Again a Sunni terror organization killed Shia (Shiites).

Today more than 50 people lost their lives in blasts near the Shia shrine of Sayyida Zeinab, south of the Syrian capital Damascus.

The Islamic State (IS, ISIS or Daesh) praised itself to be the killer of so many Shia.

Because as Shia Muslims they belief in Allah, the Prophet and the Holy Qur’an as their Sunni brothers – but just a little different.

In total they are a ten percent minority within 1,5 billion Muslims, but a majority in Iraq and Iran.

Enough to kill each other? No salam, but war? No din and hilm, and no mercy– but bombs?

At the same time in Geneva the Syrian government and opposition groups gathered for UN peace-talkes- without the IS.

I discussed this hate-wave between Sunnis and Shia with high-ranking Shia representatives Riad (photo right)  and Saleh al- Hakim (left) from Najaf in Iraq. Riad is the son of the No 2 Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Saeed al-Hakim. 

We agreed:

  • The killing of Shia and Sunnis in Iraq, Syria, Pakistan and elsewhere must be stopped.
  • All must build a united front of common values.
  • Terrorism and religious extremism is the main threat for the Muslim world. There most people die by extremists.

Riad told me:

“We need human dialogue and find common ground. We all want to live in peace.The silent majority has to speak out against the radicals and IS. We condem the killing like Christians. The problem is not religious, but a political one.”

And most important: “We want to leave religion and politics separated.”

Signs of hope from an influential religious leader of the Shia majority in Iraq.

Needed is a Grand Strategy for Iraq and Syria now- with 33 elements.

One corner-stone is to start and fund a reconciliation process between the Sunnis and the Shia from day one, using best practices from all over the world.