Compulsion in Religion: Saddam Hussein, Islam, and the Roots of Insurgencies in Iraq

ISBN : 9780190843311

Samuel Helfont
312 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
May 2018
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Compulsion in Religion investigates religion and politics in Saddam Hussein's Iraq as well as the roots of the religious insurgencies that erupted in Iraq following the American-led invasion in 2003. In looking at Saddam Hussein's policies in the 1990s, many have interpreted his support for state religion as evidence of a dramatic shift away from Arab nationalism toward political Islam. While Islam did play a greater role in the regime's symbols and Saddam's statements in the 1990s than it had in earlier decades, the archival records and the regime's internal documents challenge this theory.


Preface and Acknowledgements
Introduction: Religion and Authoritarianism in Saddam's Iraq
Part I: The Penetration of Iraq's Religious Landscape 1979-1989
Chapter 1: Saddam Takes Control
Chapter 2: Co-opting and Coercing Religion in Saddam's Iraq
Chapter 3: Co-opting and Coercing Shi'ism
Chapter 4: Suppressing the Islamist Opposition
Chapter 5: Addressing the Limits of Coercion and Co-optation
Part II: The Gulf War and its Aftermath 1990-1993
Chapter 6: Continuity and Change in the Gulf War
Chapter 7: Iraq's Religious Landscape in the Wake of the Gulf War
Part III: The Faith Campaign 1993-2003
Chapter 8: A Transformed Religious Landscape
Chapter 9: The Regime and the Shi'is in the 1990s
Chapter 10: Mechanisms of Control
Chapter 11: Putting the System to Work
Part IV: The Invasion of Iraq War and the Emergence of Religious Insurgencies
Chapter 12: American Misconceptions about Iraq and the 2003 Invasion
Chapter 13: Emergence of Religious Insurgencies in Iraq
Conclusion: Saddam the Counter-Insurgent and other Reflections on Ruling Iraq

About the author: 

Samuel Helfont is Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Pennsylvania and Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia.

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