"Saudi Arabia and Iran are competing for influence over the entire Middle East and are willing to fuel civil wars in pursuit of their goals. Many Sunni-ruled nations have large, restive Shiite populations.... Sunni rulers fear that these populations could become radicalized by the Syrian conflict and stage uprisings of their own. "
Over twenty years ago, an older ex-Jewish fellow (who'd been born in
Egypt during the Battle of El Alamein in 1942) that I knew quite well,
told me that when the Middle East blew up that the trigger would be
Syria. He didn't explain the particulars if why, but this has its roots
in biblical historic times and very ancient events that keep repeating
in this regional crossroads between three continents.
The Shiites are concentrated most heavily at the source of the Persian
Empire (Iran) while the Sunnis mostly originate at the source of the
original Babylonian Empire (Mesopotamia / present-day Iraq).
So, when you read about the Shia-Sunni schism after Muhammad died, keep this secular historical background in mind.
Lebanese militant group Hezbollah
Syrian president Assad's Alawites
Taliban / Pushtans
ISIS / ISIL
fact, ISIL appears to be ifar outside of Sunni Islam. The kind of
“Islam” espoused by the ISIS Takfiris is an extreme version of the
Salafi-Wahhabi school of thought (think Egypt). These people reject the
five major Islamic madhhabs (schools of thought) including the four
Sunni ones. If you reject all four Sunni madhhabs, how can you call