08 November 2013

Many Sunnis and Shias Worry About Religious Conflict (Pew Research)


Excerpt:
Pew Research Center polls conducted in 2011-2012 find high levels of concern about sectarian tensions in several countries where Sunnis and Shias live side by side. These concerns are particularly pronounced in Lebanon, where fully two-thirds of all Muslims, including about half of Shias and 80% of Sunnis, say sectarian tensions are a very big or moderately big problem. Roughly half of all Muslims in Iraq, more than four-in-ten in Afghanistan and nearly a quarter in Iran say the same. The polls were conducted from November 2011 to May 2012 among a total of more than 5,000 Muslims in five countries with substantial numbers of both Shias and Sunnis (Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq and Lebanon).2 Although Shias make up only about 10%-13% of the world’s Muslims, three of the five countries surveyed (Iran, Iraq and Azerbaijan) have Shia-majority populations.3 Several of the countries polled also have a recent history of sectarian violence. This includes Lebanon, where a civil war was fought along sectarian lines from 1975 to 1991, and Iraq and Afghanistan, where bombings and other suspected sectarian attacks have occurred in the last few years.
See also Related Article: Muslim holiday of Ashura brings into focus Shia-Sunni differences (Pew Research, 14 November 2013)

 
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05 November 2013

75 Years Later: How the World Shrugged Off Kristallnacht

 75 Years Later: How the World Shrugged Off Kristallnacht, by Klaus Wiegrefe (Der Spiegel, 5 November 2013)

Excerpt:
This week marks the 75th anniversary of what Leipzig-based historian Dan Diner has called the "catastrophe before the catastrophe." This prompted the German Foreign Ministry to take the unusual step of asking 48 countries that had diplomatic missions in Germany in 1938 to search their archives for reports on the November pogrom. For months, the Foreign Ministry has been receiving copies of historical documents previously unknown to experts. Beginning next Monday, the Foreign Ministry and the Berlin Centrum Judaicum will display a selection of the documents at the New Synagogue on Oranienburger Strasse, in an exhibition titled "From the Inside to the Outside: The 1938 November Pogroms in Diplomatic Reports from Germany."