Many blogs like SaudiJeans, SaudiWoman and Living In KSA have recently talked about the story of Shia-Sunni conflict in Madina. I am not going to talk about the conflict and who is right or wrong because it is simply not in the area of my interest. I consider my self to be both Shia and Sunni in the same time. In the past, I devoted part of my blog to resolve the conflict between Islam, Christianity and Judaism but since we have a conflict within Islam, i think it is important too to discuss the possible resolutions of the conflict here and how it can be implemented.
The firs thing that psychologists and sociologists look for when they try to resolve a conflict is understanding the causes of it because simply we can eliminate the conflict by eliminating the causes of it. So I spent a lot of time thinking and researching about the causes of the conflict. Here, I will talk briefly about the causes and you are welcome to discuss and question anyone of them.
The Causes of Shia-Sunni Conflict:
- The Absent of Rationality and Independent Thinking in Saudi Society:
Our (web of belief) is built upon what we hear and see from our families and friends. We consider any information we get from our families and friends as facts. We don’t question, research or even doubt! We just believe what they tell us and that is it.
- Confirmation Bias
We are very bias. We don’t feel comfortable when we see something that may disconfirm our web of beliefs. Sometimes, We even feel threaten by that. because if what I heard isn’t true, this means that the persons ( my family and my friends) who told me about it are wrong. Therefore, we always seek to confirm what we heard or learned.
For example, if my father told me that people who belong to this sector allow adultery in their homes, then i would unconsciously make an image about them in my mind and then i would start looking at YOUTUBE trying to find anything that can confirm that, of course without questioning the reliability of that movie!
- The Absent of Communication Channel Between Shia and Sunni:
We live in one country and maybe in one small town but we don’t like to talk with each other. Every group views the others as an alien. Even in our universities, which is suppose to be the center of diversity, Shia students like always to be with Shia student and Sunni student like always to be with Sunni students. Even in the mosque, Sunni have their own mosque and Shia have their own mosque.
If you don’t talk to me, and I don’t talk to you, how can I understand you and how can you understand me? How can I know that what i heard about you is wrong or correct and how can you know that what you heard about me is wrong or correct? It is only by communication that we can have a better understanding of each other.