I woke up early this morning and went up onto the roof of the villa. I had a chance to talk with one of the Iraqi security guards that was just about to come off his night shift. We stood there in the dark and listened to the haunting calls to prayer coming from the nearby mosques. The guard told me that the first of the morning calls come from the Sunni Muslim mosques, and then about ten minutes later the Shias join in. I asked why, and he explained to me that the calls are timed to be one and half hours prior to sunrise; the time needed for morning prayer. The Sunni believe that sunrise occurs when the horizon begins to glow red. The Shia, on the other hand, say that sunrise occurs when the actual sun peaks above the horizon.
I wonder, if these two groups can’t agree or at least compromise on when the sun comes up, how are they going to come together on more urgent issues?