https://askanydifference.com/difference-between-kurds-and-shiites-with-tableabc Difference Between Kurds and Shiites - Ask Any Difference

Difference Between Kurds and Shiites

If you are interested in the various religions and the sects under them, you probably must have wondered what is the difference between Kurds and Shiites. While both these have members belonging from the same religious backgrounds, that is, Islam, they are very different from one another. They have some very significant points of difference between them. It is important to know these differences to not confuse them with each other.

Kurds vs Shiites

The main difference between Kurds and Shiites is that the former is an ethnic group. On the other hand, the latter is a sect or a part of a religion that is Islam. Another point of difference between them includes the fact that the member of the ethnic group or Kurd can belong from either sect of Islam. It may be a Shiite or a Sunni while the term Shiites include exclusively members of the same religious sect that is Shiites. 

Kurds vs Shiites

A famous ethnic group living in the Middle East, Kurds are well known all over the world. They belong from different places. Turkey and Iran are among them. It may also include Syria and Iraq. This place is collectively known as Kurdistan. The members of this group may belong to either sect of Islam. They may be either Shiite or a Sunni

There are various sects found under the same religion. They often share different ideas. Islam has two such sects. One such sect includes the Shiites. They are made up a large part of Islam being the second largest dominion. It exclusively includes members of the same sect. They are the group of people who accepted Prophet Mohammad’s son-in-law as their fourth caliphs. They also accepted him as the first Imam.

Comparison Table Between Kurds and Shiites

Parameters of ComparisonKurdsShiites
Belong fromThey belong to the Middle East. They are scattered in various places ranging from Iran to Iraq, from Syria to Turkey. The place is collectively known as Kurdistan.They consist of the majority of the population in several places ranging from Azerbaijan to Iran, from Iraq to Bahrain.
MeaningThey include an ethnic group.They are a sect of the religion Islam.
Revolted forThey revolted for uniting all the nations of Kurdistan as one.They revolted against the other sect of Islam that is, the Sunnis.
MembersTheir members may be Sunni or Shiite.It exclusively includes members of the same sect, that is, Shiite.
General PointMembers of this group may or may not be a supporter of the selection of Hazrat Ali as their fourth caliph.Members of this sect support the selection of Hazrat Ali as their fourth caliph.

What is Kurds?

It does not refer to people of any specific religion as such. It is a group that many people believe in. They are from the Middle East. This place mostly includes Iraq and Syria. They have lived in the area for years, and it encompasses areas of Syria, Iran, Iraq, and Turkey that are collectively known as Kurdistan. They are largely made up of Iranians who communicate Kurdish as their primary language. Advancement and expansion to European countries have been spotted lately. Also, expansion to West Asian countries has been noticed.

They can be Shiites or Sunnis, with Sunnis constituting the majority. Additionally, Kurds defined here are Muslims. A Kurd can be a non-Muslim as well.

They have rebelled to unite the Kurdish states into a unified Kurdistan.

The majority of members include the Sunnis. They follow the Shafii schools. There is a small minority that follows otherwise. Usually, they follow the Hanafi school. Furthermore, many Shafi’i Kurds follow one of two Sufi orders.

Kurdish women’s rights and equality have progressed significantly in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries as a result of progressive movements within Kurdish society. Despite significant advancements, Kurdish and global women’s rights organizations continue to report issues such as gender equality, forced marriages, honor killings, and female genital mutilation in Iraqi Kurdistan.

What is Shiites?

There are various sects found under the same religion. They often share different principles. Accordingly, there are two such sects in Islam too. One such sect includes the Shiites. A large part of the religion Islam is constituted by them. They are the second-largest dominion. It exclusively includes members of the same sect. The members of this sect are the ones who supported the selection of Hazrat Ali. They also accepted him as the first Imam. His descendants also came to be known as Imams.

They may belong to several places. Bahrain and Azerbaijan are two of them. The others include Iraq and Iran.

In recent times, a lot of them have been seen revolting. They fought against the oppressive forces. This fight was against the other sect of the religion.

When Prophet Mohammad died, there was a massive uprising. His son-in-law was selected as the fourth caliph. Some people supported this while others opposed this. The ones who supported this came under one sect of the religion. The other sect, however, thought that Mohammad’s son should have been the next prophet. These people united under another sect. The former sect came to be known as Shiites. The latter sect came to be known as Sunnis. There have been constant conflicts among these two sects in the past few years.

Main Differences Between Kurds and Shiites

  1. Kurds and Shiites belong from different places. The former belongs to the Middle East. They are scattered in various places ranging from Iran to Iraq, from Syria to Turkey. There is a collective term for all these places. It is Kurdistan. On the other hand, the latter may belong to several places.  Bahrain and Azerbaijan are two of them. The others include Iraq and Iran. 
  2. Kurds include an ethnic group, while Shiites are a sect of the religion Islam.
  3. Kurds revolted for uniting all the nations of Kurdistan as one, whereas Shiites revolted against the other sect of Islam that is, the Sunnis.
  4. As Kurds are an ethnic group their members may be Sunni or Shiite. However, the term Shiites are exclusive. It includes only members of the same sect. 
  5. Members of Kurds may or may not be a supporter of the selection of Hazrat Ali as their fourth caliph. However, members of the Shiite sect support the selection of Hazrat Ali as their fourth caliph.

Conclusion

Therefore, we can see that Kurds and Shiites are different words used to refer to different groups of people with different origins and principles. Both constitute people from the same religion. The fundamental distinction between Kurds and Shiites is their purpose and meaning.

Kurds and Shiites belong from different places. The former belongs to the Middle East. They are scattered in various places ranging from Iran to Iraq, from Syria to Turkey. There is a collective term for all these places. It is Kurdistan. On the other hand, the latter may belong to several places.  Bahrain and Azerbaijan are two of them. The others include Iraq and Iran.

Members of Kurds may or may not be a supporter of the selection of Hazrat Ali as their fourth caliph. However, members of the Shiite sect support the selection of Hazrat Ali as their fourth caliph.

There are several religions in the world today. There are also many sects of the same religion. However, some deny the idea of sects of one single religion.

References

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Liam-Anderson-10/publication/249391957_Kurds_in_Iraq_The_Struggle_Between_Baghdad_and_Erbil/links/57daa46008aeea19593290d6/Kurds-in-Iraq-The-Struggle-Between-Baghdad-and-Erbil
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/nana.12424
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