The Sunni-Shia conflict started when Prophet Muhammad died in the year 632, leading to a dispute over his succession as a caliph of the Islamic community across the world. It led to the battles of Siffin and Karbala. In the latter battle, Hussein ibn Ali and his household were killed by the ruling Umayyad Caliph Yazid I. This resulted into a permanent division among the Islamic community and occasional sectarian violence.
Although, both Sunni and Shia communities consider the Quran to be divine, they have different opinions on hadith. Consequently, there are differences in religious practice, traditions, and customs among the two major Islamic sects.
The word "Shia" means "follower". The Shias maintain that the Prophet used this word specifically for people who would follow Ali after his demise. The Shias do not recognize the first three caliphs of the Sunnis such as Abu Bakr, Umar, Othman. The Shias further believe that only God has the right to choose a representative to safeguard Islam, the Quran and Holy law.
Very recently, tensions and violent conflicts between the two Islamic communities have intensified during power struggles in Middle East nations, the Iraq War, and most recently the Syrian Civil War. The Iraq War killings have been overshadowed by the cycle of Sunni, Shia revenge killings.
The current violent conflict between the two Islamic communities has resulted in the formation of the self-styled ISIS and its advancement on Syria and Northern Iraq. Many experts hold that the Syrian Civil War has become overtly sectarian Islamic conflict in the region.
The analysts hold that currently some Muslim countries are funding extremist Deobandi Sunnis and Wahabis, while some others are supporting Shia militant groups resulting in revengeful cold-blooded attacks leading to the deaths of thousands of innocent Muslims very recently and the conflict continues as if to settle final scores.
Will the brutality of ISIS backfire or fire up passion for creation of a New Islamic World Order, let's watch and wonder?