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Why Iraq is Such a Mess

In the May 27 issue of the British weekly The Spectator, Charles Moore writes about The DaVinci Code book and movie: "The idea that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had children?shows the wisdom of the Catholic Church in insisting on priestly celibacy. Where families and power meet, dynasties are created; and where dynasties are created, rivalries abound; and where rivalries abound, killing and war ensue.

The history of Christianity has been bloody enough as it is; imagine what it would have been like if Christ really had had children. Actually, you don?t need to imagine it?you can simply study the history of Islam. Because Mohammed had many wives and many children (though no surviving son), there was, almost from the beginning, a dispute about who was his rightful successor (caliph). That is why Sunnis and Shias fight one another to this day."

The Sunnis are the largest Islamic group. The Shias, the second largest group, are different from the Sunnis in that they reject the authority of the first three caliphs (Imams). They believe that only Muhammad, his daughter Fatima and the 12 descendents of Muhammad (the Imams) were all without sin. After Mohammed?s death, they followed Ali, was the cousin of the prophet Muhammad. After Ali?s marriage to Fatima, Ali also became his son-in-law.

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