1
Feb
2005

The Shiite earthquake

by Juan Cole

Salon

The elections held on Jan. 30 in Iraq were deeply flawed as a democratic process, but they represent a political earthquake in Iraq and in the Middle East. The old Shiite seminary city of Najaf, south of Baghdad, appears poised to emerge as Iraq's second capital. For the first time in the Arab Middle East, a Shiite majority has come to power. A Shiite-dominated Parliament in Iraq challenges the implicit Sunni biases of Arab nationalism as it was formulated in Cairo and Algiers. And it will force Iraqis to deal straightforwardly with the multicultural character of their national society, something the pan-Arab Baath Party either papered over or actively attempted to erase. [subscription or ad view required] (02/01/05)

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2005/02/01/future/


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp
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