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Compulsion in ReligionSaddam Hussein, Islam, and the Roots of Insurgencies in Iraq$
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Samuel Helfont

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190843311

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190843311.001.0001

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Suppressing the Islamist Opposition

Suppressing the Islamist Opposition

(p.69) 4 Suppressing the Islamist Opposition
Compulsion in Religion

Samuel Helfont

Oxford University Press

This chapter details the Ba’thist regime’s conflict with Iraqi Islamists during the 1980s. It highlights the insights provided by Iraqi intelligence reports. In doing so, it shows that the regime confronted a wide-scale uprising in the late 1970s and early 1980s, mostly among Shi’i Islamists and the Da’wa Party. However, the regime did also face threats from Sunni Islamists such as the Muslim Brotherhood. Membership in any political organization other than the Ba‘th Party necessarily resulted in harsh regime responses. In the middle years of the 1980s, the regime felt it had established control. This success gave the regime a clearer picture of the opposition and its membership. The regime gradually contained these threats, pushing Sunni and Shi’i Islamists underground or into exile.

Keywords:   Islamism, Da’wa Party, Muslim Brotherhood, Hizb al-Tahrir, intelligence reports, repression, opposition

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