Is the Shia-Sunni Divide sustaining the ISIS?

Various Conspiracy Theories that are Afloat

There are so many conspiracy theories surrounding the ISIS, right from the fact that the US is secretly supporting and funding the group’s propaganda, to the fact that most ISIS beheading and other videos are fake. There is even speculation that the US, UK and Israel are collectively responsible for the creation of the ISIS to ensure their monopolistic control over the Gulf and Petrodollars. Well, there is no end to speculation and conspiracy theories. Only time can decide whether the reality is going to be revealed or not. But the fact that the age-old Shia-Sunni Divide that stems from the very origin of Islam, has been sustaining the onslaught of the ISIS is a definitely true fact. In fact, this very divide has been utilized as a potent tool for recruiting new fighters and suicide bombers by this Militant Group, and civilians are brainwashed into doing so.

Tracing the Roots of this Conflict

It was after the death of Prophet Mohammed that there was a succession crisis in Islam. While a certain group of Islamic followers (who would later give rise to the Sunni Sect of Islam) wanted the father of Aisha, the late Prophet’s wife to be the next leader and Caliph, there was another sect who differed in opinion and would eventually give rise to the Shia Sect of Islam. The Shias believed that the late Prophet had ordained Abi Talib (his son-in-law) as the rightful heir to the throne of the Caliphate as well as the religious successor of Islam.

Present Status

As of today, the opinions over succession no longer hold any relevance. In fact, the Shias and Sunnis have even intermingled and intermarried in many Islamic nations like Bahrain and Kuwait. Yet, there is a lot of difference in terms of their respective religious beliefs and practices, and the persecution of the minority Shias by the majority Sunnis remains a characteristic element seen in all the regions where the ISIS has gained ground. Owing to massive misinformation spread and radicalization from both ends, the ISIS Fighter who are Sunnis themselves, have taken great advantage of the already tense situation and spread further havoc.