Muslims: What can be done to make peace between Sunni and Shia in Iraq?

Whatever the cause of their conflict, the risk is that it will start a broader war. The USA is pouring billions of dollars of weapons into Sunni Arab countries like Saudi Arabia and the gulf states, and has stated publically that this is aimed at Iran. During the Iran-Iraq war, the USA supported Saddam against Iran. Now that Saddam is gone and Iraq has got an Iran-friendly Shia governmenmt, it looks like the Americans want to use Saudi Arabia to fight Iran in the next anti-Iran war.

A possible way to start such a war is to stir up trouble between the Sunnis and Shias in Iraq. Notice that the Americans are now training Sunni miltia in Iraq who are not under the Iraqi government. The Iranian president has also said that Iran might step in to fill the vacuum when USA leaves Iraq, he also is not helping the situation.

Learn from history: imperialists use tactics like divide and conquer, and during the cold war they fought proxy wars. Don't be a victim of such tactics.


To the one who answered "Jesus": unfortunately, a Christian president who says "God told me to invade Iraq", and a Christian prime minister who supported him are more likely to remind Muslims of the Crusades than make them favourably inclined towards Christianity. I am a Christian myself and so i agree with you, Jesus' message of peace can help, but i am afraid the cause of Christ has suffered great damage as a result of the US invasion of Iraq.

To the one who mentioned bidah, even if you consider the Shias heretics (and they would say the same of Sunnis) can't both groups agree to disagree and live in peace? If the Qur'an tells Muslims to live in peace with Jews and Christians as far as possible, should they not also live in peace with other Muslims even if they are a bit different?

Update 2:

See this link:

It is a story about an Iraqi Sunni teenager, Othman Abdul Hafez, who saved the lives of up to 7 Shia pilgrims who fell into the Tigris river, and died whilst trying to save more. This boy is a true hero and a true martyr who will enter paradise. He has understood the meaning of "bismillahi ar-rahmani ar-rahimi" (sura 1:1), that God is Most Gracious, Most Merciful, and he obeyed the teaching of Jesus, who taught people to love everyone, even their enemies. If more Iraqi's learned from his example, there would be no more sectarian fighting.

14 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Thanks for bringing this up. I'm a muslim. I will not speak for any sect, I will just share my opinion. Muslims tend to blame their problems on outsiders, when the foundation of this problem is really within. As you would have noticed, some of the muslims felt obliged to bash the other sect in the above answers, when really that is not what you asked. This is the sort of negativity that produces such problems. And peace cannot be built on such teachings and beliefs.

    First of all we need to recognize the cause of the problem, and take the blame instead of blaming others. I am not denying that the funds and training that you mentioned from outsiders is not influencing the problem, it is, but the tactic here is that such "outsiders" have identified our weak point and started the "fitnah", thus the killing has resulted. Many religious scholars, imams, etc. preach and justify such killing. That is wrong, that must be stopped. If they go around speaking about our unity instead of our differences, then maybe less hatred will be there. So if positivity is spread and those religious preachers stopped, then we have reached step one. Second step is to try to solve the problem amongst ourselves, without any other religion or governments interfering. Third is to raise money to help rebuild Iraq, give the refugees back their homes, instead of spending millions on weapons we can use that money in a good cause. The middle eastern countries are some of the richest in the world, they are very capable of such donations aswell. Fourth, the Iraqi government should have representatives of all religions, no sect dominating the other. Everyone in the world is entitled to believe in whatever religion they want, we need to stop claiming democracy and actually practice it.

    I am not an expert of any sort, but common sense goes a long way.

  • 1 decade ago

    I am not a muslim.

    But in a pluralistic society like yours it would seem that you recognize the differences between yourselves. Then vote into law and enforce it the fact that Sunni's that break the law will be tried in front of a Sunni court house. And and the same thing for Shai. And if a Sunni does injury to a Shai that there be a court run by a foreigner who does business there. That will measure out justice.

    Also remember that according to the Bible the first world power is where Iraq is there now. And that was long before Islam. It is too bad they cannot just recognize each other as brothers and try to get a long. And in Daniel's time the Iraqi's were one people that were not afraid to allow foreigners to be in government. They reognized wisdom when they saw it whether Iraqi or not. This is the way the society should be in a pluralistric society.

    You are right divide and conquer is wrong. That is the way of a corrupt government that seeks to serve itself and not the people. A true government would empower the people to control the government so that justice will be meted out to all. And the best way to ensure any form of justice is that the groups be accountalbe to their peers that are in the same religious sect.

