Showing posts from December 25, 2013

Sunni-Shi’a strife inspires Houthi-Salafist conflict in Yemen

By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem Recent clashes between Houthis and Salafists near the town of Dammaj in north Yemen have raised questions whether the sectarian conflict is still local or has become an extension to the regional Iranian–Saudi confrontation. Today, nine people were reported killed in sectarian fighting in north Yemen between Shi’a Houthi rebels and Sunni Islamists backed by local tribes. The Houthis or  Ansarullah  is a Zaidi group founded by Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, who was killed by Yemeni army forces in September 2004. Zaidism is a Shi’a Islamic school originating with Zaid Ibn Ali, the grandson of Imam Hussein Ibn Ali. Zaidism is close to the Mu’tazili school in terms of theology. Zaidis have worked to protect literature from the school of Mu’tazili thought and books following the crackdown of their thinkers and followers and banning of their books by the Sunni Ash’ari authorities. The Mu’tazilah religious movement was founded in Iraq in the first half of the