The main architects of this resurgent Sunnism
were Nizamul-Mulk, the Persian vizier of the Seljuk sultans and Al-Ghazali, the great theologian, mystic and thinker.
Ibadhism, a form of Islam distinct from Shi'ism and the "orthodox" schools of Sunnism
, was the dominant religious sect in the country.
He provides a useful sketch of the complex spectrum of Islam, from Shi'ite extremism to Isma'ilism to Zaydism to Twelve Imam Shi'ism to the Four Schools of Sunnism
to 'Ibadism to Wahhabism to old Khawarij to Sunni extremism.
This threat to Islam is most serious as it comes, for the first time in history, from within, through the believers themselves, whence the tone of urgency in his writings and his call and justification for the first time in orthodox Sunnism
for a full-blown revolution against the existent regimes.
Assad, a member of the Alawite minority who converted into Sunnism
in order to be president of predominantly-Sunni Syria in 1971, was a unique leader in the Arab World.
He was recognised as the king of a sovereign nation-state by the UN, and as hief of the Senussi Order, a moderate Sufi movement in Sunnism
The Taliban (Pashto for students) follow a Deobandi order of Hanafi Sunnism
A prominent Sunni Arab historian in Baghdad claims the Persians at the start of the 16th century AD were still so hateful of the Arabs and the Prophet Muhammad that they converted from Sunnism
to "tailor-made Shi'ism and developed the taqiya-based Safawi ideology".
Shortly before the siege, he announced on his webpage that he had embraced Sunnism
, swore allegiance to the Islamic State and denounced Shiism.
The goal is to legitimate the tutor's action and discourse, on behalf of Sunnism
, which is the faith of that majority.
He referred to Ibadhism, Oman's dominant sect that is differs from Sunnism
and Shiism, as "a non sectarian sect".
But the positive side of history seems now to be appearing: a joint leading role -- baby steps for now -- taken by Saudi Arabia and Iran as standard bearers of Sunnism
and Shiism, today seems possible.