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Muslim Countries


The Muslim World (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Countries with more than 5% Muslim population. Sunni, green; Shia, purple;  Ibadi, mauve. 


As I noted in my last post, dated 29 December 2015, Sunni Muslims are more numerous than Shia Muslim. However, my statement may be confusing. The map above indicates that in Syria, purple, Shia Muslims are the majority. The yellow area of the map below, shown on 29 December, is home to the Kurds who enjoy a degree of autonomy but have been harmed by Isil. (See Kurd, Wikipedia.)

The map shown on 29 December could also lead one to believe that Isil occupies a large part of Syria. It does. However, that area of Syria, gray, is not densely populated because it is a desert. To measure density, we must rely on the dots. This is how populated areas are represented.


Syria 2015 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ibādī, Sunni and Shia Muslims

  • Sunni Islam
  • Shia Islam
  • Schools: i.e. Ibadi & Mu’tazila

Finally, in my last post, I indicated that most Muslims are either Shia or Sunni Muslims, which is true. However, there are smaller groups of Muslims, also called “schools.” For instance, there are Ibadi Muslims in Syria, OmanZanzibar, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and East AfricaThe Ibadi claim to have been founded 20 years after the death of the prophet Muhammad (c. 570 – 632 CE). Mu`tazila Islam is another school.

There are other Islamic “schools” or groups, but they do not seem to differ from one another significantly, which may not be the case. It may be that we use general terms in an attempt to simplify: Muslims, Christians, etc.


Angel Jibril (Gabriel) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Sunni and Shia Muslim: the difference

Having broached the topic of Protestantism, I should note that despite its various schools, the schism between Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims has not impeded peaceful coexistence, until now. But enmity is being created.


The difference between Sunni and Shia Islam is as follows. In the eyes of Sunni Muslims, Abu Bakr is the successor to prophet Muhammad (c. 570 – 632 CE), Abu Bakr was prophet Muhammad’s father-in-law. But Shia Muslims claim that Muhammad was succeeded by his son-in-law and cousin Ali ibn Abi Talib.

Violations of the United Nation’s Declaration of Human Rights

The West opposes Sharia Law. It does not do so because Sharia Law is the law in Islam. It opposes the Sharia Law because it allows violations of the United Nation’s Declaration of Human Rights.

The Quran

It has been said that Sharia Law is rooted in the Quran, or Koran, and the Hadith.

The Quran, or Koran, is a literary masterpiece.

It is widely regarded as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language.

Hence its immense popularity in Islam. It was revealed to the prophet Muhammad by God, Allah, through the angel Gabriel (Jibril) beginning on 22 December 609 CE, when Muhammad was 40. The book was concluded in 632, the year of Muhammad’s death. The Quran provides more literal[1] guidance than the Bible and, especially, the New Testament. But it should be noted that Muhammad’s influence is encapsulated in these words:

Mercy to all the creation.

(See Muhammad, Wikipedia.)

Had Jesus of Nazareth left a manuscript, it would have contained a variant of “Mercy to all the creation.” Jesus did not leave a sacred text. He left parables transmitted by his apostles. These parables show that Christ was merciful.


I will close by expressing fear that Russian President Vladimir Putin may be supporting Assad. I am not in a position to say whether or not he is fighting Isil, but I do not think Assad stands alone, no more than Isil. Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to be provoking the United States. I hope this is not the case. This situation calls for considerable wisdom on the part of United States President Barack Obama.


[1] As opposed to metaphorical.

With kind regards to everyone.

Rimsky-Korsakov‘s Schererazade
Artur Pizarro and Vita Panomariovaite (piano)


© Micheline Walker
30 December 2015