Monday, May 14, 2007

Arab history spat highlights Sunni-Shi'ite rift

From Andrew Hammond of Reuters Life!

Regarding themselves as more rational, Sunnis view Shi'ite ideas as diluting the power of the Koran as the word of God through virtual deification of rulers and jurists. But Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi -- a long-time foe of the Saudi rulers -- implied that descendants of the Prophet have more right to lead than the Saudi royal family, which rules in alliance with clerics from the puritanical Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam ... Reflecting the Saudi government's anger over the fate of Sunnis in Shi'ite-dominated Iraq, Wahhabi clerics have issued a number of visceral fatwas in recent months condemning Shi'ism ... says anthropologist Saad al-Sowayan. "The dispute between Libya and Saudi Arabia isn't new ... But it's unfortunate that political disputes are treated in a religious context."

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