    Because I truly do believe in the places of Iran and Iraq and within Sunni and Shai are a people that want peace and not war. That want hope and not despair. And those are the goals that are common to man.

    Good luck.

  • babbie
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Nobody has to stir up trouble among Arabs; they do that just fine all by themselves. The only reason this shia/sunni insanity wasn't going on before was because they were all under Saddam's iron fist. When they don't have anybody else to fight, they start in on each other. Witness the major blood bath that happened recently between rival militia at an all-shia religious festival. Read some real history of the region before you point fingers at us.

  • 1 decade ago

    Are you a Muslim? Because if you're not that was very kind of you to bring this to our attention and be concerned of our well-being.

    As a Muslim, I try to bridge the Sunni-Shiah gap in my community by attending both events and have gone to all of the masjids.

    I'm Sunni and while I do find some of their (Shiah) beliefs absurd I do not think it justify this unwarranted hatred. I agree absolutely that to gain respect we need to show respect for each other. As for the middle east...there's not much I can do but pray it gets better.


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  • 1 decade ago

    let first correct that you must say between Muslims and shia

    and the answer is you can't because Rafhedism (Shi'ism)

    is based on killing stealing , lying , ....etc which all banned in Islam and their big scholars like ayatola Khoemini said Muslims money and blood is Halal thats mean steal the Muslims money

    and kill all Muslims (sunnis) or what they call them Wahabis and it's Halal .. and he Said also dogs are better than Muslims( sunni) that a good reason for shiats to kill the Muslim and they are taking their chances so good in iran when they take the power in khoemini time the first thing they did is killing the Muslims(sunni) there and till now Muslims in Iran they have no rights .. i met an Iraqi Muslim and he told me horrible things that what was shia's doing to them .. BUT ! not only shiites who kill in iraq their are the (terrorists) Al Qaeda followers they call them selves as sunnis ( but they are not coz they are killing the Muslims "sunnis" ) so Iraq

    in a really big mess all i hope that they live in peace with each other every one practice his religion in peace i'm not agree with shiites religion but that don't give a right to kill him actually most of friends not Muslims they are from different religions Catholic , Atheist ,Christians .. i hope they leave in peace every one respect the other and everyone is free with his religion .. Muslims , Shiites , Christians and all other religions in Iraq must work together for their country ..

  • 1 decade ago

    All Muslim sects need to realise that The Quran and the Sunna "teachings and actions of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و السلام" are intended to be Mercy upon Mankind.

    All Muslim sects need to realise that Allah will Ask us: What have this child done to loose her father? and what have you done to prevent that?

    All Muslims need to realise that declaring the infiedelity or Kufr of someone even if he's a Jew or Christian or whatever is an ultimate and exclusive right to Allah سبحانه و تعالى , not to any human.

    All Muslims need to read the verse that:

    "whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind" 5: 32

    All Sunnis and Shiats need to realize the meeting of Muhammad Alghazali "Imam Al Sunnis" and Al Khumenie "Imam Al Shiats" were they set the golden rule:

    "Cooperate on what we agree upon and forgive each other for what we disagree upon".

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    sunni and Shia are in peace, that's only happening in Iraq and God knows who's behind it.

  • 1 decade ago

    You know what can be done?

    The United States could back off - leave the Middle East to figure out their own problems.

    A very long time ago, the British took control of what was then India (both Pakistan and India), used them, subjected them to feeling inferior and unworthy, put forth suspicion in the minds of muslims and hindus against each other, and hence forth resulted in the division of India into India and Pakistan. That was one interesting religious war that is still going on but on a much smaller scale!

    Then, we had the breaking down of Russia - the troops that were used were actually trained by the US, since their birth, certain ideas were fed to young children, and were made to believe they were right.

    A lot of people in the past have abused their power to get one thing - more power, more control, more anything they can get their hands on like hmm, oil. How bright of an idea is it to weaken the middle east by helping them fight against each other? It's all about weakening the others and stealing what they can from them. I think it's absolutely disgusting.

    Thanks for bringing this to light! At least, somebody is noticing what has been going on for so long! Somebody needs to take charge and stop this before the Americans have to bear the burden of countless more deaths and the bloodshed that will ensue if we continue to add fuel to fires that would be much better left untouched by America.

    For goodness sake, please leave the Middle East alone!

