Sunni vs. Shia Islam -- the schism began in 632 A.D. when Islamic Prophet Muhammad died and there was a dispute about succession. The first Muslim civil war was The Battle of Siffin, and that was long ago, but time did not heal the wounds, apparently.
“The Battle of Siffin (Arabic: صفين; May–July 657 CE) occurred during the First Fitna, or first Muslim civil war, with the main engagement taking place from July 26 to July 28. It was fought between Ali ibn Abi Talib and Muawiyah I, on the banks of the Euphrates river, in what is now Ar-Raqqah, Syria.”
Observe the significance of Syria.
There are two principal denominations of Islam:: Sunni and Shia Islam. 80-90% of the world’s population are Sunni and 1--20% are Shia. According to Wiki:
“Sunnis are a majority in most Muslim communities: in South East Asia, China, South Asia, Africa, and some of the Arab world. Shia make up the majority of the citizen population in Iran, Iraq and Bahrain, as well as being a politically significant minority in Lebanon. Azerbaijan is predominantly Shia, however practicing adherents are much lower. Pakistan has the largest Sunni and second-largest Shia Muslim (Twelver) population in the world.”
Should ancient history at this point be so relevant? Well, ask that question in the instance of Jews and Palestinians? The trouble is that people in the Middle East are locked into disputes based upon historical religious circumstances that to many Westerners seems to be absurd at this point.
Following the “Declaration of Human Rights,” no religion or belief system should usurp the rights of others to live in freedom of expression and belief, with security and liberty. People who are stuck in the past will find it difficult, if not impossible to move forward.
Needed are leaders who can help advance civilization to new realities. Continuing to perpetuate issues that should be put to rest is the problem.
So, today’s headline about “bomb blasts” in Iraq is just a symptom of the ongoing problem.
Since diverse people live together in the same global community, they need to learn to get along. Outliers who cannot do that will be cast as outlaws and terrorists, and put on a list for elimination. If reconciliation cannot happen, then elimination is the only option as demonstrated today in the instance of Syria.
"Bomb blasts in markets across Baghdad kill 23 people
BAGHDAD | Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:10am EDT
(Reuters) - Bombs left inside busy markets in mainly Sunni Muslim districts of Baghdad killed at least 23 people on Thursday, police said.
The deadliest attack took place in Saba'a al-Bour on the capital's northern outskirts, where three bombs killed at least 15 people.
In the Doura district of southern Baghdad, a bomb exploded in another market, killing at least eight people, police said.
Nearly 6,000 people have been killed in violence so far this year, according to monitoring group Iraq Body Count, reversing a declining trend in violence after a peak in 2006-07.
(Reporting by Kareem Raheem in Baghdad, Ziad al-Sinjary in Mosul and a Reuters reporter in Baquba; Writing by Suadad al-Salhy; Editing by Jon Boyle)