The Killing of a Muslim Teenager in the UK Reignites Online Shia-Sunni Rivalry

Published May 21st, 2020 - 08:18 GMT
The Killing of a Muslim Teenager in the UK Reignites Online Shia-Sunni Rivalry
Political competition between leading Sunni and Shiite religious states has been fueling the current hating sentiment between the two religious groups. (Twitter: @Teymour_Ashkan)

News of the killing of a Muslim young student in Blackburn last Sunday has sent shock waves across the local and Muslim communities in the UK.

19-year-old Lebanese-born Aya Hachem was shot dead while walking towards a grocery store earlier this week. 

According to police's initial reports, the young law student at the University of Salford was "not the intended target," yet the police reported arresting several people who might be linked to the attack.

Immediate responses among the Muslim community grieved the loss of Aya, with many expressing their fear that the attack is another Islamophobic one.

However, some online commentators reported that after details explaining that Aya belongs to the Shitte minority of Islam were revealed, many Sunni Muslims seemed less interested in her tragedy. They also noted that a good number of Sunni Muslims withdrew donations they had made earlier in support of Aya's grieving family.

Some users even suspected that Aya could have been a victim of Sunni discrimination against Shia Muslims. 

For years, the rivalry between Sunni and Shitte Muslims has often surfaced in many online discussions, especially as each group continues to blame the other for the killing of notable historical figures in Islam, most notably the 680 AD Battle of Karbala.

It's argued that political competition between leading Sunni and Shiite religious states, specifically Saudi Arabia and Iran has been fueling the deepening divisions between the two religious groups, particularly after Saudi Arabian prominent clerics repetitively suggested that Shitte Muslims "might not qualify as Muslims after all."


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