    Thanks for your insight and take care. :)

    EDIT: This is a response to Apope190's criticisms of my answers, as well as the thumbs down I recieved - I apologize that my answer didn't settle well with you. =)

    Firstly, outsiders are the ones who have fuelled this feeling of separateness amongst people in the Middle East. And the purpose of these invasions as well as the bloodshed is simply to further that cause considering the Iraqi's didn't want Americans in their country, yet the Americans decided they had the right to go in anyway. Tell me, as you've formulated this great plan, how are you promoting this supposed peace? by invading a country that doesn't want you and then killing off countless people in it? Do you realize that you are creating the hateful atmosphere, using these people's paranoia to your advantage and fuelling their negativity?

    My example only highlights the negative aspects? Do you really want to take a balance and compare the costs and benefits of that incident? It almost seems like comparing the costs and benefits of staying close to home or moving seem to take it very lightly. That's probably because you're so far away from the situation, you cannot understand the damage that lasts to this day; try thinking about people who saw it up close, and continue you to see the damage up close. I suppose the rapes, killings, injustices, servitude that resulted b/c of such an invasion was perfectly justified b/c of some good things the British brought with them that weren't actually noticed until much after. And one thing that amuses me is that you believe medicine and education didn't exist in that country before the British stepped in. This is the inferiority complex you have instilled in the people of that nation - that they aren't comfortable with the colour of their skin or anything about them b/c you build yourself up by breaking them down. Where do you get that anyway? How do you come to assume that people in the Middle East were savages before the British came over to help them? Were they too stupid, according to you? I think I'm missing something here, b/c I believe they've contributed to fields such as medicine, education, etc, just as much as any other place.

    I think you need to read my answer over and see a common pattern I was pointing out - all these power control tactics are used to break those countries down. This supposed strength you talk of about India, well that is exactly what you broke down. Do you realize that? You targeted a country that was prospering, and before it got to far, you pried it into pieces. Isn't that what happened to Russia (now the USSR)? I'm sure there are more historical examples.

    I would like you to accept some things here:

    What my answer's intention was, and what I meant you to understand is that you will never "better" a country by invading it by force, as you claim. You have to realize that when you punish a child through physical punishment, they only come back to bite you from behind in the end, even if they don't behave that way on the surface level. Hmm, can you see that happening, maybe in the future? Do you realize how many enemies you're making like this? Take a step back, and breathe in the view - it's smoky and contaminated. I'm sure you see positives in the people that die everyday because of these useless wars. I'm sorry, but I have enough empathy to not be able to look at many of the gory and bloody pictures of innocent children (killed in the Iraq war), who are probably only feeling one thing right now, and that is vengeance. Remember this for the future, b/c this is where the whole vicious cycle of revenge and violence begins

    And we can stop it now: we can leave them alone. NOTHING good can come from war, or from promoting war. Nothing good ever came from handing rifles and twisted vendettas to young impressionable children in the past either, b/c that's how dangerous people like Al Qaeda came into being. Remember that.

    Just because there have been barbaric and unjust military invasions in the past does not mean that we should continue the cycle. We are supposed to learn from the past, not repeat our mistakes over and over again. Maybe it's time you picked up a history book or maybe a mirror, and see what (not who) you are becoming. It's not pretty; you're only making people hate you.

    And I don't see any way you could make a positive impact in Iraq, I guess once everyone is dead, you'll have all the peace you want? I don't know. While you have an idealistic approach, (and I urge you to keep you optimisim) take it from someone who's a conscientious objector to war and violence, someone who's seen the real evils of the world up close, don't support this, don't urge it on. You are not being realistic. In the real world, we can't just invade another country and expect them to hold hands with us around a campfire.

    I think handing weapons to these people, is like handing a knife to an angry kid. I ask: What's in it for you? Another breaking down of a victim-child? Wouldn't the adult way to deal with this be to not look for your personal gain, wouldn't it be wiser to pull them up instead of taking away the little power they do have?

    I'm giving you very sane and good advice: Don't give the world a reason to hate you. Please, don't support this. It's a personal vendetta, not a cause.

    I will pray for you; not as a Christian, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist, an Athiest, or any other religion or faith. I pray for you as a person who believes in God, and respects ALL religions for their great ideology to bring morality and law into the world. So I really hope when I pray for you, everyone's God included, will be able to help you see that waging a war, or aiding someone else's war is not the answer to anyone's problems.

