Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Iraqi Underclass and animosities

Previous Weekly Numbers have documented growing religious hostilities in Iraq. The missing headline -- as the Sunni-led Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), formerly affiliated with al-Qaedabattle Shia-dominated government forces -- is a phrase from Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign strategist James Carville, "It's the economy, stupid." But, it's not oil and the negative impact on the global economy I'm referring to.
Picture A Pew Research survey conducted in 2012 (before ISIS gained ground) found that the large majority of Iraq's population (74%) considered unemployment to be a "very large problem" for the country. By contrast, fewer than half of the population considered conflict between religious groups to be a very large problem.

it highlights the dangers of a system where religion and religious identities become rallying points for other grievances. As the Shia-dominated Iraqi government favors other Shia Muslims -- long the underclass under Saddam Hussein -- this sets up new animosities that are easily grafted onto other issues, such as unemployment, inequality and unmet expectations. 

Continue reading:

Iraq: "It's the Economy, Stupid"

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