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Tuesday 22 Aug 2017 | 00:53 | SYDNEY
Tuesday 22 Aug 2017 | 00:53 | SYDNEY

Sunni vs Shi'a (well, some of them anyway)

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26 September 2008 10:54

A couple of weeks ago Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, perhaps the world's most influential living Islamic scholar, accused Shi’a Muslims of being a threat to Sunni Muslim societes. The subsequent controversy is still being played out in the Arab media, where Qaradawi’s comments have been debated and condemned, including by some of his long-time friends and supporters.

Qaradawi has fuelled yet another round of ‘Are the Shi’a coming to get us?’ talk in the Sunni Muslim world. Personally, I think the final lines of this Guardian report on the subject, quoting al-Arabiyya commentator Abdul Rahman al-Rashed, sum it up rather nicely: ‘In reality, there is no Shi’a-Sunni problem; there are only differences between governments’. 

But if you want a really interesting and nuanced analysis of Shi’a-Sunni relations in the Gulf, see Non-resident Fellow Rodger Shanahan’s recent Lowy Institute Analysis, Bad Moon Not Rising: The Myth of the Shi’a crescent in the Gulf.

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