The Islamic Divide

The terms Shiite (Shia) and Sunni are heard often in stories about the Muslim world, but few people really know what they mean. Religion permeates every aspect of life in the Muslim world and understanding the differences between Shiites and Sunnis is important in understanding the complex geopolitics of the Middle East.

The division between Shiites and Sunnis began in the years immediately following the death of the Prophet Muhammad, the founder of the Islamic faith. When Muhammad died in 632 AD there was a disagreement over who should succeed him as the political and religious leader of the Muslim world. One group of Muslims elected Abu Bakr, a close companion of Muhammad to be the caliph, or leader. However a smaller group believed that Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law, Ali ibn Abu Talib, was the rightful leader. The Muslims who believed that Abu Bakr should be Muhammad’s successor have come to be known as Sunni. Whereas the Muslims who felt Ali should have been the successor are now known as Shiite.

Abu Bakr was the first caliph, although Shiites considered him to be a usurper. He was succeeded by Umar ibn al-Khattab and Uthman ibn Affan, the second and third caliphs. In the year 656 AD, 24 years after the death of Muhammad, Uthman was murdered. After Uthman’s death Ali, whom Shiites had always considered the rightful leader, was finally elected to rule. Ali was opposed by Muhammad’s wife Aisha, the daughter of Abu Bakr. Aisha challenged his authority and criticized Ali for his lack of interest in bringing Uthman’s killers to justice. Aisha raised an army against Ali, which lead to the first Fitna, or Islamic civil war. Ali defeated Aisha at the Battle of Bassorah, also known as the Battle of the Camel. Ali’s reign was turbulent and he was assassinated in 661 AD.

Under the leadership of the first four caliphs (Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Ali), the political, social, and religious institutions of Islam were solidified. Islam spread far beyond the borders of the Arabian peninsula, east into the Persian empire, north into Byzantine territory, and west across northern Africa. After Ali’s death, however, Islamic unity splintered. Sunni Islam continued through the Umayyads and other dynasties that led to the powerful Ottoman and Mughal empires of the 15th to 20th Centuries. For Shiites, leadership was passed down through the Imams, who were believed to be divinely appointed from Muhammad’s family. The 12th and final Shiite Imam died in the late 9th Century. After several centuries a council was appointed to elect an Ayatollah, the supreme Shiite spiritual leader.

The divide between Shiite and Sunni Muslims began as a political one, but this ultimately led to some religious and theological differences. The divide between the two sects has grown over time. Shiites and Sunnis disagree on the identity of the Mahdi, the coming Islamic messiah. They also disagree on the interpretation of various key passages of the Quran and the hadith. The Quran (or Koran) is the Islamic holy scriptures – the word of Allah. While the hadith are teachings and traditions passed down from Muhammad – not divinely inspired nevertheless very significant. Yet while there are differences in beliefs, both Shiites and Sunnis share the main articles of faith – the five pillars of Islam – which are the testimony of faith, prayer, giving to charity, fasting, and the pilgrimage to Mecca.

Shiites and Sunnis are the two largest Islamic sub-groups. However there are other sects, as well as divisions within the two groups. Sunni Muslims make up the majority, approximately eighty-five percent, of Muslims all over the world – they are spread from North Africa to Asia. However large populations of Shiite Muslims live in Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India.

Islam is the world’s fastest growing religion, and is second in size only to Christianity, but the god of Islam and the God of the Bible are not one and the same. Allah is presented as unknowable and capricious, and is derived from the ancient pagan moon god. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob delights in making and keeping His promises. Jesus summarized the entire Law of Moses in two commandments: Love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind; and love your neighbor as yourself. Nowhere does the Koran make such a commandment. Although there are many peace-loving Muslims, study of the Islamic religion will reveal that true Islam is anything but a peaceful religion. Islam demands the utter destruction of all Jews, Christians, and anyone who refuses to convert to the Islamic faith. It is a warrior code that demands Muslims live and die by the sword.

