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Fanar Haddad

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Competing Victimhoods in a Sectarian Landscape

None but the hopelessly naive or the woefully ill-informed can deny the relevance of sectarian (here meaning Sunni and Shiʿi) identities in the contemporary Middle East, particularly in the Mashriq. Equally self-evident is the centrality of victimhood in how these identities are perceived by their holders. But rather than just highlighting the blindingly obvious, my intention here is to ask, so what? To argue that the ongoing competition of sectarian victimhoods is ...

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'Shi'a Forces', 'Iraqi Army', and the Perils of Sect-Coding

Last week Twitter was the site of a few rhetorical skirmishes between Professor Juan Cole and several Iraq-watchers—myself included, albeit very briefly. The exchanges were occasioned by Cole’s use of the phrase “Shiʿa forces” to refer to the various non-Kurdish Iraqi formations (the Iraqi army included) that will lead the effort to recapture the city of Mosul from the Islamic State. Rare, if not downright mythical, is the sensible Twitter debate. Alas, this incident was no ...

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Bio

Fanar Haddad

 

Fanar Haddad is Senior Research Fellow in the Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore. He is the author of Sectarianism in Iraq: Antagonistic Visions of Unity.