By Mark Anderson
The world’s Muslims fall into two major camps, Sunni and Shia, sometimes likened to Christianity’s Catholics and Protestants. But the similarity is superficial. In terms of the world’s total Muslim population, Sunnis and Shias disagree over what percentage each group owns, with Sunnis accounting for 80-90% of the total and Shias 10-20%.
After Muhammad’s death in 632 CE, the struggle over who should succeed him made Islam’s next half-century very turbulent. In fact, three of Muhammad’s first four successors were assassinated. The Sunni-Shia division goes back to that early conflict.
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