I find it fascinating that Muhammed’s only child to survive childhood was his daughter, Fatima.  Imagine, the founder of this most male oriented religion had no male heir.  If he did the son would have been the first caliph and there would have been no struggle between Sunnis who hold Abu Bakr as the first caliph and the Shias who hold Muhhamed’s son-in-law Ali (Fatima’s husband) to be the first caliph.

So what has this to do with today?  It is becoming clear that the “Arab Spring” which I now all the “Arab Condition” has to do with struggles within the Muslim faith itself and not anti-government uprisings.   Witness Egypt where the current strife pits those who threw out the president of one year and those who want him back.  Mosri was tossed because many viewed his regime as being too religious and those who want him back see him as having acted correctly in bringing temporal rule in line with religious precepts. 

And in Tunisia, the current president was elected to replace a long time strongman but he too is considered to be “too” religious.  Strife in Syria and Iraq goes back to the centuries old friction between Shias and Sunnis.  For that matter Al Queda has as its mission to cleanse the faith of backsliders. 

The amorphous body of Islam is seemingly up for grabs between several conflicting ideologies.  Although it is hard to make comparisons it does resemble the often violent conflicts between competing ideologies in the Christian Church up to a few centuries ago.  I would predict that the Muslim faith is in for more violent struggle for its heart and soul.