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2005

Sunnis and Shiites: Between Rapprochement and Conflict

This chapter examines the animosity between Sunnis and Shiites. The author argues that the animosity is rooted in ethnic differences, which are given religious justification by the religious leaders of both sides. The chapter identifies two poles around which the relations between Shiite and Sunni Islam have revolved. The first pole is "taqarub," or rapprochement, and the second is conflict - or even "takfir," the excommunication of the other side. The author discusses the trend toward rapprochement, the Sunni accusations against the Shi'ah and the Shiite attitudes toward Sunnis and Wahhabis.

© 2005 Hudson Institute

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Shmuel Bar

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