Shi'ites: A Feared Minority

With the death of the Prophet Muhammad in A.D. 632, the conflicts that led to the great division of Islam between Sunnis and Shi'ites began. Today the Sunnis account for more than 80% of the world's 750 million Muslims, but the Shi'ites who predominate in Iran, Iraq and Bahrain and who have unstable minorities in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Kuwait, generate fears far out of proportion to their numbers. . . . The Shi'ites believe that the leadership of Islam should have remained in the Prophet's family. The Sunnis prefer to make such decisions...

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