Iraq's unique place in the Sunni-Shia divide
reports that Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and Shia militias killed ISIS detainees and all segments of society, including Shia Muslims, whom ISIS considered . responsible for handling marriage, divorce, and inheritance issues. In today's Republic of Iraq, where Islam is the state religion and claims the .. same kin group, and though marriage between different ethnic groups is accepted. Islam is the official religion of Iraq, and the majority of the population is Muslim ( 97%). Sunnis and Shi'as differ theologically in that they hold different beliefs over who should have taken power after the Prophet Dates of Significance.
The Sunni-Shia divide: Where they live, what they believe and how they view each other
We are one of the oldest, most peaceful religions in Iraq and have never had any problems. We keep to ourselves and accept and appreciate every human being on Earth.
Beliefs and Cosmology Yazidis believe that the world was created by God, who entrusted it to seven angels led by one known as the Peacock Angel, also called Melek Taus.
Melek Taus is the primary figure in the Yazidi belief systemas he filled the earth with flora and fauna. Their religion is monotheistic and non-dualisticand they do not believe in the concept of Hell. For them, all people have good and evil inside of them, and choices are made free of external temptation. They believe in internal purification through metempsychosis, a term referring to the transmigration of souls, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. They believe that the seven angels are occasionally reincarnated in human form.
Yazidis believe that they are descended directly from Adam alone, while the rest of humanity comes from the lineage of both Adam and Eve.
Though their belief system is rooted in the pre-Islamic tradition, the figure credited as the founder of the Yazidi faith is Sheikh Adi ibn Musafir, a Sufi preacher who died in The Peacock Angel, Melek Taus The concept of Melek Taus is the most misunderstood part of the Yazidi religion, and is one of the reasons why their community has suffered such historical persecution.
They believe that once God created Adam and Eve, he ordered the angels to bow to his creations. While the other angels did so, Melek Taus was the only one to refuse, because he believed that he should submit to no one but the Supreme God. He was then thrown into Hell, until his tears of remorse quenched the fires and he became reconciled to God. He now serves as an intermediary between God and humanity. This story bears similarities to the Muslim account of Satan, called Iblis or Shaytan.
In the Islamic tradition, Satan is a fallen angel or jinn who refused to bow down to Adam out of pride. For this act, he was banished from heaven and now exists to tempt humanity into evil. Melek Taus is often confused with Satan for this reason, and the Yazidi have been called devil-worshippers by Muslims and Christians who do not understand their beliefs since the late 16th and early 17th centuries.
Thomas Schmidinger, a Kurdish politics expert at the University of Vienna, told National Geographic, "To this day, many Muslims consider them to be devil worshippers. Iraq has not officially stated that military service is compulsory, but another statistic from stated that most of theservice people were required to be in the military. The average length of service was eighteen to twenty-four months, and there were anotherin the reserves. Regarding compensation, wages for those who fought in the Iran-Iraq War were generous.
Journalists reported that families who lost a son in the fighting would receive compensation in such A residential district in Baghdad. After the economic boom of the s, high priority was placed on restoring and building according to historic style.
It is estimated that current compensation to the military has changed, but no specific information is available. Social Welfare and Change Programs Before the Persian Gulf War, welfare benefits such as Social Security, pensions for retirees and disabled people, and money for maternity and sick leaves were available.
Currently the only known welfare programs are food distribution and medical aid food. Some nongovernmental organizations NGOs have been involved, but unless the Iraqi government can direct NGO operations, they are not permitted to function. Nongovernmental Organizations and Other Associations The most important NGOs are those that are responsible for food rationing and distribution, medical aid, and rebuilding of water and sewage treatment facilities.
Religion in Iraq
Currently Iraqi leaders have been turning down humanitarian efforts and have refused offers of relief from private medical groups. They recently expelled representatives of the Middle East Council of Churches, and denied entry of a Russian envoy from the United Nations who was to investigate the cases of missing persons since The only NGOs Iraq allows are foreign antisanctions protesters, who bring in small amounts of aid but who are welcome principally because of the propaganda they provide.
