Recorded April 2007 by the Center for New Thinking.
The early split in the Muslim world between Sunnis and Shiites led to many centuries of war and confrontation. The majority Sunnis dominated in most centuries. But the rise of the Shiite Fatimids in North Africa and Egypt led to the emergence of a powerful Shiite empire for two centuries. Had the Turks not been converted to Sunni Islam the entire Arab world would have fallen under the control of the Shiites? But war exhaustion often led to periods of toleration and peaceful co-existence. Nevertheless, hatred was sustained by religious fanaticism.