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How Do You Tell A Sunni From A Shi'ite?

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posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 11:43 AM
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It's pretty clear, at least to me, that the violence in Iraq is a case of Iraqi's killing Iraqi's. This conflict is centuries old. It's also clear to me that Saddam controlled these factions with an iron fist. Al Maliki is too weak to control the situation, that is why he is doomed to fail.

But the conflict betwen Sunni and Shi'ite brings up a question: how do you tell a Sunni from a Shi'ite? I mean, apart from the religious split. How do Sunnis know that they are killing Shi'ites and vice versa? Do they look different? Dress differently? Do they live in distinct neighborhoods?




posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 02:00 PM
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One way is to tell by the persons name. There are apparently Sunni names and Shiite names. Alot of people now carry two ID's, one with a Shia name and one with a Sunni name to use depending on the situation.

I also think the locals can tell by the way a person talks, whether that person is Shia or Sunni, but not positive about that.



posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 02:28 PM
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The Sunni/ Shi'ite devide has its roots in Ethnic divisions that existed before the advent of Islam. The first Muslims were of course from the Arabian Peninsula. When they pushed their religion northward into Iraq, Syria, and Iran they were of course met with some hostility because they did not appreciate these "foreigners" from the Arabian peninsula conquering them. Shortly after these peoples (Iraqis, Persians, and Syrians) were conquered and accepted Islam, they still considered themselves different from the original muslims from the Arabian peninsula and held some animosity. When it came time to appoint a new Caliph, these peoples supported a Sheik Ali, while the Arabian Muslims supported another candidate. Sheik Ali was brutally murdered, and his followers then began to form the Shi'ite sect.

So Shi'ites are Syrian, Persian, and Mesopotamian in ethnicity while Sunis are Arabian (from Arabian Peninsula) in origin. Sunis may wear traditional Arab dress and speak different dialects of Arabic.



posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 06:11 PM
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Sunni's smile alot


Shi'ite's are rather smelly






No seriously, what he up above said


I do think its fantastic that Shiites and Sunnis have re-discovered that they hate each other more than they Hate Westerners !!



posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 08:20 PM
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Why would you want to tell the difference. The less difference the better.

The only way to tell is through the ID card, and even then it's probably fake.



I do think its fantastic that Shiites and Sunnis have re-discovered that they hate each other more than they Hate Westerners !


You and your government shouldn't keep your hopes up about that. There are shia's who've joined sunni resistance groups, and sunni's who've joined shia reistance groups. And no matter how much hate is around, everyone still hates your occupations guts.


^hotpinkurinal mint.

Informative, but one small correction, tha majority of Syria is sunni though not ethnically arab.

[edit on 20-12-2006 by Syrian Sister]



posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 08:29 PM
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I have a Sunni Mosque across the street from my business and a Shiite mosque about 2 blocks away. You cannot tell the difference between one and the other. I have not seen anything that would differentiate the 2.



posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 08:44 PM
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Originally posted by Syrian Sister


You and your government shouldn't keep your hopes up about that. There are shia's who've joined sunni resistance groups, and sunni's who've joined shia reistance groups. And no matter how much hate is around, everyone still hates your occupations guts.



Its easy to see the animosity, some 1400 years ago the Intellectually superior Persians etc where conquered by the Physically superior Sunni Arabs and forced to become Shiite Muslims and since that time have been the inferior Lap Dog of the Sunni Arabs, hell if i was a Shiite id also want to teach my Imperial Masters the Sunnis a lesson to !!




posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 08:55 PM
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I'd just like to let you all know that it is the shi'a muslims who want the destruction of anything and everyone non-muslim. The sunni may also call westerners kafur, but they do not in any way wish to kill people simply because they have different beliefs. I'm no expert on this subject matter, but that's what I've gathered in the several years I spent living in Northern Iraq, as a kurd. My parents are from Iran, but they moved to Iraq after the Shah was overthrown in the late 70's.



posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 09:30 PM
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Originally posted by Impreza
I'd just like to let you all know that it is the shi'a muslims who want the destruction of anything and everyone non-muslim. The sunni may also call westerners kafur, but they do not in any way wish to kill people simply because they have different beliefs.



There we go, all we need to do is arm the Sunni up to the teeth, and maybe the road to peace can begin !!


