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Sunnis support protests in Iraq, yet fear involvement

Sunnis have been quiet during the recent protests in Iraq, but not because they aren't suffering along with their Shiite countrymen.
People hold an anti-government protest in Baghdad, Iraq October 5, 2019. Picture taken October 5, 2019. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani - RC1154E7BFF0
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Protests in Iraq this month have strikingly witnessed no participation in Sunni provinces, as the nine governates involved have been Shiite.

Protesters raised banners with the slogan, “Sunni and Shiite Brothers,” alluding to the idea that they have a shared destiny and shared goals. But Omar, a young Sunni man from Mosul, explained the Sunni absence, saying, “It is because in the eyes of some people, we are seen as the Islamic State [which imposed a violent, extreme version of Sunni Islam]. If we protest, they will take us off the streets and throw us in secret prisons. Yet we are still oppressed and our situation is as bad as everyone else’s and even worse," he told Al-Monitor.

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