    Take care, and may you help others find peace in a non-violent, non-intrusive, democratic and positive kind of way. =)

    Source(s): EDIT 2 especially for Apope190 =): The only reason it is laughable for you to believe other people could be prosperous and intelligent without your aid is because of this egotism and superiority complex. Do you really think the color of your skin makes you better or smarter than those people. Sweetie, before you make such sweeping statements, perhaps, you should back them up with some actual SOURCES. Once you can do that, we'll talk. India was prospering - that was the problem! So the Brits came over and took control. Of course, the Brits stole their precious diamond. These British people took over the land of people who rightfully owned it, and didn't pay a penny in return. Instead as a repayment, the Indian people were put in servitude. And no actually, the British shot off orders and for very little pay they Indian blood and sweat was used for the personal purpose of the Brits. (The British were treated like kings and queens, while the Indians were treated like garbage in their OWN country!) By the way, before the British invasion, the Hindus and Muslims were actually able to live with each other. If I'm correct, didn't the division happen after the British escapades (again a simple case of fuelling the paranoia that existed on a much smaller case, but was exaggerated into something much bigger)? And by the way, is twisting someone else's words another form of persuasion? I guess it must be for you - I never suggested they created it. I suggested that it was "fuelled" by them over and over again - look up the meaning of that word in the dictionary if you're unsure. You are right: they are milking someone esle's weakness as far as it will go, and I find that incredibly childish. And by the way, I do realize that American men and women are in fact dieing there, (of course not in the numbers that the Iraqi's were slaughtered) but still in very high numbers, and that only makes me wonder how heartless you are? How selfish do you have to be to allow your own to be killed in a war only to pursue your personal vendetta? I find that despicable. The BILLIONS OF DOLLARS you're pouring are again to promote those personal benefits. Considering you seem to think yourself a logical person: wouldn't it be smarter to spend that money on YOUR OWN COUNTRY and YOUR OWN PEOPLE to help and better them. You could work on your healthcare system, or education system, or anything else for that matter - I'm sure tons of people would be very happy with that. How is Iraq supposed to be an example of peace and security, when you took it over by waging a war against them and using force? Isn't that a bit hypocritical? I'm sorry, but that IS a bit laughable. You do realize that you are leading by example, right? Perhaps, if America didn't constantly butt in, the Middle East would get a chance to solve their own problems. Perhaps if America didn't consistently fuel the fires burning inside those people, they would be much better off. Give them a chance to breathe - a moment when you're not lurking in the middle east - historically you've been there for quite a while haven't you? Did you know that Indians, Muslims AND even Christians do exist in India and Pakistan as well as many other Middle Eastern countries (if in small numbers). As for your argument of preparing those countries for great religious leadership - didn't you claim earlier that you educated India to come to the great height that it's achieved - well please take a look at both India and Pakistan's political history following the British take-over and let me know of the amazing differences it made, b/c I don't see them. I am glad that you can see how open-minded the questioner is. I completely agree with him, and think of him as very intelligent for being able to point that out. We need more people like him. People that realize that it is not ok to use others for personal gain or to give them the tools to tear each other apart. You're right, they take (outsiders). Maybe that's where it should end. This is not a give and take deal, where you give someone some of your bread so you can give them some of your butter. That kind of giving and taking doesn't put countless of lives at risk. It's not a game. It never will be. WAR is NOT a GAME! It is not about costs and benefits because the costs are always higher than the benefits, and the benefits mean nothing when they are at the cost of numerous innocent lives. There is a civil way of dealing with every problem. After all we're not children - and this trade (this give and take) is really not a fair trade, as can be seen. The one lesson that history is supposed to teach us, is to not repeat the same mistakes over and over again. How can we go over and wage war on other countries, when we teach our own children that violence is not the answer to any of their problems. I'm sorry, but I see this simply as a case of a bigger guy using his power to bully a little guy, and that just doesn't seem fair, in any situation. You know what's funny though? I responded to everything you said - but you ignored a lot of the things I said - like for example the whole costs-benefits argument? You're still harping on about how great it was for the British to treat the Indians like that. I guess it was totally worth it. Let me tell you; India would be way ahead by now, if the Brits hadn't come into the picture. The APPROPRIATE way for them to be able to work out their problems is not by handing them weapons and urging them on to continue this behaviour. It is by sitting them down, and talking to them, reasonably; preferably not Americans, because the damage is done from that side, and their word probably won't hold much weight. Peace can be promoted in other ways than war. Peace is promoted through awareness - and I do believe tons of Americans as well as others travel to other countries to spread that message - but it is done on a much smaller scale. Now if the Americans truly have these people's best interest at heart, instead of spending so much on a useless and barbaric war, they would invest it into awareness and education that happens on a much larger scale. It can be done, just not by waging war.
  • 1 decade ago

    Can't we just let them finish themselves off?

  • Nunya
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    First thing is to teach the shia what the word bidah means.

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