The presence of NGOs is different between the south and the three provinces of Kurdistan in the north. Kurdistan hosts more than thirty NGOs, while in there were eleven in the south, with even fewer in Local Kurdish officials work with the United Nations to manage food, health, and economic programs, while the resources and control of the NGOs are restricted in the south.
Due to the attitude toward NGOs as well as other contributing factors such as arable land, population, and availability of natural resources, the north is more productive agriculturally and economically and has a more advanced health system infrastructure. The south, under Iraqi control and closed to outside help, has An Iraqi woman collects her monthly food rations from the Red Cross in Baghdad.
Culture of Iraq - history, people, women, beliefs, food, customs, family, social, dress
During the Iran-Iraq War, with so many men fighting in the military, women were required to study in fields and to work in positions normally filled by men. Many women joined the labor force as teachers, physicians, dentists, factory workers, and civil servants, with the majority performing unskilled labor.
Women professionals, such as doctors, are normally pediatricians or obstetricians, so that they work with only women or children. Those drafted into the workforce during the Iran-Iraq War were also made to comply with about a one-third deduction from their salary to go toward the war effort.
The Relative Status of Women and Men. Its stated goal is to officially organize women, promote literacy and higher education, and encourage women in the labor force. The federation supported big legislative steps, such as a law that said a woman may be appointed an officer in the military if she has a university degree in medicine, dentistry, or pharmacy. However, it has had little impact on issues that affect women as individuals, such as polygamy, divorce, and inheritance.
Many believe that the GFIW is not really functioning in the interests of women, but rather in the interests of the Baathist regime. Instead of trying to improve the situation of women in Iraq, the government seems to use the federation as a means to exercise control over them. In an address to the federation, Saddam said that an educated and liberated mother is one who will give back to the country conscious and committed fighters for Iraq.
An underlying goal of the GFIW, whether it is stated or not, is to encourage women to "liberate" themselves through commitment to the Iraqi revolution. In politics Iraq was the first Arab country ever to elect a woman to a parliamentary position.
Though an incredible advancement for women in the Arab world, many believe that rather than exercising real authority, she was put in power to falsely demonstrate the controlling regime as a progressive one. Today there are women in politics, though the legitimacy of their authority is often questioned. In Islam, the state religion, women do not hold any leadership roles.
Many cannot go to the mosque to pray, and if they do, they are segregated from the men. It is largely due to Islamic influence that women do not enjoy the same social rights and privileges as men, and if gender reform is to take place, it will have to be within the context of Islamic law. Marriage, Family, and Kinship Marriage. In the past, arranged marriages were common. However, this practice is becoming more rare, and a law was passed that gave authority to a state-appointed judge to overrule the wishes of the father in the event of an early marriage.
The Muslim majority traditionally views marriage as a contract between two families, as the family's needs are considered most important. In urban settings, women and men have more options in choosing their spouses, though the proposed spouse still must have parental approval.
Partners often come from the same kin group, and though marriage between different ethnic groups is accepted, it is not too common. The ruling Baath regime considers marriage to be a national duty that should be guided and encouraged.
Starting inwomen were forbidden to marry non-Iraqi men. If they were already married, they were prohibited from transferring money or property to their spouses. Following the Iran-Iraq War, the loss of men's lives was so severe that the government embarked on a campaign to increase the population. Government grants were given to men to marry war widows, and polygamy, once rare, became more common. Divorce is accepted, but usually is left solely as a decision of the husband.
If the husband wishes to be divorced, it is normally without question or problem, while it is close to impossible for a woman to initiate a divorce proceeding.
In the event of divorce, custody is supposed to be granted based on what is best for the child's welfare. Couples can live in either of two ways: At present, with economic hard-ships, families tend to live with extended households.
The extended family unit consists of the older couple, sons, their wives and families, and unmarried daughters. Other dependent relatives also may make up part of this group, and the oldest male heads the group. He manages property and makes the final decisions regarding such things as the type of education the children receive, their occupations, and whom they will marry.
