Fanar Haddad on Recent Iraqi Protests

MEI In The Media

Fanar Haddad on Recent Iraqi Protests

10 Jan 2013

MEI Research Fellow Dr. Fanar Haddad, author of Sectarianism in Iraq: Antagonistic Visions of Unity (2011), penned a piece earlier this week for Foreign Policy on recent protests in western Iraq entitled “Can a ‘Sunni Spring’ Turn into an ‘Iraqi Spring?’” The protests were triggered by the arrest of the Minister of Finance Rafi’i al Issawi, a Sunni, and have been framed as “Sunni protests” against Nouri al-Maliki’s government. “For many Shiites, despite whatever sympathy they may have toward the protestors, and despite many shared grievances relating to matters such as security and services,” Haddad writes, “active solidarity is hindered by the fact that the protests have been framed [in this way].” Haddad goes on to analyze the phenomenon of “auto-sectarianization of political issues” in Iraq, noting that it is “difficult to see how the disentanglement of sectarian identity from Iraqi politics can be achieved.” Dr. Haddad also appeared on the Al Jazeera program The Stream in a segment titled “Bound by Sectarianism” that  also examined the protests and their sectarian frame.