The Role of Tribalism and Sectarianism in Defining the Iraqi National Identity
Abdallat, Saleh Ayman
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CitationAbdallat, Saleh Ayman. 2020. The Role of Tribalism and Sectarianism in Defining the Iraqi National Identity. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
AbstractIn this thesis, I examine the roots that aggravated the Iraqi national identity to devolve into sectarianism. The thesis covers 603 years of historical events that coincided during the time the Ottoman ruled Mesopotamia, until the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003. The thesis is divided into four chapters, in which I address the factors that aggravated to deteriorate the Iraqi national unity. The historical events include the Ottoman-Persian rivalry that lasted for more than three centuries, and the outcomes that precipitated the Iraqi national identity to devolve into sectarianism.
Furthermore, the thesis covers the modern history of Iraq during the period that Britain invaded Iraq and appointed the Hashemite to act on their behalf. The thesis covers the impacts of the British policies to create an Iraq that would only serve the British interests, and the policies that the Hashemites were forced to implement to preserve their regime survival. Throughout these facts, I examine the factors that were aggravated by the British policies that undermined the national unity in Iraq.
The thesis involves the historical events that happened after the Hashemite collapsed in 1958, and the factors that aggravated the Iraqi national identity to devolve into sectarianism at the time that the Nationalists and the Nasserists ascended to power. The thesis examines the ideological clashes that departed from the Baathists and the Nasserists, which undermined the national unity in Iraq. Finally, the thesis accentuates the aggravating factors that instigated to undermine the Iraqi national unity between the period 1979-2003, which was during the period that Saddam ruled Iraq. Overall, the Persian-Ottoman rivalry, the British creation of a dysfunctional state in Iraq, King Faysal’s distrust of the Kurds and the Shias, the presidential competing visions that were not focused on unifying the Iraqis after the 1958 revolution, and Saddam’s extensive use of totalitarian power against the Shias, entirely resulted in the devolvement of the Iraqi national identity into sectarianism. The significance of this thesis helps to understand the aggravating factors that instigated the current anarchy in Iraq, the emergence of ISIS, the omnipresence of corruption and proxy wars to emerge in the political arena that from which entirely contributed to turn Iraq into a warfare-sectarian territory.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37365053
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