A recent article published by the Washington Institute interestingly separates sectarianism into three types.
1) Institutionalized Sectarianism
2) Incidental Sectarianism
3) Exploitative Sectarianism
“Some groups and states have integrated sectarian themes into the very fabric of their political, cultural, and educational systems. Sectarianism, in other words, has been institutionalized. ”
Institutionalized Sectarianism is by far the most dangerous and most difficult form of sectarianism to counter. Examples of this include the likes of Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabism and Iran’s ‘Governance of the Jurists’, meaning a regime overseen by scholars. The article goes on to say that this is something ISIS is also seeking to achieve.
“…as its name implies, does not involve a deliberate effort to implement a sectarian agenda. Sectarianism does not play a central role in a state or group’s objectives, even if there are overtones of it.”