字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 The terms Sunnis and Shiites are thrown around a lot when talking about Middle Eastern conflicts. Sometimes it's useful, but most of the time it feels like it's just shorthand for "these people hate each other". But with over one and a half billion Muslims in the world, there's no way they can all be involved in some Hatfields and McCoy style blood feud. So, what's really going on here? Well, first of all, not all Sunnis and Shiites are at war with each other. There are tons of places where they co-exist peacefully. Like the United Arab Emirates or Dearborn Michigan, for example. It's also world knowing that their religions aren't diametrically opposed. In fact, the Sunni-Shiite conflict isn't even really about religion. It's about power. Originally Muslims were one unified group under the prophet Muhammad. Then in the year 632, Muhammad died and Muslims split off into two groups. The Sunnis wanted Muhammad's successor to be chosen by the community of his followers. While the Shiites wanted the leadership to stay within the prophet's family. The Sunnis, who were in the majority, so they chose a new leader to be their Caliph, which is basically the head of state. The Shiites did not recognize this new leader, and instead, they chose Muhammad's son-in-law, Ali, as their new Imam, which also basically means head of state. That was the main source of divide, and from there, things really only got worse. Early on most of the Shiite Imams met violent ends at the hands of the stronger Sunni Caliphs, including Imam Ali's son Hussein, whose beheading is still considered as a major holiday for Shiite Muslims. Today, there are far too many conflicts and subtle differences between the two groups to go into here, so instead let's just jump ahead to modern times. Today, there are numerous Sunni and Shiite Militant groups, terrorist organizations, and oppressive governments. Being Sunni or Shiite doesn't necessarily make you a member or even a supporter of any of those groups. but they are still divided up that way. In fact, every nation where Sunni-Shiite conflicts has large militant groups on both side. They all have a history of oppressing one another depending on who's currently in power. Iraq, for example, was run by an oppressive Shiite regime before Saddam, then an oppressive Sunni regime under Saddam, followed by an oppressive Shiite regime once again after Saddam left power. And now the oppressive Sunni militant group ISIS is threatening to take over huge parts of the country. So you can see that the Sunni-Shiite conflicts are more about power, politics and retribution than actual religion. And truthly, the words "Sunni" and "Shiite" aren't even the best words to use when discussing Sunni-Shiite conflicts. They are way too general. If you're talking about Militant Jihadists or Terrorist networks, but what you really mean is ISIS AL Qaeda, just say ISIS AL Qaeda. Otherwise, you're including billions of people who aren't even involved and most likely don't share the beliefs of those fringe organizations.