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Title: Sectarian Relations in Arab Iraq: Contextualising the Civil War of 2006-2007
Authors: Haddad, F. 
Issue Date: Apr-2013
Citation: Haddad, F. (2013-04). Sectarian Relations in Arab Iraq: Contextualising the Civil War of 2006-2007. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 40 (2) : 115-138. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Discussions surrounding sectarian relations in Iraq have often been reduced to extremes of either overemphasising the Sunni-Shia divide to a near Manichean level or, the other extreme, reducing them to the point of irrelevance in Iraqi history and society. This paper challenges both views and attempts an examination of the dynamics of Sunni-Shia relations in Arab Iraq and how these interact with Iraqi nationalism. As will be shown, sectarian identity advances and recedes depending on wider circumstances, often at the expense, but not to the exclusion, of national identity. The post-2003 period in general and the civil war of 2006-2007 in particular offer us a wealth of highly charged sectarian discourse in the form of songs, poems, speeches and publications. I have relied on a considerable sample of such forms of public discourse to analyse the rising salience of sectarian identity in the period under consideration in a broader attempt at analysing the dynamics of Sunni-Shi'a relations in Arab Iraq generally. It will be seen that sectarian relations are dynamic and responsive and that civil wars are not necessarily the end of the process; rather, in some cases, sectarian civil wars are merely a violent stage which many mixed communities around the world - including Iraq perhaps - have unfortunately gone through. © 2013 Copyright British Society of Middle Eastern Studies.
Source Title: British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
ISSN: 13530194
DOI: 10.1080/13530194.2013.790289
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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