February 8, 2007
Contact:
Leah Yoon, NPR
 | 

NPR NEWS PRESENTS HISTORY
OF SHI’ITE FAITH AND POLITICS
IN FIVE PART SERIES “THE PARTISANS OF ALI”
ON MORNING EDITION, FEBRUARY 12-16




Washington, D.C.: February 8, 2007 – Mounting religious and political tensions over the war in Iraq and the increasing violence amongst the two largest branches of the Islamic faith raises questions about our understanding of this culture and its influence. NPR News explores the history of Shi’ite faith and politics in a week-long series “The Partisans of Ali” starting Monday, February 12 on Morning Edition. Throughout the series, NPR News diplomatic correspondent Mike Shuster explores what the key difference between the majority Sunni and the minority Shia are, and what the recent rise of Shi’ite power and aspirations across the Middle East means for U.S. foreign policy.

This in-depth, rare and comprehensive look at the complexities of the Islamic religion and its far-reaching impact on the Western world will take the listener through the sounds and images of Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.

“The Partisans of Ali: a History of Shi’ite Faith and Politics” will air as follows:

Monday, February 12
Origins: 7th Century to 16th Century

Tuesday, February 13
Politics and the Shia Tradition: The Last Century

Wednesday, February 14
The Sunni Response

Thursday, February 15
Shia Politics Today

Friday, February 16
U.S.Policy and the "New" Middle East

Please check www.NPR.org/stations for local stations and shows’ broadcast times. The audio will be available online at www.NPR.org following each broadcast.

Morning Edition, the two-hour newsmagazine airing weekdays and hosted by Steve Inskeep in Washington, D.C. and Renée Montagne from NPR West in Culver City, Calif., is public radio’s most listened-to program with nearly 13 million weekly listeners.