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Sectarian Divisions | UK US Essays
  • October 10th, 2017

Sectarian Divisions

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Requirement: At least 500 words
One common misconception about Islam is that its sects are inherently stuck in violent tensions. Historically, there have been many tensions and clashes (see the Mottahedeh 2010 reading), but the sects have not been trapped in constant, unbroken violence. Sects like Shiism only took the shape that we know of today in recent centuries, as Black’s (2011) chapter indicates. Today, sectarian tensions are impossible to miss when studying the modern Middle East and its socio-political landscape. It is tempting to characterize these tensions as theologically motivated, but this depiction may be missing parts of the picture and uprooting the people involved from their context…
After completing the readings, consider how sectarian divisions overlap or do not overlap with other factors like politics and culture. Can we understand sectarian divisions without looking at the political context, for example? Use examples to support your insights.

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