Recently, violence and protests in Iraq have erupted between the Sunni and the Shia within the city of Fallujah. Anti-government protesters have blocked the main highway to protest both the government of Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister and to also hold the funerals for the five individuals who were killed by government troops. In addition to the five individuals killed by troop fire, another 40 individuals have been injured during the protests. During the gathering, Sunni protesters hoisted caskets of the dead individuals through the crowd, waived Iraqi flags, and shouted comments aimed both towards Nouri al-Maliki and the government as well as towards Allah. These latest protests have stemmed from tension between the two groups the Sunni and Shia. Even a year after the United States troops left the country, tension and violence between the ethnic groups in the country have continued to escalate. Previously in the months prior to this demonstration, Sunni-led protests arose following the attacks by Shia-led authorities on Sunni minorities within Fallujah. It was also stated that “The Sunni minority who used to have great positions of power say … they now feel they have no role in the future of Iraq”, which is creating a large amount of tension and frustration.
Since the year 680 A.D, the Sunni and Shia have been split in a battle over who is the rightful successor of the Muslim world. The tension and battle between the two groups stem from two separate philosophies on the issue: Shia’s believe that the successor should be a descendant of the prophet, while the Sunni’s argue that the successor should be simply a good practicing Muslim. The first clash and split between the two groups originated from the battle over the rightful successor between Hussein and Muawiyya. Since that time, the Sunni’s and the Shia’s have continued to battle over this issue and tension as well as violence between the two has also continued to escalate over the years. Currently, with Shia power and control in the government following Saddam Hussein’s fall from power, Sunni’s have seen a significant loss of power and have since seen violent government attacks against them.