Saddam was a Sunni, seems we should of jumped in bed with him and went and smoked Iran and Co. instead!



posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 10:17 PM
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In case you didn't know, the kurds to the north are and have been helping the US throughout the whole course of this war. This is why you don't hear about terrorism outside of southern Iraq.

Saddam may have called himself a sunni, but he wasn't. He isn't even a muslim. He has nothing but hatred in his heart toward anyone that doesn't see things his way.

[edit on 20-12-2006 by Impreza]



posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 11:10 PM
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Mostly what you said is true impreza.

Still there are kurdish resistance groups, like ansar al islam, and shia resistance groups aswell.

you can't really generalise people

[edit on 20-12-2006 by Syrian Sister]



posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 11:41 PM
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I'm currently reading a history book on Arabs and Islam. One of the main differences between Sunni/Shi'i is that they disagree over which of the caliphs were 'true caliphs' and which were usurpers, particularly those right after Mohammed died.

from "A History of the Arab Peoples" by Albert Hourani, p487

The first four caliphs are known to Sunni Muslims as the Rashidun (the 'Rightly Guided' Caliphs):
Abu Bakr 623-4
Umar ibn al-Kattab 634-44
Uthman ibn Affan 644-56
Ali ibn Abi Talib 656-61


Both respect the hadiths, but sunni/shia seem to hold different ones higher than the other group does. Shi'is also have a yearly celebration called the ashura, commemorating a historic battle in their history. They also have different understandings of who the Mahdi is and what he will do.

In practice, though, there doesn't seem to be a lot of difference. I had two good Muslim friends in university, and I once asked them about this issue, and they said that there was basically no practical difference between the two. The issue was so unimportant to them that my two friends had never even asked each other whether the other was Sunni or Shi'i, because it didn't matter; the other was Muslim, and that was all they needed to know. When I asked, it turned out both were Sunni.

I don't know of any way to visually tell Sunnis and Shi'i apart, although it might be possible to some degree at least along racial/geographic lines. You could make a reasonable guess that an Arab from Saudi Arabia was Sunni, but you wouldn't always be right, for example.



posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 11:45 PM
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Originally posted by Syrian Sister
Mostly what you said is true impreza.


Everything he said is true, Hes lived in Iraq for years, I bet you havnt even been further than you local Mosque.



Still there are kurdish resistance groups, like ansar al islam, and shia resistance groups aswell.


Ansar al islam are Terrorists not resistance and they Attack other Kurds!



posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 11:57 PM
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Originally posted by Impreza
I'd just like to let you all know that it is the shi'a muslims who want the destruction of anything and everyone non-muslim. The sunni may also call westerners kafur, but they do not in any way wish to kill people simply because they have different beliefs. I'm no expert on this subject matter, but that's what I've gathered in the several years I spent living in Northern Iraq, as a kurd. My parents are from Iran, but they moved to Iraq after the Shah was overthrown in the late 70's.


Thats not true. Wahhabism (aka Al Qaeda and Chums) is a Sunni sect. Shia appear to be much more appeasable, in my expierience. It's the Sunni's who seem hell bent on converting you.

I currently work with some Shia Muslims, not a peep out of them.

At my last place of work, there were Pakistani Sunni's. You should have heard the bile that spewed from their mouths when I had a Bacon roll for breakfast! How I should convert to Islam, blah blah blah...

Needless to say, I went out of my way every day to have a Bacon roll every morning... Great stuff



posted on Dec, 21 2006 @ 12:03 AM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
I mean, apart from the religious split. How do Sunnis know that they are killing Shi'ites and vice versa? Do they look different? Dress differently? Do they live in distinct neighborhoods?


By their physical looks, there's no difference. The only way you can tell the difference is by which regions they're living in. There are towns in Iraq that are predominantly Sunni and others that or Shi'ite.

[edit on 21-12-2006 by DJMessiah]



posted on Dec, 21 2006 @ 12:06 AM
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Originally posted by stumason

Needless to say, I went out of my way every day to have a Bacon roll every morning... Great stuff



You have voted stumason for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.


