Shia' means 'faction'

The Arabic word "shia'" means "faction" or "sect". In Arabic the word is femenine. The word contains the Arabic letter `ain which cannot be pronounced by most speakers of European languages, so a precise transliteration is difficult.

I don't think that folks in the West understand just how how much animosity there is between the Shia' and the Sunni Muslims. While Sunnis form a large majority in the Muslim world, Shia are very significant in their numbers, and they control Iran and (more or less) Iraq now. This is a very important shift in the equation of power, especially as the international community proves how useless and impotent its efforts are in preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

Anyway, I though this was an insightlful article from the IHT:

"Sunni clerics have stepped up their preaching against Shiites in recent weeks, declaring them again to be infidels. And King Abdullah, speaking of rumors that Shiites are seeking to convert Sunnis, said that such attempts would fail and that Sunnis would always make up the majority of the world's Muslims."



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