Ethnic groups in Afghanistan
Pashtun is the majority of people that are defined similarly as Afghans. These are people who have Iranian ethnic origins who share a common language, culture and history and are living with a close knit family. Being the largest ethnic tribe in Afghanistan, they are more conservative and reserved. Most studies are said to be Pashtun based for this tribe had been more flexible and noted for having academicians and scholars that studies the ways and life in Afghanistan.
They take almost 42 percent of the country’s population (Peoples of western Asia, 12). Meanwhile, Hazara are the Persian-speaking tribe residing in Afghanistan. They are believed to be refugees from Quetta and have set up the economy of remittances that paved way for the foreign money exchange places that would handle the other currencies coming within the country. They merely survive living on the edge of economic survival with the population around 6 to 7 million including Shia and Sunni.
They have mixed dialects and most of them take no notice of any belief arrangements or of the land they belong to. Shia, on the other hand, are the group of Muslims that are believed to be descendants from Muhammad and regarded as te best source of knowledge about Islam and Qur’an. They had suffered almost continuous oppression after the assassination of Ali, the rightful heir of Muhammad. Opposing Shia is Sunni, which believe and follow teachings that are not mostly found in the Qur’an but are collected as traditions. They lived generally in the border regions of country and existed well along with the Shias. They gather about 8 percent of the population.
Shia and Sunni: two principal orders
Sunni people and Shias had been living harmoniously over the years. But despite this way of living, they share a lot of differences in which they believed to dismiss for the sake of brotherhood. The Sunni-Shia difference is evident in most scholarly articles written for generations and raised arguments are treated to be virtually true for both groups of people.
The division between these two groups generally concern on the beliefs and articles of faith they follow. Shias takes the teachings and words of Muhammad as part of their religious guidance and they believed that they are descendants of Muhammad’s bloodline. With these convictions, they only see the descendants of Muhammad can be Muslims. Sunni Muslims prefer to disagree by believing that anyone can be a Muslim. They consider that the new Muslim leader should be elected because of his capability for the job and not by the belief that leadership follows somebody’s family bloodline. For them, it is not by birthright that the leadership of the community must be trusted with, but the trust must be earned and be given and taken away from the people who have potentials.
Despite these differences and faction among these two groups in opinion and practice, they regard themselves as brothers and had not been contacted in a war for years. They did not distinguish themselves from the groups they belong but mostly prefer to regard themselves as simple “Muslims”.