Iraq Religion

Class And Religion In Iraq

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Sabah al-Nasseri: Conflict in Iraq is more complex than the Sunni-Shiite division pt.4/4

The major religion in Iraq is Islam, followed by about 97% of Iraqis. The other 3% consist of those following Christianity and other religions.[1] Many cities throughout Iraq have been areas of historical prominence for both Shia and Sunni Muslims, including Najaf, Karbala, Baghdad and Samarra.

Iraq’s Muslims follow two distinct traditions, Shia and Sunni Islam. According to the 2016 CIA Factbook, Iraq is 99% Muslim: 60-65% Shia (Arabs, Feyli Kurds, Turkmen, et al.) and 32% Sunni (Arabs and Kurds).[2] A 2011 Pew Research Center Survey found that Iraqi Muslims are 51% Shia, 42% Sunni, and 5% described themselves as “Just a Muslim”.[3] Iraq is home to many religious sites important for both Shia and Sunni Muslims. Baghdad was a hub of Islamic learning and scholarship for centuries and served as the capital of the Abassids. The city of Karbala has substantial prominence in Shia Islam as a result of the Battle of Karbala, fought on the site of the modern city on October 10, 680. Similarly, Najaf is renowned as the site of the tomb of Alī ibn Abī Tālib (also known as “Imām Alī”), whom the Shia consider to be the righteous caliph and first imām. The city is now a great center of pilgrimage from throughout the Shi’a Islamic world and it is estimated that only Mecca and Medina receive more Muslim pilgrims. The city of Kufa was home to the famed Sunni scholar Abu Hanifah, whose school of thought is followed by a sizable number of Sunni Muslims across the globe. Likewise, Samarra is also home to the al-Askari Mosque, containing the mausoleums of the Ali al-Hadi and Hasan al-Askari, the tenth and eleventh Shia Imams, respectively, as well as the shrine of Muhammad al-Mahdi, known as the “Hidden Imam”, who is the twelfth and final Imam of the Shia of the Ja’farī Madhhab. This has made it an important pilgrimage centre for Ja’farī Shia Muslims. In addition, some female relatives of the Prophet Mohammad are buried in Samarra, making the city one of the most significant sites of worship for Shia and a venerated location for Sunni Muslims.
Smaller sects of Islam exist in the country, such as the small Shia Shaykhist community concentrated in Basra and Karbala. The Muslim population of Iraq is approximately 60–65 percent Shi’a, 15–20 percent Arab Sunni and 17 percent Kurdish.[4] Iraqi Kurds are mainly secular Sunnis, with a sizeable Shia Feyli population. Most Kurds are located in the northern areas of the country, with most following the Shafi school of Islamic law. With some being members of either the Qadiri or the Naqshbandi Sufi tariqah.

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7 comments for “Iraq Religion

  1. blackiron60
    November 19, 2008 at 9:10 am

    Indeed, it’s a beautiful thing to see Iraqi secularist leftist forces such
    as unions and other such groups mobilizing and showing their strength in
    the streets. Solidarity is surviving in defiance of sectarianism.

  2. Chattanooga has History
    November 19, 2008 at 11:05 am

    common sense say , as long as you have groups of people with different
    opinions your going to have conflicts or arguments. what we are seeing
    going on right before us is a global corporate take over. look at who
    control the water the electricity jails , not the government but
    corporations. and this opens up to them having no guidelines and having
    mass corruption. because it is always easier to pay someone off then to for
    example upkeep the jails.

  3. waveoflight
    November 19, 2008 at 12:29 pm


  4. Ben Lanman
    November 19, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    Yup, you’re right. The Sunnah has a significant influence over Shariah, but
    it is not the word of God sent through Muhammad.

  5. saft911
    November 20, 2008 at 7:52 am

    Brian Perkins creeps me out

  6. t4705mb6
    November 20, 2008 at 9:40 am

    The US regime acted as bankers THUGS when we FIRST attacked Iraq for not
    accepting the same oil deal that the Saudis had. The CIA told Bush #1 he
    could stop the war & the Iraqis would accept the oil “terms”. They were
    wrong. The bankers planned the next war with Iraq in the mid 90s, using the
    fake 911 attacks as a trigger. There is NO “oil shortage”. The NWO is
    making their WORLD WIDE CONTROL move & MUST control ALL energy sources. The
    US will NOT “leave” the 22 permanent bases in IRAQ.

  7. RevolutionarySoldier
    November 20, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    What i oppose in the Islamic system is the reliance of the generosity of
    the rich, i dont believe the rich will follow the Prophets example, and
    their money should be taken with force! Example is the rich Saudi royal
    family and all their princes, this is not acceptable 4 some to be that high
    and poor people be so low, especially in Palestine, which they have sold us
    out on!

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