Tony Blair this week pledged to re-unite the Shia and Sunni branches of the Muslim world during his last year as British Prime Minister.
Speaking in Manchester on the eve of his last Labour conference, he pointed to the 1300 year old schism as one of the causes of conflict in the region and pledged to bring the two sides together. ‘For too long we have seen the global Islamic community arguing over this um, big difference. But we cannot let this one sticking point, or points, however many there are, I’m not sure, continue to be the source of unnecessary conflict.’
However the press conference ended in some confusion as journalists failed to suppress their laughter when Blair repeated his pledge to meet every Shi’ite leader in the Middle East. The British PM finally walked off the podium when one reported shouted out ‘Sunni and Shia? I thought they split up after ‘I Got You Babe’.’
jof (thanks to Andrew John)