Sunni Ideology, Contention and the Islamic State in Iraq


Abstract


This article discusses the emergence, development and trajectory of ISIS in Iraq through the lenses of Social Movement Theory. It deploys the political process model and outlines both structural and agency factors. The article argues that the Sunni regions of Iraq developed a separate political community after 2003, against the backdrop of the sectarian politics that the coalition of Shia parties that supported the al-Maliki government in Baghdad were perceived to be pursuing. The political process unfolded in three phases from 2003 to 2014. While Sunni political parties tried to compromise with the al-Maliki government in 2010, the latter's uncompromising stance created the context for more radical forces to come on the scene. In 2013, Baathists and Salafi-jihadists formed a revolutionary front, which led to a generalised uprising in the Sunni regions of the country. The article explains how ISIS was able to take advantage of the political opportunities on the ground and provides analytical insights for its transformation from an isolated organisation to a hegemonic revolutionary force.

Keywords: ISIS; Iraq; Islamism; Jihadism; Salafism; Social Movements

References


Abdulrazaq T., Stansfield G. (2016), “The enemy within: ISIS and the conquest of Mosul”, The Middle East Journal, 70(4): 525-542.

Abu Haniyya H. (2018), Al-Jihādiyya al-Arabiyya. Indimāj al-Abād: Al-Nikāyya wa al-Tamkīn bayna “al-Dawla al-Islamiyya” wa “qāʿda al-jihad” (Arab Jihadism. Integrating the opposites: Nikayya and Tamkin between “The Islamic State” and “Al-Qaeda)”, Beirut: Arab Center for Research & Policy Studies

Acun C. (2014), The Map of Insurgency in Iraq: The Armed Groups, Seta Perspective, https://file.setav.org/Files/Pdf/20140714165607_11_perspective_cacun.pdf [accessed 10 November 2020].

Al-Qarawee H.H. (2014). Iraq’s Sectarian Crisis. Carnegie Middle East Center https://carnegie-mec.org/2014/04/23/iraq-s-sectarian-crisis-legacy-of-exclusion-pub-55372 [accessed 9 November 2020].

Al-Qarawee, H.H. (2010). “Redefining a nation: the conflict of identity and federalism in Iraq”, Perspectives on Federalism, 2(1): 32-41.

Al-Sishani M.B. (2014). The Islamic State's Strategic and Tactical Plan for Iraq, RefWorld,

Alaaldin, R. (2018), Sectarianism, Governance and Iraq’s Future, Brookings Doha Center Analysis Paper, (24), https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Sectarianism-governance-and-Iraqs-future_English.pdf [accessed 14 June 2021]

Arango T. (2014), Uneasy alliance gives Insurgents on Edge in Iraq. The New York Times, https://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/19/world/middleeast/former-loyalists-of-saddam-hussein-crucial-in-helping-isis.html?hpw&rref=world&_r=0 [accessed 10 November 2020].

Atiyah (2005), Atiyah’s Letter to Zarqawi, Combating Terrorism Center https://ctc.usma.edu/harmony-program/atiyahs-letter-to-zarqawi-original-language-2/ [accessed 10 November 2020].

Barron B., Maye D. (2017), “Does ISIS Satisfy the Criteria of an Apocalyptic Islamic Cult? An Evidence-Based Historical Qualitative Meta-Analysis”, Contemporary Voices: St Andrews Journal of International Relations, 8(1).

Benraad M. (2015), Irak, la revanche de l'histoire. De l'occupation étrangère à l'Etat islamique, Paris: Vendémiaire.

Bishara A. (2018), Tanẓīm al-Dawla al-Muqanna “Dāʿash” (Islamic State organization, so called “Dash”), Beirut: Arab Center for Research & Policy Studies.

Brown C.M. (2015), “Mobilizing the Caliphate: ISIS and the Conflict in Iraq and Syria”, Politička misao, 52(4/5): 203-214.

Byman D. (2015), Al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and the global jihadist movement: What everyone needs to know, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Cockburn P. (2015), The rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the new Sunni revolution, London: Verso Books.

Cronin A. K. (2015), “ISIS Is not a Terrorist Group: Why Counterterrorism Won't Stop the Latest Jihadist Threat”, Foreign Affairs, 94(2): 87-98.

Dawisha A., L. Diamond (2006), “Electoral Systems Today: Iraq's Year of Voting Dangerously”, Journal of Democracy, 17(2): 89-103.

Dawod H. (2018), “Iraqi Tribes in The Land of Jihad”, in V. Collombier, O. Roy (ed.), Tribes and Global Jihadism, Oxford University Press, pp. 15-33.

European Parliamentary Research Service (2015), Minorities in Iraq. Pushed to the brink of existence, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2015/548988/EPRS_BRI(2015)548988_REV1_EN.pdf [accessed 10 November 2020].

Fink D, Leibowitz S. (2006), The Muslim Scholars Association: A Key Actor in Iraq. Research Notes, 12 https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/uploads/Documents/pubs/ResearchNote12.pdf [accessed 10 November 2020].

Fuller G.E. (2003), Islamist Politics in Iraq after Saddam Hussein. United States Institute of peace Special Report, 108, https://www.usip.org/sites/default/files/sr108.pdf [accessed 10 November 2020].

