After studying Arabic and Islamic studies at Oxford University and the American University in Cairo in the early 1970s, John McHugo’s career as an international lawyer took him to a number of Arab countries including Egypt, Oman and Bahrain over a period of more than a quarter of a century. He is an honorary Senior Fellow at the Centre for Syrian Studies at St Andrews, and a board member of the Council for Arab-British Understanding and the British Egyptian Society. He has also written on legal aspects of the Arab-Israeli dispute and advised Tim Farron, when he was leader of the Liberal Democrats, on Palestinian issues. His publications include A Concise History of Sunnis and Shi‘is, A Concise History of the Arabs and Syria: A Recent History.
A CONCISE HISTORY OF SUNNIS AND SHI’IS
The 1400-year-old schism between Sunnis and Shi is has rarely been as toxic as it is today, feeding wars and communal strife in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and many other countries, with tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran escalating. India, too, has not emerged unscathed from this schism, and has witnessed periodic violence between the two sects throughout history. In this richly layered and engrossing account, John McHugo reveals how this great divide occurred. Charting the story of Islam from the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad to the present day, he describes the conflicts that raged over the succession to the Prophet, how Sunnism and Shi ism evolved as different sects during the Abbasid caliphate, and how the rivalry between the empires of the Sunni Ottomans and Shi i Safavids contrived to ensure that the split would continue into modern times. Now its full, destructive force has been brought out by the struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran for the soul of the Muslim world. Definitive, insightful and accessible, A Concise History of Sunnis and Shi is shows that there was nothing inevitable about the sectarian conflicts that now disfigure Islam. It is an essential guide to understanding the genesis, development and manipulation of the great schism that for far too many people has come to define Islam and the Muslim world
Publisher: SPEAKING TIGER