Al salaam a’alaykum or Good Day

While contemplating a nice Dominican robusto, I thought I would offer up a short refresher for anyone interested. I was discussing this issue the other night briefly with my in-laws and I wanted to follow-up with something that could be read since apparently many of our politicians do not take the time to understand foreign cultures.I think it is important and interesting or if you already know this, hit the escape button now.First of all, there are two main sects in Islam: Sunni and Shi’ite.

Sunni Islam is the largest denomination, although in some countries it is a minority.Sunnis have their historical roots in the majority group who followed Abu Bakr, an effective leader, as Muhammad’s successor, instead of his cousin and son-in-law Ali. The Sunnis are so named because they believe themselves to follow the sunnah or “custom” of the Prophet. Shi’ites are those Muslims who followed Ali, the closest relative of Muhammad, as Muhammad’s successor.

We Christians had a split that occurred between the Greek Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church in 1054 and then in the Protestant movement in the 16th century and there was some violence.And for my Jewish friends, in the last two centuries the Jewish community has divided into a number of Jewish denominations; each has a greatly different understanding of what principles of belief a Jew should hold, and how one should live as a Jew.

Back to Islam, I also mentioned Sufi Islam the other night though it is not exactly a sect, but the mystical expression of Islam. I like the poet, Rumi. Sufism might be compared to Christian monasticism in some regard, in that both emphasize a quiet, simple life focused on obeying and experiencing God.

This is the aspect of Christianity to which I personally adhere though I practice more traditional mainstream expressions as well. Opinions of Sufis differ within the Muslim community as they do within the Christian community.

Then there are the unique Kurds & the majority of Kurds are officially Muslim (though there are Christian Kurds as well). Most Muslim Kurds belong to the Shafi school of Sunni Islam. Mysticism practices and participation in Sufi orders are also widespread among Kurds. There is also a minority of Kurds that are Shia Muslims.

I wish our politicians on both sides of the aisle would take the time do their homework instead of spouting hogwash and misinformation. We can not ignore 1 billion people and their belief systems and their history. We should love them.

The Truth will set you free.

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