largely made up of Shiites. Recently, these hostilities have even been further fueled after allegations of rape by Shiite led Iraqi forces against Sunni women.
All groups are fighting and chasing away the other from towns, cities and villages in many Muslim countries.
* The Sunni apprehension: – The Middle Eastern media is replete with assertions and conspiracy theories regarding the Shiite movement to spread Shiism across all Muslim nations. One of the Jordanian newspapers wrote about the Shiite conspirators' agenda to “assassinate key Sunni leaders." Iran is being blamed by some to spearhead the agenda of reviving the Persian Safavid dynasty, which came to power in the 16th century.
* True or not, the fact that the Sunni street in the Middle East has started to buy into the alleged Shiite (Shia) agenda, poses a grave danger. The emergence of the first Arab Shiite leadership in recent times is making more people convinced about this agenda. The situation in Iraq poses a great danger in fueling Shiite (Shia) Sunni tensions even in countries that to date seem to be safe from this turmoil. With Sunnis believing that Shiites are out to convert all Sunnis to Shiaism and raping their women, while Shiites believing that Sunnis are out to kill all Shiites is setting the stage for the emergence of worldwide hatred between the Shiites and Sunnis – something that every Muslim should fear and take very seriously.
* Conflicting regional agendas: – Various regional Iraqi neighbors have their own conflicting agendas. Iran for example wants to see a Shia controlled government. On the other hand, other Sunni Gulf States would rather have a Sunni controlled government in Iraq. The regional powers’ agendas therefore will have to be reconciled before a clam is to be expected.
“Us versus them”: Questions remain whether Sunnis and Shiites are truly killing each other in Iraq based on hatred of each other’s religious convictions or whether it’s just an “us versus them” mentality that has engulfed even the secular minded Shiites and Sunnis. One wonders about this as years of Saddam rule rarely saw hatred of such levels. Saddam did not oppress Shiites because of their religious beliefs – rather he eliminated anyone who challenged his power, including Sunnis. On the same token, he had Shiites and Christians both in his inner circle.
Comment written by Muslims and I found on the net:
By: Katoom - Full Member
I'm sorry to say Khalid but what i said is true...
I lived in Islamic countries all my life, and if the Islam you see is the sugar coated Islam, I experienced the "True" meaning of Islam.
growing up in Saudi Arabia, we were taught that the Shiite sect of Islam are HERETICS and that they are worse than the Jews and Christians because they are Hypocrites. And all that talk about the Saudi version of Islam is only followed by a small group of Wahhabis is nonsense. the Jamaa' Islamiyya in Eygpt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Pakistan...etc follow the same beliefs, as do the Islamic Brotherhood and other organizations. the Salafi/Wahhabi version of Islam represents more than half of the Sunni Muslims (about half a BILLION people). Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda themselves are Wahhabis.
And the Shiites aren't better than the Sunnis, they too have their own Marjaiyyat (Scholars) that have said pretty much the same about the Sunnis...
And to top it all of, both sects believe that heretics (Murtaddeen) should be killed..
"Religion is Poison" - Chairman Mao
Since the death of Muhammad, Muslims have been fighting among themselves. the "Saints" of early Islam (i.e Muhammad's friends and family) were killed by muslims, and sometimes these "Saints" killed other "Saints".
1) The two major divisions of Islam (Sunni and Shiite) consider each other heretics, which is what is happening in Iraq
2) Both divisions you have more sub divisions who also hate each other
3) For political reasons which is what happened in Lebanon, Jordan, Algeria, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan
4) It all started when Muhammad said: "the Jews are divided into 71 sects, the Christians are divided into 72 sects, and the Muslims will get divided into 73 sects. ALL of these sects are going to Hell except one, the sect that I am on and that of my true followers."
And because "my true followers" is a very grey area, every group of muslims considers his group to be the true followers and every one else is going to Hell.
At least 50 dead in Pakistan mosque suicide attack: