Explain the basics of Sunni and Shia Islam

Explain the basics of Sunni and Shia Islam


Four options this time. Please answer one of the following four questions:


1) First, explain the basics of Sunni and Shia Islam. What are we talking about here? What do the words mean? How did this split occur? What has been the impact?
Then tell me, in the words of Ali’s article, “What Makes America So Great for Sunni and Shiite Muslims?” Why is the U.S. so great, in this sense?

2) Describe the major themes and concerns of Wahhabism and Salafism (found in Prothero). What makes these forms of Islam attractive to some people? What human needs or inclinations do they address? Can you imagine how there could be similar groups in other religions? What would an opposite religious impulse look like?

3) As Prothero suggests on pp. 336-7, one strategy of Muslim feminists has been to make a distinction between the genuine Islamic religion (which is egalitarian) and historical Islamic societies (which have been sexist). What would be evidence for this argument? What would be its implications? Does this seem like a smart, persuasive strategy within a religious community?

4) How would you sum up the thesis of Eboo Patel’s article, “My Neighbor’s Faith: The Heroes I Was Looking For” (https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-heroes-i-was-looking-for_b_1501597)? How did he arrive at this conclusion? Do you think he’s probably correct? What in your experience confirms or contradicts his point of view?



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