How viscous is and has the conflict between Shia and Sunni muslims been?
Well, let me answer you of what I know already: Islam when it first was introduced as a religion, it was as we say today ‘Sunni’ which is a word derived from the Arabic word ‘Sunnah’ which means collectively the words+actions+example+ in the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad. Every Muslim is required to follow the example and teachings of the prophet of Islam. So, around 30 to 40 years after the death of Muhammad in 632 A.D., some people started to believe that the household and descendants of Muhammad, and especially Ali (cousin and son-in-law of the prophet) have a spiritual (and a political) role in the community. This is considered in main stream Islam as we would say ‘going overboard’, since even Ali prosecuted those who believe in this so called ‘heresy’; as Muslims consider anything that didn’t happen in the time of the Prophet, or never was acknowledged or said by him as something ‘alien’ from the religion. Yet, this belief lasted and survived through time. It became official a