This week’s New Statesman looks at the long war between Sunni and Shia – the power struggle that is tearing Islam apart. In our cover story, Olivier Roy says the main fracture running through the Aarab world remains the opposition between an Arab, Sunni bloc dominaterd by Saudia Arabia and a Shia bloc dominated by Iran.
Elsewhere, Lesley Hazleton traces the discord among Muslims back to the days following Muhammad’s death, and Emanuelle Degli Esposti shows how the Shias shaped the Middle East.
Also this week, Rafael Behr says that caution and a lack of debate are hampering Labour’s fightback, David Blanchflower explains why the coalition’s Work Programme could make the poor poorer, Alex Preston says that Southern Cross is a haunting example of how privatisation can go wrong, and NS editor Jason Cowley charts the extraordinary reaction to the archbishop’s guest edit. Elsewhere, Mehdi Hasan, the co-author of a new biography of Ed Miliband says that there’s no point in David’s supporters pining for a “king across the water”.
All this, plus the makers of Yes Minister on whether politics is now beyond satire, an interview with comedian Reginald D Hunter, Leo Robson on Nabokov’s irritating genius, and Will Self on the “crazy bliss” of Yo! Sushi.