Pop Quiz: How Sectarian are You?


How sectarian are you, is a question that I’ve often thought of and produced a few traits that might indicate the level of sectarianism in a person. A recent article by Ghanim Alnajjar in Alwasat newspaper; however, has written a good comprehensive list which could be used to judge the level of a person’s sectarianism much better than my attempts.

Here’s my translation. Feel free to take the test and indicate your score in the comments. Object of the quiz? Recognise what you need to work on to become less sectarian:

How to measure sectarianism

by Ghanim Alnajjar – Alwasat Newspaper – 4 September 2015

The following questions equally apply for the discovery of racialism, tribalism and factionalism too.

  1. popquizWould you agree to marry your daughter, or a close relation, to a member of the opposite sect?
  2. Do you have any friends from the other sect?
  3. Do you visit with people from the other sect?
  4. In your conversations with people from your own sect, do you accept the denigration or swearing at those from the other sect or do you object to that behaviour?
  5. Do you regard members of the other sect true compatriots in your country, or do you regard them as heathens that you put up with while searching for the earliest opportunity to get rid of them?
  6. Do you support the hard-line sectarian arguments against the other sect?
  7. Do you condemn acts of violence against members of the other sect?
  8. Do you sympathise with the victims of the other sect when exposed to violence or murder, torture or suffering or even discrimination?
  9. In the event of an armed conflict between sects and nations, do you support the party that represents your sect regardless of the facts?
  10. Do you believe that what’s happening to your sect is the result of a major conspiracy orchestrated by the other sect?

If all your answers where all against the values of coexistence and the acceptance of the others, then you’re a full-fat sectarian, and a prime terrorist in the making and you need to go first to a psychiatric clinic to seek a cure before we find you in pieces here there after you had blown yourself up and murdered innocent people.

However, if you’re not, then you should seek to advance co-existence in your surroundings and balanced thoughts in order to convince others to be less sectarian and more welcoming. This will secure your country from the strife and destruction in which no one will be saved. There’s no strength except through Allah.

Thank you Mr Ghanim Alnajjar’s for this comprehensive and thought provoking list.

Hand on heart, my score is 100%. What’s yours?


  1. Steve the American

    It is a sad questionnaire, which presumes your sect would make a difference in everyday life. If you gave this quiz to an American, they would wonder what the hell you were talking about.

    1. Post

      Steve, unfortunately this is the reality in Arab and Muslim countries now – and has been for centuries. Arabs and Muslims seem to want to know which sect pigeon-hole you belong to even before wanting to know your name. Unless this changes – which requires a seismic cultural and legal shift – nothing will change.

  2. Chiara

    I scored 100% non-sectarian (hand on heart). As stated in the introduction to the quiz, one could substitute race, tribe, religion, ethnic group, recent immigrant group, etc for sect here, making the quiz quite universal. I think Americans could easily test themselves on race (White, Black, Hispanic, Asian) , religion (even Protestant vs Catholic within Christianity; or Judeo-Christian vs Muslim), etc. Some would be highly “sectarian”.

    1. Post

      The value of this test is to raise awareness of oneself, more than the other. It should raise questions in the minds of those who do err on one or more of these questions. The hope is that with this knowledge they would try to do something about it to correct their behaviour, even if they have to fake it initially to make it.

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