After being named caliph
in 657, Ali established his capital at Kufa
in present-day Iraq.
Iraqi Shia preachers converted the Persians
. The Shia Safavid dynasty
declared Shia Islam the official religion of Persia in 1501.
Banu Khazal was converted from Sunni to Shia during the early 18th century.
Banu Kaab (including its Khazraj section) was converted during the mid-18th century.
Late 18th to mid-20th century
Since the late 18th century, most of Iraq's Sunni Arab tribes converted to Shia Islam (particularly in the 19th century). During the 19th century, the Ottoman Empire
instituted a policy of settling the semi-nomadic
Sunni Arab tribes to create greater centralization in Iraq.
The tribes adopted a sedentary agricultural life in the hinterlands of Najaf and Karbala or traded (and interacted with) the residents of the two cities.
Some Sunni Arab tribes converted to protest their treatment by the Sunni Ottomans.
Shia missionaries from Najaf and Karbala operated with relative freedom from the Ottoman Empire, and could proselytize with little official hindrance.
The conversions continued into the 20th century, as the British noted in 1917.
Many Iraqi Shia are relatively-recent converts.
The following tribes were converted during this period:
some of the Zubaid,
Banu Lam, al bu Muhammad, many of the Rabiah (including al-Dafaf'a, Bani Amir and al-Jaghayfa), Banu Tamim
(including the Bani Sa’d, their largest group in Iraq), the Shammar Toga
some of the Dulaim, the Zafir, the Dawwar, the Sawakin, the al-Muntafiq confederation,
the Bani Hasan (of the Bani Malik
the Bani Hukayyim, the Shibil of the Khazal, the al Fatla,
the tribes along the Al-Hindiya
canal, and the five tribes of Al Diwaniyah
(Aqra’, Budayyir, Afak, Jubur
and Jilaiha) which relied on the Daghara canal for water. The Shia opposed Mandatory Iraq
and its Sunni monarchy.
For many years "Arab nationalism and party politics superseded" Shia unity in Iraqi politics, and Shia ayatollahs
were not politically active.
The Shia were generally less well-off economically and socially, and as a result, they supported leftist parties
. In 1963, when the Arab-nationalist and socialist Ba'ath Party seized power in a coup
, 53 percent of its membership was Shia. The Shia were shunted aside (by 1968, only six percent of the Ba'ath party were Shia), and turned back to the ulama
Due to discrimination by the Sunni government, the Shia became increasingly disaffected during the 1970s. al-Dawa
("the Call"), a political party dedicated to establishing an Islamic state in Iraq, was formed. Religious processions during the Mourning of Muharram
in the shrine cities turned into political protests. Five members of al-Dawa were executed after riots in 1974, and in 1977 eight Shia were executed after more riots.
The Ba'ath Party's leadership made a determined effort to gain the support of Iraqi Shia during the 1980–1988 Iran–Iraq War
, diverting resources to the Shia south and emphasizing Iraqi Arabness (in contrast to Iranian Persianness) and the historic struggle between the Muslim Arabs
and the Zoroastrian
Persians in propaganda. Iraqi propaganda used symbolic keywords such as Qādisiyya
(the battle in which Muslim Arab armies defeated the Persian Empire
), and Iranian propaganda used Shia keywords such as Karbala
. The Baath government executed about 95 Shia ulama, many of them members of the al-Hakim family, in June 1984.
During the Iraqi conflict (2003-present)
The data on the religious affiliation of Iraq's population are uncertain. 95–99% of the population are Muslims.
The CIA World Factbook
reports a 2015 estimate according to which 29–34% are Sunni Muslims and 64–69% Shia Muslims.
According to a 2011 survey by Pew Research
, 51% of the Muslims identify as Shia and 42% as Sunni.
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- ^ Nakash, p. 25
- ^ Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2d ed. s.v. “Musha’sha’.”
- ^ Nakash, p. 27
- ^ a b c Haydari, ‘Unwan al-Majd, pp. 110–15, 118
- ^ Nakash, pp. 5, 27–28
- ^ a b Stephen Longrigg, Iraq, 1900 to 1950 (Oxford, 1953), p. 25.
- ^ Nakash, pp. xviii, 5, 27, 28, 30, 42
- ^ Sacred space and holy war: the politics, culture and history of Shi'ite Islam, By Juan Ricardo Cole, pg.25
- ^ Nakash, pp. 25, 42
- ^ Nakash, pp. 42–43
- ^ Office of the Civil Commissioner, The Arab of Mesopotamia, 69–70
- ^ Nakash, p. 4
- ^ ‘Uthman ibn Sanad al-Basri al-Wa’ili, Mukhtasar Kitab Matali’ al-Su’ud bi-Tayyib Akhbar al-Wali Da’ud, ed. Amin al-Hilwani (Cairo, 1951/2), 169
- ^ a b c ‘Abdallah Mahmud Shukri (al-Alusi), “Di’ayat al-Rafd wa al-Khurafat wa al-Tafriq Bayn al-Muslimin”, al-Manar 29 (1928): 440
- ^ Lorimer, Gazetteer, 2B:1273; Great Britain, naval intelligence division, geographical handbook series, Iraq and the Persian Gulf, September 1944, 379–80; Great Britain, office of the civil commissioner, The Arab of Mesopotamia, Basra, 1917,6.
- ^ Nakash, p. 42
- ^ a b Momen, p. 262
- ^ a b c Momen, p. 263
- ^ Momen, p. 264
- ^ Patrick Cockburn (20 May 2006) "Iraq is disintegrating as ethnic cleansing takes hold". Archived from the original on September 5, 2008. Retrieved 2010-10-23.. The Independent
- ^ Amira Howeidy (2–8 March 2006). "There is ethnic cleansing". 784. Archived from the original on 12 October 2010.
- ^ a b "CIA World Fact Book". 2021-04-21. Retrieved 2021-04-25.
- ^ a b Michael Lipka (2014-06-18). "The Sunni-Shia divide: Where they live, what they believe and how they view each other". Pew Research Center. Retrieved 2021-04-15.
Last edited on 1 May 2021, at 08:10
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