A Primer to the Sunni-Shia Conflict

Philipp Holtmann


Which dispute is so resilient that it continues nearly 1,400 years after the original quarrel? It is the Sunni-Shiite dispute over the question who should succeed the Prophet Mohammed. The original struggle turns around the question if religio-political leadership should be passed on by bloodline (the Shiite imamate) or election (the Sunni caliphate). Today, this has become among some factions a fight over the monopoly to sacrifice and martyrdom, and it takes the form of a competition for political predominance in the Middle East between Saudi Arabia and Iran.


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Perspectives on Terrorism is  a journal of the Terrorism Research Initiative and the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies

ISSN  2334-3745 (Online)

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