In this living arrangement household and child-rearing tasks are shared among all female members of the larger families. If the couple can afford to live in a nuclear household, women, even though they work outside the home, retain all domestic and child-care responsibilities. The challenge of the woman's role in this situation is that there is no change in cooking methods or materials, and they are isolated from the help and emotional support of other female family members. Families often grow large, because the Iraqi government has stated that every family should have five children, as four children or fewer is considered a threat to national security.
Considering the extreme hardships families now face in light of economic hardship and harsh living conditions, the goal of many is now to simply feed their families and preserve a semblance of some sort of home life. Based on the Islamic rule, a man inherits twice as much as a woman. The justification for this is that women are to be protected by their male relatives, so men need to be granted more means to provide. Normally, property and belongings are passed down through the family, split two-to-one between sons and daughters.Atheists, Christians, Jews, and Muslims on Dating - Dirty Data - Ep 7 - Cut
Large kin groups are the fundamental social units, and are of higher importance than ethnic, social class, and sectarian lines. Familial loyalty is considered an essential quality, and the family is mutually protective of each other. The kin group usually is organized through descent and marriage and involves three generations, many of whom live together.
They often cooperate in areas such as agriculture and land ownership. If some family members live in nuclear families, they keep up practices such as depending on one another and asking the elders for advice. Individual status within the group is determined by the family's position and the individual's position within that group. Children are the mother's responsibility, and in extended domestic units other female members also take care of the children.
Children normally imitate older siblings, and obedience and loyalty to elders are of vital importance. Boys and girls have different upbringings, as a boy's birth into the family is usually celebrated, while a girl's typically is not.
The boy is thought to be more valuable to a family, given his potential to work, while the girl is considered more of a dependent. At puberty girls are separated from boys and have much less freedom than boys. Child Rearing and Education. The family holds an important role in teaching values, and they consider it their duty and feel responsible for other family members' behaviors.
A good child is loyal, obedient, and does not question authority. The In Marchtwo million Kurds fled Iraq, settling at camps on the border to wait for humanitarian aid. In urban settings, more authority is found in schools rather than with the family. Schools teach about religion and values that stem from it. One present problem, however, is that differing values are taught in schools than are taught in families.
State schools tend to emphasize national sovereignty, Arab unity, economic security, and socialism, while families usually focus on such values as love, people, generosity, and religion. Many families also fear that their children acquire violent views and habits such as spying while in school.
Prior to the Persian Gulf War higher education was greatly prized, and the state used to pay for all of it, even literacy classes for adults. In the s the literacy rate was about 80 percent, and there were several plans to build new universities and expand existing ones. During the Iran-Iraq War the government refused to recruit or draft university students, claiming that they would ensure the future of Iraq. However, the situation has gravely changed since the Persian Gulf War.
Religion in Iraq - Wikipedia
No current literacy statistic is available, but in the rate was estimated to be 42 percent, a sharp drop from the previous decade. Also, there is no indication that the universities were ever expanded. Fewer women than men receive the highest levels of education. Etiquette In general, both adults and children keep to themselves and are not loud and boisterous, especially in public. Men commonly hold hands or kiss when greeting each other, but this is not the case for men and women.
Respect is given to the elderly and women, especially those with children, as men give up their seats to them on buses and trains. Islam is the officially recognized religion of Iraq and is practiced by 95 percent of the population.
Islam itself does not distinguish between church and state, so any distinctions between religious and secular law are the result of more recent developments.
The Shias believe that the original twelve imams The ziggurat of Nanna, built around B. Islamic leaders were both spiritual and temporal leaders and that the caliph, or successor of Muhammad and leader of Islam, is selected through lineage and descent. The Sunnis believe that the imams were strictly temporal leaders and that the caliph should be elected. The Sunni sect is considered the orthodox branch of Islam.
A small percentage of the population is Christian, divided into four churches: The Yazidis, a cultural group living in the northern mountains, believe in a religion that combines paganism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and Islam. They are concentrated in the Sinjar Mountains in the north and are herders and cultivators. In the past they have been victims of persecution due to their religious beliefs and practices, of ten being called heretical.
