By Jon Gambrell | The Associated Press02/10/19, 07:01
Inspired in part by Iran’s Islamic Revolution, a young Egyptian army lieutenant emptied his machine gun into President Anwar Sadat in 1981, killing a leader who made peace with Israel and offered the shah a refuge after his overthrow.
The assassination carried out by Khalid al-Islambouli and others from a Sunni Islamic extremist group showed the power of Iran’s Shiite-led revolution to transcend the religious divides of the Muslim world.
Islamists of all stripes initially saw Iran’s revolution as the start of an effort to rid the Middle East of Western imperialism and strongman Arab nationalism. But the sectarian bloodshed that followed the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, Syria’s long civil war and the regional rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia have left Sunnis and Shiites bitterly divided.