Nytt

Rivningene mellom shiaer og sunnier er nå følbare blant USAs seks millioner muslimer. Det har vært tilfeller av vandalisering av shia-eiendom og trakassering og utestengning.

Escalating tensions between Sunnis and Shiites across the Middle East are rippling through some American Muslim communities, and have been blamed for events including vandalism and student confrontations. Political splits between those for and against the American invasion of Iraq fuel some of the animosity, but it is also a fight among Muslims about who represents Islam.

I Dearborn, Michigan, har rutene blitt knust i tre shia-moskeer og i flere butikker som er populære blant shiaer.

Long before the vandalism in Dearborn and Detroit, feuds had been simmering on some college campuses. Some Shiite students said they had faced repeated discrimination, like being formally barred by the Sunni-dominated Muslim Student Association from leading prayers. At numerous universities, Shiite students have broken away from the association, which has dozens of chapters nationwide, to form their own groups.

«A microcosm of what is happening in Iraq happened in New Jersey because people couldn’t put aside their differences,» said Sami Elmansoury, a Sunni Muslim and former vice president of the Islamic Society at Rutgers University, where there has been a sharp dispute.

Kampen i Irak er en kamp om makt, men fordi skillelinjene er religiøse får de også betydning for religionen. Henrettelsen av Saddam dreide seg mindre om menneskerettigheter, men om det faktum at Saddam ble martyr for sunnienes sak. Slik ble det oppfattet og presentert over store deler av Midtøsten, og også blant sunniene i USA.

Utfallet av krigen i Irak kan bli bestemmende på hvordan shiaene utvikler seg. Det er noen interessante nye fortolkninger av historien:

Many Shiites mark Ashura with mourning processions that include self-flagellation or rhythmic chest beating, echoing the suffering of the seventh-century Hussein. As several thousand Shiites marched up Park Avenue in Manhattan on Jan. 28 to mark Ashura, the march’s organizers handed out a flier describing his killing as «the first major terrorist act.» Sunnis often decry Ashura marches as a barbaric, infidel practice.


Iraq’s Shadow Widens Sunni-Shiite Split in U.S.