“Sunnis vs. Shiites: The Present Phase in Historical Religious Rivalries and Western Responses”/ Global Ties Arizona, SCC
The Sunni-Shia historical divide drives confrontations, violence and terrorism across the Middle East. This lecture presents and explains the divide’s religious sources and political manifestations: Historically, the Shias became an unrecognized and oppressed minority in the majoritarian Sunni Muslim world, except for in Iran. Following the 1979 Islamic revolution, Iran aggressively attempted to export its brand to the Sunni world and provoked bloody conflicts between the two religious denominations in Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Yemen.
The instability and chaos following the uprisings in the Arab countries since 2011, transformed the initial political and social divides into sectarian civil wars. This conflict will provoke huge geopolitical shifts and will impact the events in the region for the foreseeable future.