The conflict between Sunnis and Shiites. It goes back nearly 1,400 years. Today it is tearing Iraq apart. But the two branches of Islam have not always been openly hostile, and in many parts of the world they live together peacefully. Lucky Severson talked with a prominent Middle East scholar about the rivalry's history, and why it has exploded recently, and what the prospects are for the future.
by Vali Nasr (W.W. Norton & Company, 2006)
It is clear today that America cannot take comfort in an imagined future for the Middle East, and cannot force the realization of that future. Such an approach guided the path to … More
Read correspondent Lucky Severson's August 7, 2006 interview in Washington, D.C. with Vali Nasr, a professor in the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.
Read extended interviews with WASHINGTON POST correspondent Anthony Shadid about the upcoming Iraqi elections and the role of religion in Iraqi society.
In response to multiple attacks on foreigners, the UN, the Red Cross, Oxfam, and Care International have pulled their staffs out of Iraq. Yet other humanitarian aid workers remain, risking their lives to help the needy. Their work is difficult, not only because of the violence, but because many Iraqis are suspicious of them, wondering whether aid workers are really occupiers.
The new governing council in Iraq met this week, a first step toward creating a constitution and holding elections. The council includes representatives of all the country’s major religious and regional groups. But on the ground, U.S. forces continue to take casualties almost every day. More
As the U.S. declared Saddam Hussein's regime ended, one huge diplomatic question outstanding was whether victory in Iraq would lead to new steps toward peace between Israel and the Palestinians. After two years of the latest violence, are the two sides ready to negotiate? How much pressure will the U.S. apply?
Carol Zaleski is a professor of religion at Smith College and her husband, Philip Zaleski, is a religion writer and editor. Together they are writing a book about prayer in all cultures, and both have much to say on the role of prayer during wartime.
In Jordan, next door to Iraq, humanitarian aid workers have relief supplies but only limited access to Iraq. There are daily demonstrations in Amman against the war in Iraq and the American government. Opposition to the war is overwhelming among both Muslims and Christians.