Good Work Champion !!



posted on Dec, 21 2006 @ 05:30 AM
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Originally posted by hotpinkurinalmint
The Sunni/ Shi'ite devide has its roots in Ethnic divisions that existed before the advent of Islam. The first Muslims were of course from the Arabian Peninsula. When they pushed their religion northward into Iraq, Syria, and Iran they were of course met with some hostility because they did not appreciate these "foreigners" from the Arabian peninsula conquering them. Shortly after these peoples (Iraqis, Persians, and Syrians) were conquered and accepted Islam, they still considered themselves different from the original muslims from the Arabian peninsula and held some animosity. When it came time to appoint a new Caliph, these peoples supported a Sheik Ali, while the Arabian Muslims supported another candidate. Sheik Ali was brutally murdered, and his followers then began to form the Shi'ite sect.

So Shi'ites are Syrian, Persian, and Mesopotamian in ethnicity while Sunis are Arabian (from Arabian Peninsula) in origin. Sunis may wear traditional Arab dress and speak different dialects of Arabic.



That is patently false. The Shiia/Sunni divide started immediately after the death of Muhammad and is rooted on who should rule the faithful, a direct decendent of the Prophet or someone duely elected by the faithful. The Sunni said that he should be elected, the Shiia that he should be a desendent of the Prophet. Traditionally speaking Arabia tended to be Shiia until the advent of wahibism in the late 18th century and Iran was Sunni until the mid-17th century when a new dynasty adopted it as the state religion. Before that Shiia had tended more toward mysticism and had been the party of the dispossesed with Sunni being the party of power.



posted on Dec, 21 2006 @ 05:31 AM
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Originally posted by Syrian Sister
Why would you want to tell the difference. The less difference the better.

Well, Syrian Sister, I think you mean that the less we point out our differences and the more we emphasize how we should work together for the betterment of all mankind, the better off the world would be. If that's the case, then I agree with you.

But my question was serious. Iraqis attacking Iraqis. How can they be sure they are not attacking their own group?



posted on Dec, 21 2006 @ 06:22 AM
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I heard you put Sunni in one hand and Shiite in the other and see which one garners the most attention:


Sep

posted on Dec, 21 2006 @ 07:28 AM
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Originally posted by Impreza
I'd just like to let you all know that it is the shi'a muslims who want the destruction of anything and everyone non-muslim. The sunni may also call westerners kafur, but they do not in any way wish to kill people simply because they have different beliefs. I'm no expert on this subject matter, but that's what I've gathered in the several years I spent living in Northern Iraq, as a kurd. My parents are from Iran, but they moved to Iraq after the Shah was overthrown in the late 70's.


Oh yes, those Sunni Taliban in Afghanistan wanted nothing but peace for the humanity, same with al-Qaede, same with Hamas, same with Saddam, etc... (please at least back your statements up with some facts).


Originally posted by hotpinkurinalmint
The Sunni/ Shi'ite devide has its roots in Ethnic divisions that existed before the advent of Islam. The first Muslims were of course from the Arabian Peninsula. When they pushed their religion northward into Iraq, Syria, and Iran they were of course met with some hostility because they did not appreciate these "foreigners" from the Arabian peninsula conquering them. Shortly after these peoples (Iraqis, Persians, and Syrians) were conquered and accepted Islam, they still considered themselves different from the original muslims from the Arabian peninsula and held some animosity. When it came time to appoint a new Caliph, these peoples supported a Sheik Ali, while the Arabian Muslims supported another candidate. Sheik Ali was brutally murdered, and his followers then began to form the Shi'ite sect.

So Shi'ites are Syrian, Persian, and Mesopotamian in ethnicity while Sunis are Arabian (from Arabian Peninsula) in origin. Sunis may wear traditional Arab dress and speak different dialects of Arabic.


Ummmmm, Iran was a Sunni country, until the Safavid (16th century) dynasty saw Nationalistic-Shiasm as a possible uniting force in the country and hence declared it the state religion in order to confront the Sunni Ottomans. And the split came about as the result of different interpretations of the will of Muhammad. The Shias believed that Ali, Muhammad’s cousin and one of the first converts to Islam should have ruled whist the Sunnis believed Abu Bakr was the rightful Caliph.

Ali became the fourth and last Caliph believed to be legitimate by the Sunnis, whilst he was the first of the eleven (waiting for the twelfth) Imams for the Shias.


[edit on 21-12-2006 by Sep]



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