Sunni vs. Shi'a

Strongly religious (including fundamentalist) vs. Secular

Shiite (Shi'i) Arabs

Sunni Arabs



Saddam Husein

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani

Moqtada al-Sadr










Iraq Timeline

632: The Prophet Muhammad, founder of Islam, died. Abu Bakr, his father-in-law, became the first Caliph.

656-661: Ali, husband of Muhammad’s daughter Fatima, was the 4th Caliph.

661-680: Mu’awiya, who was not a member of the Prophet's family, was Caliphs. He shifted the capital of the growing Muslim empire to Damascus.

680: Husayn, second son of Ali, was killed at Karbala.