The global Muslim community is multi-racial, multi-lingual, and multi-cultural. Over the centuries, religious groups emerged due to historical circumstances, political allegiances, interpretation of texts, cultural influences, and varied theological denominations. In some cases, the resulting intra-group rivalry has led to intra-Muslim conflicts characterized by various levels of violence, conflict, rhetoric, and verbal abuse. This article investigates the linguistic trends related to representing intra-Muslim conflicts, the factors and strategies of utilizing linguistic representation, and the classification of common terms within the context of such conflicts. It also analyzes the implications of certain vocabularies, structures, and discourse styles that represent the positions of opposing groups, perceptions of self and others, and how linguistic representation can help resolve intra-Muslim conflict. I use a pragmatic analysis to search for cultural and religious connotations in samples of common terms employed in the conflicts in question.
Although the global Muslim community is multi-lingual, Arabic terms are commonly used in intra-Muslim conflicts. Given this reality, I focus on Arabic terms and present only a few non-Arabic loan words that have been adopted.