Tensions Are Rising Between The Sunni and Shiites in Iraq

Since we pulled out of Iraq, there has been a return of the same old carnage that we saw in the past. There has recently been bombings that killed 60 people in Baghdad stemming from Islamic sects that want to show their power and it is plain to see that there are violent extremists in Iraq who desire to have their presence felt. The tensions between the Sunnis and Shiites are rising and the prime minister who is a Shiite, Nouri al-Maliki, is being put into a corner of creating an independent Sunni region in Iraq but has recently been quoted as saying it would only serve in “dividing Iraq and to rivers of blood.”

The differences between Sunni and Shiite Muslims are political, not spiritual. When the Prophet Mohammed died, the Shiites believed that power should have gone to his cousin, Ali. Both sects accept and praise the greatness of the Prophet Mohammed but clash when it comes to who should reign in the Muslim nation. Sunni Muslims believe, as many of the Prophets cohorts did, that the one to lead should be the person who is the most adept and skillful at governing according to Islamic credo. After all, the word Sunni is translated as “one who follows the traditions of the Prophet.” Shia Muslims do not share this mentality. They fiercely deny the authority of any elected Islamic officials based upon the grounds that control of Muslims lays solely on the shoulders of the Prophet’s family or the Imams that they believe are chosen by God Himself.

It is so sad to see that Sunnis and Shiites can’t come to agreements and peaceful resolutions. Ever since al-Maliki has come into power last December, Sunnis have been in an uproar claiming that they are not being represented fairly leading to the conclusion that they want a self-governing region. However, this would only serve to lessen the amount of control that the central government in Baghdad would have over the people and al-Maliki is straying from the proposals but says “I can’t reject this issue (forming regions) since it is allowed by the constitution.”

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