Re: "Islam is peace"
Garry, I personally didn't take your remarks as inflammatory, but rather right on the mark.
Bill, I'll attempt to answer your question but let me first say I consider myself a non-denominational Muslim. Meaning I believe in the principles of the Islamic faith but not necessarily all of the practices associated with the Islamic religion.
The split was not about who should inherit control after Muhammad. There is not any dispute that Abu Bakr was the right hand of Muhammad and after the death of Muhammad Abu Bakr took control. The split came with the followers of the 3rd and 4th Caliphs (Uthman and Ali). And that was about power and politics not faith. The followers of Uthman were the Umayyads (Sunnis) and the folowers of Ali were the Shiites. Both of these Caliphs were assassinated and tensions to this day are in part based on that.
So Bill, that's why I said this split was based on culture NOT faith. By the time of the split, Islam was a powerful military machine with various sub tribes vying for control. Familial successorship was not an issue since Muhammad only had a surviving daughter.