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Shia – Sunni conflict, the terror must end

Shia – Sunni conflict, the terror must end


– Manisha

Islam is often portrayed as religion of internal peace because of its monotheistic nature. When everyone knows about its intolerance towards the non Islamic world and the competition with Christianity to be the most followed religion, people seldom bother themselves to talk about the internal conflict that has caused millions of lives till date.

As much as I regret this piece of writing, the truth shall be told about the Shia and sunni conflict and the extents of the same which left the women all over the world, helpless, destroyed the future of many children who could grow healthy if only they hadn’t been indoctrinated.

Now let’s understand, what’s the root of the Shia Sunni conflict ? Even though these two main sects within Islam, Sunni and Shia, agree on most of the fundamental beliefs and practices of Islam, the hatred against each other goes back some 14 centuries, almost since it’s inception.

It’s a dispute over who should succeed the Prophet Muhammad as leader of the Islamic faith. In the south Asian community people often talk about the colonial casteism rooted in India society, which is also about inheritance of power and name, this issue has got little to no attention at all and people continue to suffer because of that. I will further elaborate more the same.

Getting deeper into the reason of this conflict, it was found out that most followers of prophet Muhammad wanted a group of elite members to choose the best person to succeed him, however a small group of people wanted Ali from Muhammad’s family to succeed him, who are the shiat ali or simply ali. This hunger of power has led to wars, bombings and terrorism of all kinds among the group itself.

The Sunni community who majorly won the war chose Abu Bakr as the first Caliph, and Ali (Shia) became the 4th one, after the 2 succeeding Abu Bakr were assassinated. Ali was himself killed in 661 and thus made a knot in the relationship. It was not only about the political power but also money, which was paid by various tribes to the Islamists in forms of taxes (jizya). With all the money that was extracted from pagans and the less powerful sects of Islam in that century, a whole empire was built that stretched from Central Asia to Spain.

Later in 681, Ali’s son Hussein went to Karbala from Mecca leading a group of 72 followers and family members. The plan was to take over them and confront the corrupt caliph Yazid of the Ummayad dynasty.

The Sunnis with their army waited for them, and by the end of a 10-day standoff, Hussein was killed and decapitated. His bleeding head was brought to Damascus as a tribute to the Sunni caliph and as a sign of symbolic end to claims by the Shia community. However Hussein’s death now plays the central role in Shia traditions, and is commemorated yearly as Ashoura, the most solemn date on the Shia calendar.

In the recent time, a few major incidents can be counted as an escalation of conflict between the two communities.

The transformation or Iran from Sunni to Shia centred witj the rise of the Safavid dynasty in the 16th century, by force.

In the early 20th century, the victorious Allies divided the territory held by the former Ottoman Empire after World War I, cutting through centuries-old religious and ethnic communities in the process.

In 1979, the Islamic Revolution in Iran radicalized Shia Islam in order to be able to clash violently with Sunni conservatives in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the decades to follow. When Islamic revolution is majorly looked from a perspective of US vs Iran, this is a more relevant reason and consequence.

Increasing fundamentalism, especially the two Persian Gulf Wars. Post Saddam Hussein’s Sunni regime in Iraq, and the mass uprisings across the region that began with the Arab Spring in 2011 radicalisation became a competition between the two.

Sunni-Shia divisions left Syria in a dark place, escalated situations in Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere, and terrorist violence on both sides.

One more point that I feel is necessary to mention is the lack of reporting and the wrong angles taken up during the time when the India Government brought in CAA to protect the oppressed minorities in Islamic nations surrounding India as a follow up on the Nehru Liayaqat pact. Several voices from the US’s left ecosystem, India’s renounced media houses and even from Pakistan, who ironically is the biggest oppressor of the one’s they started rooting for (Ahmediyas, Hazaras)However, one of the main questions that was missed in this debate was as of why these nations themselves haven’t done anything to protect the Shia minority and curb the violence between the two communities? The question of India giving them a shelter should have been a secondary discussion.

Moreover, these communities and their internal conflict is about their own religious ethos, political power and money, it has got little to do with the rest of the world and they expect little to no help from the “pagans” at least. Ahmediyas being one of the major ignition switch to the process of the partition of India is a proof of the same.

After the 9/11 attacks in the US, the Hazara population of Balochistan has been regularly targeted by Taliban and anti-Shia outfits such as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP). The repeated attacks by Taliban Against the Shia population of Afganistan also goes unnoticed.

The ignorance towards the situation of Hazaras in Baluchistan is another proof of the fact that this internal conflict no matter how violent it becomes doesn’t come to notice of the world cause it won’t get them enough brownie points to make them look like the Messiah when there’s a war going on at home, a much bigger one than anything.

And the attacks on not only the KPs but the non Wahabi Shia population in Kashmir by the Wahabi militants has also never been discoursed over at the same frequency as the pretentious gender justice or the false anti casteism rooted in hindumisia. One must not use these examples as an excuse to stop talking about other issues in the south Asian Communities, however it’s required for us to treat this issue as priority one because the world is suffering because of the same.


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