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Iraq Clerics' Influence Raises Concern

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"Religion has entered the Iraqi political system and there will be nothing less than a very bloody war if someone tries to take it out," said Diaa Rashwan, a prominent expert on Islamic issues from Egypt's Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies.



During 35 bloody years under Saddam's Baath Party, most Iraqis, particularly Shiites, yearned to express their religious identity. The unfettered freedoms that followed Saddam's removal allowed them to do so.


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