There are many sects and sub-sects within the cult of Islam. The two biggest ones and Sunnis and the Shiites. Let's take a look at the loony Sunnis vs the shitty Shiites
1. Which Muslim sect is larger demographically?
Roughly 87 percent of the world's approximately 1.6 billion Muslims are Sunni. The remaining 13 percent are Shiite.
2. Which sect believes that Muhammad explicitly named Ali ibn Abi Talib, his cousin and son-in-law, as his successor?
Shias regard Ali as the first Imam after the prophet and therefore his rightful successor, while Sunnis recognize him as the last of the first four caliphs (known collectively as the Rashidun). They believe that Muhammad made no official appointment of a successor. This disagreement split the Muslim community into the Shia and Sunni branches.
3. Which sect is more hierarchical in structure?
Almost all religious Shiites follow an Ayatollah, a senior Islamic scholar, who issues edicts on how the laity should incorporate Islamic doctrine into everyday life. Sunni Islam is far less formal and centralized, and is "flatter" in its organization.
4. Which sect observes the holy month of Ramadan?
Both sects observe Ramadan, the ninth month of Islam's calendar. Ramadan is observed through fasting and prayer, in order to promote self-sacrifice and spirituality among the faithful.
5. Which sect observes Ashura as a holy day of mourning that can include displays of self-flagellation?
While Ashura is a minor day of fasting for some Sunnis, for Shiites it marks the martyrdom of Muhammad's grandson, Hussain ibn Ali, whose death was a key event in the Shiite movement's founding. Although Shiite scholars are divided on the practice, many Shiites beat or cut themselves to mourn Hussain's death.
6. Which sect recognizes Mecca as a holy city?
Though located in predominately Sunni Saudi Arabia, both Shiites and Sunnis recognize it as Islam's holiest city. It is believed to be the birthplace of Muhammad, and is the destination of the Hajj pilgrimage.
7. Saddam Hussein, who oppressed Iraq's majority sect, was himself a member of which sect?
Hussein was a Sunni. Despite being only 20 percent of the population of Iraq, Sunnis controlled the government and oppressed Iraq's Shiite majority until Hussein's regime was overthrown during the US invasion in 2003.
8. Osama bin Laden was an adherent of which sect?
Bin Laden was a Sunni, as is his terrorist organization, Al Qaeda. While bin Laden was militantly anti-West, he was equally anti-Shiite, calling Shiites "heretics" and "enemies of Islam."
9. Saudi Arabia is the most powerful country of which sect?
Saudi Arabia is home to the two holiest cities in Islam, Mecca and Medina. Both Sunnis and Shiites consider it a religious duty to make a pilgrimage, or hajj, to Mecca at least once in their lives.
10. Which branch of Islam did Syria's Alawites come from?
Alawites split from Shiite Islam more than 1,000 years ago, and have developed beliefs sharply at odds with mainstream Sunni and Shiite teachings. Among them is an expanded roster of prophets that includes Greek philosophers and a belief that only children whose parents are both Alawites can join the faith, often leading to intense disdain of the “other.”
11. The title Sayyid is used by members of which sect?
The title of Sayyid is used by both Shiite and Sunni males who are direct descendants of the prophet Muhammad, through his daughter Fatimah.
12. The name for which sect is believed to come from an Arabic term that refers to the sayings and actions of Muhammad?
Sunni is a broad term derived from the Arabic word sunnah, meaning "habit", "custom", and "tradition".
13. The Islamist militant group Hezbollah adheres to which branch of Islam?
The Lebanon-based organization has close ties with Shiite Iran. Al Qaeda, Hamas, and the Taliban are all Sunni.
14. Which sect considers members of the other to be apostates?
Most mainstream clerics recognize adherents of the other side as “legitimate” Muslims. But more-radical leaders denounce them as apostates.
15. What is the majority sect in the most populous Muslim country?
The most populous Muslim country is Indonesia, with more than 200 million Muslims. Shiites make up only a tiny minority.
16. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is most closely associated with which sect?
Assad is a member of the Alawite sect, which broke off from Shiite Islam a millennium ago. Assad and his Alawite regime retain close ties with other Shiite powers in the region, like Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah.
17. The name for which sect comes from the Arabic word for partisans?
Those who favored Muhammad’s son-in-law Ali became known as Shiat-Ali (partisans of Ali). They became known as Shia or Shiites.
19. Which sect is ISIS Sunni or Shia?
ISIS believes that the Shias are apostates and must die in order to forge a pure form of Islam.