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Shi'a Pundit

Devoted to the viewpoint of Islam of Muhammad SAW and Amir ul-Mumineen, Ali ibn Abi Talib SA, in the Shi'a Fatimi Ismaili Dawoodi Bohra tradition.

April 21, 2003

freedom of religion.

Iraq is a Shi'a country in the same way that America is a Christian country - by simple majority, The Shi'a and the Kurds have been on the receiving end of most of the oppression of Saddam's regime, but their loyalty to Iraq has always been firm. In fact, Shi'a fought valiantly during the Iran-Iraq war - Orwell may have only focused on the negative side of this truth of human nature, but nationalism can also be a force for good - love of your homeland is enough to motivate you to fight alongside your domestic enemies, even in support of your domestic tyrant, in the face of an external threat. Nationalism is perpindicular to religion and teh intersection is a complex place - and Iraq as a whole finds itself at that intersection now.

If Iraq does indeed acheve democracy, and an Islamist government is elected, what then? Will there be a Turkish-style loophole in the constitution explicitly forbidding religious parties from taking control? If our new Iraq refuses to host American troops, will that earn Iraq the epithet "Perfidious" ?

There are instructive questions to be asked from the affair with Turkey, and what that means for the relationship of America with Iraq in the years to come. These are worth keeping in mind as Gen Garner arrives today in Iraq to assume provisional control.

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Nahj-ul Balagha

About Shi'a Pundit

Shi'a Pundit was launched in 2002 during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. The blog focuses on issues pertaining to Shi'a Islam in the west and in the Islamic world. The author is a member of the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community. Bohras adhere to the Shi'a Fatimi tradition of Islam, headed by the 52nd Dai al-Mutlaq, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (TUS).

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