ISIS-K Promotes Violence Against Afghan Shia Muslims in Favor of Sunni Islam

The photo shows ISIS-k fighters who surrendered in 2018 after being defeated by Taliban forces. (Photo courtesy of Mirwais Bezhan (VOA), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Afghans fear a renewed wave of terrorism after two suicide bombings at Shia mosques.

Shia and Sunni Muslims

Nehemiah from FMI says this violence has roots dating back to the death of Muhammed. “Shia Muslims believe that Ali, who was Muhammed’s cousin and son-in-law, should have been his successor. Instead, Abu Bakr, Muhammed’s faithful friend and father-in-law, was chosen to be the first of the rightly guided caliphs. Ali was chosen later as the fourth caliph in 656. But his followers disagreed, and so the Muslim community split.”

From there, the two branches diverged. Shia Islam follows a more centralized structure, Nehemiah says, believing in one leader for all. “Sunni Islam is more diverse with each country having its own religious leaders. Today, about 65% of Muslims are Sunni. Sunni Muslims are the majority in most Muslim countries other than parts of Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain, and Pakistan. Iran is mostly Shia.”

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Kevin Zeller

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