There are five pillars of Islam: Muezzins invoke a call to prayer, reminding everyone it is either time to pray or to call them to the mosque, and imams lead the prayers. Imams are not required to go through formal training, but usually are men of importance in their communities and are appointed by the government.
During Ramadan, men gather in homes or the marketplace to participate in readings of the Qur'an led by mumins men trained at a religious school in An Najaf or by mullahs men apprenticed with older specialists. Christians are organized under a bishop who resides in Baghdad, and gather for Mass on Sundays.
Rituals and Holy Places. Muslims gather at the mosque every Friday for afternoon prayer. Ramadan falls in the ninth month of the Muslim calendar, which is on a lunar cycle and thus falls during different times of the year.
The month entails a period of fasting from all food, drink, and activities such as smoking and sexual intercourse during daylight hours. At night the fast is broken, and on the first day of the tenth month there is a celebration, Id al Fitr, to acknowledge the end of the fast.
During Id al Adha, on the tenth day of the twelfth month, there is a sacrificial festival. Both this and the one following Ramadan last for three or four days, and people dress up, visit each other, exchange gifts, and also visit cemeteries. Death and the Afterlife. Funerals are very simple and somber events. People are buried on the day following their death, and are wrapped in a white cloth and placed in a plain box, if available.
Whether the person is rich or poor, funerals are generally the same for everyone. Medicine and Health Care Health care is socialized, with a few private hospitals.
The current situation of hospitals is dire, as they are tremendously understaffed, under-equipped, and overbooked. There has been a dramatic rise in disease sincedue to chemicals used in the fighting of the Persian Gulf War, and from malnutrition and bacterial disease exacerbated by conditions resulting from the economic embargo.
In the s Iraq was extremely advanced in health care, but lack of resources and education has compromised medical advancement, and in fact has caused it to regress. Doctors who could once cure many diseases through medicine or surgery are no longer able to do so due for lack of resources.
Because Iraq was so advanced in medical expertise in the past, there was little reliance on traditional medicine. The current situation is disheartening for older physicians, because they are not able to do medical procedures that they have the capability to perform, and young physicians are no longer educated in the available techniques that older physicians know.
The health care situation is rapidly deteriorating, and once-controlled diseases such as malnutrition, diarrhea, typhoid fever, measles, chicken pox, and cholera are reappearing in great numbers; in addition, there is a large increase in diseases such as leukemia and other cancers.
Secular Celebrations The Anniversary of the Revolution is 17 July and the most important secular holiday. It was on this day in that the Baath Party took control of the Republic of Iraq. Other holidays celebrate Islamic feasts and include the day following the month-long fast of Ramadan Id al Fitrthe sacrificial festival of Id al Adha, the birth of Muhammad, and a pilgrim's return from Mecca.
The Arts and Humanities Support for the Arts. The government supports artists, provided they are chosen by the state and do works requested by the state. For example, all writers, when commissioned by the state, must include praise to Saddam Hussein in their work. In general, artistic forms of thought and expression have been banned.
Private ownership of typewriters and photocopiers is prohibited, so that no independent writings may be published or distributed.
In addition, publishing houses, distribution networks, newspapers, art galleries, theaters, and film companies are subject to state censorship and must register all writing equipment with authorities. The end result is that artists are unable to express themselves freely. Islamic art is very important, as are ceramics, carpets, and Islamic-style fashion design. In the Iraqi Fashion House opened, and design concentrated on the preservation of traditional attire and historical style.
At present historical art, which is colorful and fine, has been reduced to art produced for function, such as sculptures of political figures and propaganda for the government. Music festivals have been important, such as the Babylon International Music and Arts Festival last held in and International orchestras and performance troupes were invited to perform in the restored sites of Babylon, and people from all over the world attended. At present due to the harsh and severe living conditions, there are no resources to allocate to performance arts.
The Politics of Modern Iraq Women in Modern Iraq The Future of Iraq A People Without a Country: The Kurds and Kurdistan Fernea, Elizabeth and Robert.