The truth about Islam is exactly the opposite of what you will hear on the news. Many Americans believe that Islam is a religion of peace and that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. In public schools we teach our children a doctrine of tolerance, and in some schools students are even required to memorize passages of the Koran. While in comparison, Islamic children are taught that America is the Infidel. We are the enemy. When the towers came crashing down on September 11, 2001 and thousands of innocent people were killed, Muslims all over the world danced in the streets and praised the hijackers. Islamic terrorists are referred to in the West as radicals and extremists, while in the mid-east they are heralded by fundamentalists as martyrs and heroes, and the families of suicide bombers are rewarded monetary pensions. The disparity between the two perspectives is staggering, still Americans are not willing to face the truth about Islam.

[Editor’s note: This is a highly condensed overview of early Islamic history as it pertains to the division between Shiites and Sunnis. It is important to note that Islamic sects tend to disagree on many aspects of key historical events (one man’s hero is another’s villain). See the links below for more detailed information. Also, check out our briefing pack The Sword of Allah to learn more about the origins of the Islamic faith.]

Related Links:

 • Islam – CARM
 • What’s the Difference Between Shi’ah and Sunni? – Christianity Today
 • The Sword of Allah – MP3 Download – Koinonia House
 • A Legacy of Hate – MP3 Download – Koinonia House
 • Strategic Trends: The Rise of Islam – Koinonia House

Copyright © 1996-2006 by Koinonia House Inc., P.O. Box D, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83816



The World’s Tallest Building

The the worlds newest tallest building is about to be completed, looks amazing, should be safer than going to space to get a better view of earth


Order year: 2003
Construction start: 2004
Project type: Mall, residential and retail facilities and world’s tallest skyscraper
Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Estimated investment: Dh800 million (mall, residential and retail facilities); Dh3.9 billion (tower)
Completion: 2006 (mall); 2007 (tower)
Retail space: 5 million square ft
Shops: >1,000
Car parking: 16,000 spaces
Key Players: Sponsor EMAAR Properties PJSC
Lead contractors, designers, architects and engineers:
DC Architects PTE Limited, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, Bauer Spezialtiefbau, Middle East Foundations, Turner Construction Corporation, Grocon, Lerch, Bates and Associates Incorporated

Image is from BBC comparing the biggest buildings,

You can’t say they don’t have a vision. Remarkably, the inspiration for the tower comes from – a flower. The Hymenocallis is a plant widely cultivated in Dubai, India and around the region. It’s harmonious structure is one of the organizing principles for the design.

The Foundation

Btw, some people are talking about CN Tower of Toronto not being in that comparison chart. CN Tower is not a building, its the tallest standing structure.

The Gospel In Genesis

This blew me away when I discovered it.  I hope it will impress you too.  Click here for the full reference.

Hebrew English
Adam Man
Seth Appointed
Enosh Mortal
Kenan Sorrow;
Mahalalel The Blessed God
Jared Shall come down
Enoch Teaching
Methuselah His death shall bring
Lamech The Despairing
Noah Rest, or comfort.
So, the Old Testament patriachs names spell out the Gospel message: "Man (of) Sorrow (Jesus) (was) appointed mortal (made flesh) = The Blessed God Shall Come Down (to earth) Teaching.  His death shall bring the despairing rest and/or comfort."
Thanks to Chuck Missler for his intrepid research to uncover this treasure.
Thanks be to God Most High for making His plan known from the beginning and having a loving plan that includes you and me in it.

Kasrils – Minister of “Intelligence”?


September 4, 2006

Kasrils – Minister of "Intelligence"?




Dear HonestReporting Subscriber,

South African Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils is well-known for his anti-Zionist views, which he regularly promotes in the pages of South African newspapers and beyond. Kasrils’ latest diatribe appears in the South African Mail & Guardian. Referring to the recent Lebanon conflict, Kasrils uses a clever sleight of hand to sum up his own feelings by quoting Norwegian writer Jostein Gaarder:

We no longer recognize the state of Israel. We could not recognize the apartheid regime. We call child murderers ‘child murderers’. We do no t recognize the principle of a thousand Arab eyes for one Israeli eye.

Kasrils allows himself the license to project his own distorted view of Israel without taking responsibility, while failing to mention that Gaarder actually sought to distance himself from his original article that aroused high-level condemnation in Norway, where it was published.

