Qaradawi is sparking a bit of a controversy in the region with his views on Shiites, which are not new. In this of all things, there are two routes to consider. One can point out the differences between the sects in an attempt to find common ground and bring about unity (which I think rarely works out as planned), or, one can point out the differences between the sects for the sake of pointing out differences.
In these weathered times, I sometimes think it would be easier, if not healthier, for everyone to simply keep to themselves if the ultimate goal is to keep the peace. The constant reopening of this old wound doesn’t do anyone any good as history has shown, especially with the sects now being highly politicized when it comes to Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, etc. When political conflicts are clouded with religious context, it makes them immune to resolution.
Moreover, the impact of any sunni statements regarding shiites always seem to have an enormous impact on this region’s youth. Taking Jordan as a sample, I have noticed a trend in recent years for young Jordanians to speak not only poorly of their fellow brothers in Islam, but, even worse, speak out of fear of them. For it’s one thing, and quite predictably a natural thing to disagree with the beliefs of an opposing sect, and it’s a whole other thing to fear them. These notions of a shiite revolution in the region, one that will end with a dominant Iran and a slaughtered sunni population is something I find a bit far fetched, but rings loudly in the younger corridors of Jordan.