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The Legacy of IraqFrom the 2003 War to the 'Islamic State'$
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Benjamin Isakhan

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748696161

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748696161.001.0001

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Between Aqalliya and Mukawin: Understanding Sunni Political Attitudes in Post-Saddam Iraq

Between Aqalliya and Mukawin: Understanding Sunni Political Attitudes in Post-Saddam Iraq

Chapter:
(p.97) Chapter 6 Between Aqalliya and Mukawin: Understanding Sunni Political Attitudes in Post-Saddam Iraq
Source:
The Legacy of Iraq
Author(s):

Ronen Zeidel

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748696161.003.0007

This chapter discusses how the toppling of the Sunni-dominated Baathist government in 2003 and the subsequent Shia Arab and Kurdish power grabs has left the Sunnis at the political margins. This sequence of events has fostered a growing Sunni resentment of the central government and left an entire segment of the population susceptible to the promises of religious zealots and violent fundamentalists such as ISIS. Contemporary Iraqi political discourse offers two useful terms between which the Sunni appear to fall: aqalliya (‘minority’) and mukawin (‘component’). In current Iraqi political usage, aqalliya refers exclusively to the smaller minorities such as the Christians, Turkmens, Yazidis, and so on. The 2005 Iraqi constitution avoids the use of this term and substitutes it with the term mukawin, referring to all components of the Iraqi population, whether large or small.

Keywords:   Iraq War, Sunnis, minorities, aqalliya, mukawin, minority groups, Baathist government, fundamentalists

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