Tracing The Origins Of The Sunni-Shiite Split

A fresco painting from the Chehel Sotun Palace in Isfahan, Iran, depicts Persian warfare during the Safavid dynasty period. (Adam Jones/Wikimedia Commons)

The fighting in Iraq has again exposed the split between Sunnis and Shiites. The divide was also a feature of the U.S.-led war in Iraq, especially in 2007 when deadly sectarian violence spread across the country.

That year, NPR produced a series of reports on the Sunni-Shiite split. One of the stories was done by NPR’s Mike Shuster. We are rebroadcasting that piece today.


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