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The Muslim Civil War

Is the split between Sunnis and Shiites in the Middle East now deeper than the animosity between Israel and the Arabs?


[Middle East] It may look like this, considering some of the Arab governments' reaction to Hezbollah's attacks on Israel. Even as Israeli bombs fell on Beirut and Tire, Saudi Arabia – perhaps the most conservative of all Muslim Arab states – condemned Hezbollah for exacerbating the conflict with

Israel. Never before has a state that considers itself the leader of the Arab Muslims supported Israel so openly. Egypt and Jordan have also condemned Hezbollah.

Are we witnessing a fundamental shift in relations between Arab nationalism and Islamic sectarianism? Is Saudi Arabia's Sunni government more frightened by Shia Islam than it is faithful to the Arab community and the Palestinians?

The Arabs' condemnation of Hezbollah suggests that the sectarian divide – which is already evident in Iraq – is deepening and intensifying throughout the Middle East. George W. Bush wants to create dynamism in the stagnant society of the Arab world by pitting modern forces against traditional ones. . .

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