Jihad between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims is raging hotter now than it has in centuries.
There is not much doctrinal difference between the two camps, but since each believes that the other has departed from the truth of Islam, and each (particularly the Shi’ites) nurses centuries-old grudges over ancient wrongs done to them, this split is not going to be “overcome.” Saddam Hussein kept a lid on it in Iraq by brute force, but now that he is gone and a Shi’ite government is in power there, the Sunnis are determined to wrest control back from them, and the Shi’ites and their Iranian patrons are just as determined to keep it.
It is a recipe for endless warfare, until the Mahdi returns and reveals whether he has come as the Sunni or the Shi’ite version. In the meantime, the strength of ISIS, the Shi’ites’ determination to win back the territory they have lost, and the very real possibility that Sunni-Shi’ite war could engulf the entire Middle East, are grim monuments to the price of Washington’s faulty analysis.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and New York Times bestselling author of Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth About the War We’re In.
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