The Muslim Times Editor for Pakistan
Members of the Internal Security Forces ride on their vehicle in the Bab al-Tebbaneh neighbourhood in Tripoli, northern Lebanon, Nov 18, 2013. Members of the ISF were deployed in Tripoli neighbourhoods of Bab al-Tebbaneh and Jabal Mohsen as part of security measures to ensure stability. Tripoli, like much of Lebanon, is divided along sectarian lines. —Photo by Reuters
The recent violence in Rawalpindi or the bombing of the Iranian embassy in Beirut are not the only manifestations of the intra-Muslim sectarian discord. The inability of Muslims to settle a 7th century dispute is now one of the biggest threats to global peace.
The Sunday Times recently reported that the Saudis and Israelis, being equally wary of a nuclear-armed Iran, were collaborating to stop the country in its nuclear tracks by any means possible. This includes giving Israel access to Saudi airspace to attack Iran. The sectarian differences between the Sunni state of Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran are maturing fast from future plans for armed conflicts to actual sectarian warfare that is already in full-swing in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon. At the same time, Pakistan and Afghanistan are experiencing the proxy sectarian warfare that has resulted in the deaths of thousands at the hands of violent extremists.
It remains today as one of the oldest and the bloodiest unresolved disputes. The Shia-Sunni schism is no longer a conflict about who should have inherited the leadership after the demise of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) but has evolved from being a sectarian divide to a dispute that could see the deployment of nuclear weapons by the unwary and trigger-happy monarchs in the Middle East. More