Long-suppressed Shias shape new Iraq

Persecuted by Saddam Hussein, Iraq's Shia population is increasingly influencing the political and religious landscape.

    Iraq's long-suppressed Shia majority is in the ascendancy.

    Thousands of pilgrims flocked to a Baghdad shrine this week in a vibrant expression of religious identity that would not have been tolerated under the ruler of former dictator Saddam Hussein.

    Iraq is also the first country in the Arab world to be ruled by Shias, with Shia parties now shaping the country's political landscape.

    But Shia nationalism is also playing a role in continued opposition to the presence of American troops in the country - with Moqtada al-Sadr, a key Shia leader, putting pressure on Iraqi leaders by threatening to re-activate his militia unless the US completes its withdrawal.

    Al Jazeera's Rawya Rageh reports from Baghdad as part of our Iraq's Challenge series.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.