In the new AQA GCSE Religious Studies our students have to know more than just ‘Muslims believe…’ or ‘Muslims do…’ for their exam paper about Islam and instead need to be specific about the different types of Muslims and their specific beliefs. So in class we often refer to Sunni and Shia Muslims, and we try to specify when their beliefs and practises are different.
The Council on Foreign Relations has a really interesting set of articles about the Sunni-Shia Divide which outlines the origins of the schism; modern tensions; practising the faith; sectarian militants and flash points.
Looking at the articles though I was left wondering who the Council on Foreign Relations were; we all need to check where our facts and knowledge are coming from, especially in 2017, when the media is so full of bias and fake news.
Interestingly the Council started in 1921 in the USA and has had all sorts of members from past presidents, media owners, Federal Judges and ambassadors. Below are its founding members:
On its website it says it is ‘an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher’.
We always need to check our source of information especially when there is so much politics involved in Religion.