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Monday, September 9, 2013

Syria's war: Religious overtones

Syrian Refugees   (Public Domain)
CNN's Daniel Burke reports that there's no war like a religious war. 

Studies have shown that religious civil wars are not only "longer and bloodier than other types of clashes," but are also "twice as likely to recur and twice as deadly to noncombatants."

This certainly spells trouble for the current situation in Syria.  Burke explains that "Shiite Muslims from Lebanon, Iraq and Iran" are
joining ranks with Assad (who is neither Shiite nor Sunni, but Alawite – the Alawites are minority Muslims whom other Muslims sometimes consider heretical) against the Sunni Muslim rebels. The fighting is becoming increasingly radicalized – with both sides calling one another "infidels" and "Satan's army."

Wikipedia reports that although Sunni and Shia Islam are both major denominations, Sunni Muslims far outnumber Shiite ones in most countries.  The schism between the two groups can be traced back to the time of Muhammad's death in 632 – a time when succession disputes were rampant.

Christians comprise 10 percent of Syria's current population.  They, too, stand to lose a whole lot from this civil war.  The UN reports that "rebel fighters have targeted Christian communities, shooting up factories and detonating car bombs in Christian neighborhoods."   


Copyright September 9, 2013 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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