A simple question on Shiite / Sunni violence in Iraq
Today on the news again, there are stories of [Shiite] reprisals against [Sunni] civilians in revenge for [Sunni]bombings of [Shiite] civilians. On any particular day, you could probably switch the two factions in that sentence multiple times. (If I get my adjectives wrong I apologize)
How do they know they are targetting folks of the opposite faction. For example, with the story today, Shiite gunmen take to the streets to exact revenge. Is there different form of dress between the different factions? Is it a question of location, where Shiite and Sunnis tend to live in particular areas, so a gunman or terrorist can be confident to just walk into an area and even if they are targetting some random people , they are of the correct target faction? I guess they target actual locations, like a mosque etc. But when they target a coffee shop or a restaurant or whatever, are the populations that seperated that there would be no Sunni in the same location as Shiites?
As far as I know, there are no genetic feature differences between the two populations, just a spiritual/cultural difference and of course... history. But those are internalized characteristics.
I can understand how if the religious affiliation of a family or school is known in a community, that will identify them as a target... but its the random seeming violence. If two groups of gunmen spot each in at far ends of the street, how do they even determine they are of opposing factions?
I just dont understand how folks can target each other in a random attack with such surety that they are hitting members of the right target faction. Is it just a numbers game, where even if there is some collateral dmg to ones own faction..that's ok as long as you get more 'of them?'
I apologize for being naive on this.. it just seems that folks must be inflicting a lot of collateral damage on their 'own' people also. I guess it isnt as random as it sometimes comes across.