Thursday, September 09, 2004

Shadid on Iraqi Sectarianism

For what its worth, Anthony Shadid said at this afternoon's lecture that during his time in Iraq, he found that most Iraqis resented the fact that their religious group was becoming such an important means of identification. This supports what Peter Sluglett, North America's leading historian of modern Iraq, said on the same subject last year. Sectarianism is becoming important in Iraq politics, but only because some religiously oriented parties have lots of weapons and influence. The fact Ayatollah Sistani has shown occasional ability to reach beyond the Shi'ites is, in this context, unsurprising, and perhaps bodes well for the future of the country.


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