Sunni and Shi'a Muslims Work Together in Huntsville

November 18, 2005

Source: The Huntsville Times

On November 18, 2005 The Huntsville Times reported, "News broadcasts from Iraq report Sunni and Shi'a, or Shi'ite, Muslims attacking each other as each group struggles for supremacy in the nascent government. The conflict, local Muslim leaders say, is not representative of usual Sunni-Shi'a relations. In Huntsville, Sunnis and Shi'as work together to hire Qur'an scholar Mohamed Nasr, who is also an officer in the U.S. Army, to teach their children their sacred text and Arabic, the language of the book. News from Muslim countries around the world tells of places where the local interpretation of Islam sanctifies oppression of women and violence toward both infidels and Muslims. In Huntsville, devout Muslims work to explain that the Prophet Muhammad delivered a message and example of mercy to enemies and respect for women, and that both Sunni and Shi'a Muslims who follow the teachings of the Qur'an do the same... Members of Huntsville's three mosques, the Sunni at Islamic Center, the Shi'a at Alzahra and the Muslim Americans at Masjid Tauhid on Winchester Road, came together the first week of November to celebrate one of Islam's most important annual occasions [the celebration of Eid]. That unity, not the sectarian fighting in Iraq, is the true practice of Islam, the men say."