A recent PEW Research Center report examined polls conducted between November 2011 and May 2012. It found that 52 percent of Muslims polled in Iraq, 44 percent in Afghanistan and 67 percent in Lebanon said Sunni-Shia tensions are a “very big or moderately big” problem in their country. The re-escalation of violence in Iraq this year likely would have increased the concern there if the polling were conducted today.
The Dutch began to colonize Indonesia in the early 17th century; Japan occupied the islands from 1942 to 1945. Indonesia declared its independence shortly before Japan's surrender, but it required four years of sometimes brutal fighting, intermittent negotiations, and UN mediation before the Netherlands agreed to transfer sovereignty in 1949. A period of sometimes unruly parliamentary democracy ended in 1957 when President Soekarno declared martial law and instituted "Guided Democracy." After an abortive coup in 1965 by alleged communist sympathizers, Soekarno was gradually eased from power. From 1967 until 1988, President Suharto ruled Indonesia with his "New Order" government. After rioting toppled Suharto in 1998, free and fair legislative elections took place in 1999. In 2005, Indonesia reached a historic peace agreement with armed separatists in Aceh, which led to democratic elections in Aceh in December 2006. Indonesia continues to face low intensity armed resistance in Papua by the separatist Free Papua Movement.