In keeping with Kasrils’ non-recognition of Israel’s right to exist, he questions Jewish rights to their homeland while ignoring the fact that Jews had lived uninterrupted for hundreds of years before the first waves of mass immigration at the end of the 19th century. Kasrils falsely claims that "from the onset, Zionism aimed at the dispossession of the indigenous population so that Israel could become a wholly Je wish state." This, despite all the evidence to the contrary, including Israel’s 1 million Arab citizens currently living in the state with equal rights under the law to Israel’s Jewish population. 

Referring back to the 1947 UN Partition Plan, Kasrils claims that "Israel acquired the power, aid and resources to expand to 78% of the former territory", conveniently forgetting that this territory was actually acquired in wars of self-defense as a direct result of Arab attacks from those very territories.

Bizarrely, Kasrils also claims that "Lebanon, too, has been a part of Zionist annexation plans. Israel long regarded the Litani river to its north as its natural border…" and that Israel "still holds on to strategic farmland" despite the fact that the UN verified that Israel no longer occupied Lebanese territory following her withdrawal in 2000. Indeed, the Sunday Telegraph, referring to the Shebaa Farms, states that "Syria – which has long insisted that the disputed land is mostly Lebanese – refuses to demarcate the border between the two countries, as demanded by UN Security Resolution 1559, making it more difficult for a settlement to be reached. Some diplomats suspect that Damascus does not want to deprive Hezbollah of its original justification for its struggle with Israel."

After accusing Israel of "ethnic cleansing", Kasrils then employs a despicable moral equivalence:

We feel sorrow for those who died under rocket fire in Israel. But we do not blame Hizbullah or Palestinian resistance any more than we blamed South Africa liberation forces when civilians died. We blamed the racist policies of a corrupt government that cynically placed its own people in the line of danger.

Contending that Israel‘s leadership purposely placed its own citizens in danger to serve its own agenda, Kasrils claims that :

To them the terror of their own citizens, fleeing south or hiding in their bomb shelters, is an acceptable part of their cynical calculations.

Finally, employing the Nazi analogy as well as advocating for Israel to be treated in the same way as apartheid South Africa, Kasrils concludes:

Like Gaarder, we must call baby killers "baby killers" and declare that those using methods reminiscent of the Nazis be told that they are behaving like Nazis. May Israelis wake up and see reason, as happened in South Africa, and negotiate peace. And finally, yes, let us learn from what helped open white South African eyes: the combination of a just struggle reinforced by international solidarity utilising the weapons of boycott and sanctions.

See here for more on why Israel is not an "apartheid state".

Ronnie Kasrils’ extreme views could be dismissed were it not for his position as a member of the South African government with the ability to disseminate his one-sided and distorted hatred for Israel through the mainstream media, including outside his home state. Unfortunately, the Mail & Guardian is his latest platform.

Letters to the Mail & Guardian –


On 31 August, a Palestinian infiltrated the British Embassy in Tel Aviv, threatening to kill himself if he was not granted political asylum in the UK. According to the Jerusalem Post:

A tense six-hour standoff ended safely Thursday as police subdued the Palestinian. Police SWAT teams charged the man as he momentarily put down his pistol to eat food that had been brought to him. The pistol, police then discovered, was a toy….

British officials made an immediate decision to invite Israeli police to enter the embassy compound, which is considered sovereign British territory….

So, Israeli forces were invited into the compound, spent six hours trying to negotiate and then subdued the "gunman" with no shots fired or any injuries to police or the Palestinian. Yet, the Associated Press and the BBC published the story under the following headlines:

  • AP: Israeli Police Storm British Embassy
  • BBC: Commandos storm Tel Aviv embassy

A misleading headline can create a totally different perception, and in this case, presents another example of how Israel is portrayed as the active party or ‘aggressor’ irrespective of her role in the story. HonestReporting urges subscribers to be aware of this subtle yet insidious form of media bias.

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The reason petrol costs so much

During the construction phase……
Dubai , United Arab Emirates

All finished.             Notice the palm trees outside……….

Remember, this is in the middle of the desert…. The very HOT desert where temperatures get up to 120 degrees…..


But true…..

The INSIDE view:

We wonder why is petrol  $1.81 a litre for unleaded?
So they can ski in the desert!!!


Setting the record straight.