Gerges F. A. (2009), The far enemy: Why Jihad went global, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Gerges F. A. (2017), ISIS: A history, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Haddad F. (2011), Sectarianism in Iraq: Antagonistic visions of unity, New York: Oxford University Press.

Hafez M. (2007), Al-Qaida Losing Ground in Iraq. CTC SENTINEL, https://www.ctc.usma.edu/al-qaida-losing-ground-in-iraq/ [accessed 10 November 2020].

Hashim A.S. (2014), “The Islamic State: From al‐Qaeda Affiliate to Caliphate”, Middle East Policy, 21(4): 69-83.

Home office (2016), Country Policy and Information Note. Iraq: Ba’athists, https://www.refworld.org/publisher,UKHO,,IRQ,5853d6394,0.html [accessed 10 November 2020].

https://www.refworld.org/docid/53e8a0174.html [accessed 10 November 2020].

Hussein D. H. (2007), Iraq: Tribal Structure, Social, and Political Activities. CRS Report for Congress, https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a464737.pdf [accessed 10 November 2020].

International Crisis Group 2013, Make or Break: Iraq’s Sunnis and the State. Middle East Report 144 https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/gulf-and-arabian-peninsula/iraq/make-or-break-iraq-s-sunnis-and-state/ [accessed 10 November 2020].

Kalyvas S.N. (2015), “Is ISIS a Revolutionary group and if Yes, What are the Implications?”, Perspectives on Terrorism, 9(4): 42-47.

Katzman K., Humud C.E. (2015), Iraq: politics and governance. Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service, http://goodtimesweb.org/diplomacy/2015/RS21968.pdf [accessed 10 November 2020].

Kaválek T., (2015), “From al-Qaeda in Iraq to Islamic State: The Story of Insurgency in Iraq and Syria in 2003-2015”, Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, 14(1).

Lister C. (2014), Profiling the Islamic State. Brookings Doha Center Analysis Paper, https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/en_web_lister.pdf [accessed 10 November 2020].

Lovotti C., Proserpio L. (2021), “The October 2019 Protest Movement in Iraq. An Analysis of The ‘Early Moments’ of the Mobilisation”, Partecipazione e conflitto, 14(2): 644-662.

McAdam D., Tarrow S., Tilly C. (2004), “Dynamics of contention”, Social Movement Studies 2(1): 99-102.

McCallister W. (2005), “The Iraq insurgency: Anatomy of a tribal rebellion”, First Monday, 10(3).

McCants W., (2015), The ISIS apocalypse: The history, strategy, and doomsday vision of the Islamic State, New York: McMillan.

Meijer R. (2005), “The Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq”, Middle East Report 237: 12-19.

Ottaway M., Kaysi D.A. (2011), Iraq: Protest, Democracy and Autocracy. Carnegie, https://carnegieendowment.org/2011/03/28/iraq-protest-democracy-and-autocracy-pub-43306 [accessed 10 November 2020].

Pfiffner J.P. (2010), “US blunders in Iraq: De-Baathification and disbanding the army”, Intelligence and National Security, 25(1): 76-85.

Plebani A. (ed., 2017), After Mosul: Re-inventing Iraq, Milano: ISPI.

Rabkin N. (2018), “The Sunni Religious Leadership in Iraq”, Current Trends in Islamist Ideology, 23: 45-66.

Ryan M.W. (2013), Decoding Al-Qaeda's Strategy: The Deep Battle Against America, New York: Columbia University Press.

Ryan M.W. (2015), ISIS: The terrorist group that would be a state. CIWAG Irregular Warfare Studies, 2, https://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1010&context=ciwag-case-studies [accessed 10 November 2020].

Sowell K. (2014), Maliki Anbar’s Blunder. Foreign Policy, https://web.archive.org/web/20140705054624/http://mideastafrica.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2014/01/15/maliki_s_anbar_blunder [accessed 10 November 2020].

Stern J., J. M. Berger (2015), ISIS: The State of Terror, London: HarperCollins.

Strategic Plan (1431 AH/2010), “Khoutah Istratijiya li Ta'aziz al-Moqif al-Siyasi al-Dawlat al-Islamyiah fi al-Iraq (A Strategic Plan to Improve the Political Position of the Islamic State of Iraq).” Jamia al-Kutub al-Islamiyya, https://ketabonline.com/en/books/17969/read?page=1&part=1 [accessed 10 November 2020].

Walt S.M., (2015), “ISIS as revolutionary state”, Foreign Affairs, 94 (6): 42-51.

Weiss M., Hassan H. (2016), ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror, London: Simon and Schuster.

Whiteside C., (2016), “The Islamic state and the return of revolutionary warfare”, Small Wars & Insurgencies, 27(5): 743-776.

Wicken S. (2013), Iraq’s Sunnis in Crisis. Middle East Security Report, 2, http://www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/Wicken-Sunni-In-Iraq.pdf [accessed 10 November 2020].

Wiktorowicz Q. (ed., 2004), Islamic activism: A social movement theory approach, Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.

Windrem R. (2014), Isis Bogged Down in Iraq, Quarreling with Sunni Allies: US Official, https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/iraq-turmoil/isis-bogged-down-iraq-quarreling-sunni-allies-us-official-n150106 [accessed 10 November 2020].


Full Text: PDF

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale - Non opere derivate 3.0 Italia License.