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Iraqi Struggle for Secular Democracy Losing Ground

Ali Abdel Sadah analyzes the struggles of secular democrats in Iraq against Islamic sectarian politics.
Protesters lift a giant Iraqi national flag during an anti-government demonstration in Falluja, 50 km (30 miles) west of Baghdad, January 11, 2013. Tens of thousands of Iraqi Sunni Muslims took to the streets in Baghdad and other cities after prayers on Friday, in another show of discontent with Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.    REUTERS/Mohanned Faisal (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS)
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As Egyptians return to Tahrir Square to protest against their president’s attempt to hijack their revolution, which had originally swept him into power, Iraqi civilian activist circles are all asking the same question: What is preventing similar civilian activism from taking place in Iraq?

The answers are varied and conflicting when attempting to explain the differences between the environments in Baghdad and Cairo. However the debate inevitably leads to a review of the Iraqi civilian movement’s activities since 2003.

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