Comparative Islamic Studies, Vol 3, No 1 (2007)

Establishing Religion in Iraq: Islam and the Modern State

Caleb Elfenbein
Issued Date: 19 Oct 2008


The institutional development of the “new Iraq” provides an object lesson in the necessity of drawing from disparate academic disciplines in the study of modern forms of Islam. Understanding historical formations of Islam and governing institutions is an integral part of ascertaining what place Islam may hold in post-occupation Iraq. At the same time, to present as complete a picture as possible it is equally important to draw from areas of study that provide insight into the institutions and practices of the modern state, the place of religion therein, and the practices and techniques of modern forms of colonialism. Bringing these different resources to bear on the analysis of Iraq‟s constitution sheds tremendous light on the relationship between Islam and state imagined by the authors of the document, the chief threats to this vision (as the authors envision them), and the measures they have taken to forestall the potential transformation of the form and place of Islam active in governing institutions.

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DOI: 10.1558/cis.v3i1.57

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