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Mideast / Mecca Aftermath, Sunni-Shiite Friction #111166

ABC Evening News for Wednesday, Aug 05, 1987
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(Studio: Peter Jennings) Saudi King Fahd's commitment to keeping political violence out of Mecca, site of recent Iranian-instigated riot, noted.

(Paris, France: Pierre Salinger) Background to long-standing religious and political friction between pro-Iranian Shiite and Sunni Moslems examined; details given, scenes shown. Anti-Saudi, anti-US demonstration in Tehran, as bodies of some Iranian victims of Mecca riot were returned, noted. History of Islam's division after death of Mohammed explained. [Mideast expert Bassma Kodmani DARWISH - notes role of soc. classism in schism.] Est. number Sunnis (followers of Mohammed) and number Shiites (faithful to his son Ali) listed on screen; primary difference between the 2 sects explained. Ayatollah Khomeini's political exploitation of historical oppression of Shiites considered. ["The Arabs" author Peter MANSFIELD -notes implications of Shiite faith in martyrdom as means of reaching paradise.] Shiite populations of Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and potential political impact for Mideast considered. Khomeini's goals for Moslem world outlined.

Jennings, Peter;
Salinger, Pierre

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