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Are Iraqi youths losing their religion?

Despite the influence of religion in Iraqi politics, recent studies show that young people in Iraq are increasingly identifying as secularist.
Kurdish Iraqi men and women practice yoga on Mount Azmar, which overlooks the northern city of Sulaimaniyah in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, on July 19, 2020. - According to kurdish Iraqi Yoga instructor Muhammad Sherzade, an increasing number of people joined his class since he established his school in the region in 2016, following the outbreak earlier this year of the coronavirus epidemic. (Photo by Shwan MOHAMMED / AFP) (Photo by SHWAN MOHAMMED/AFP via Getty Images)
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“It’s about my identity,” Yara Ali said with confidence. Ali is an Arab-Iraqi lawyer and prominent activist living in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq; for security reasons, she uses a pseudonym.

“I was forced to wear it. It was to protect me, but it wasn’t me.” Yara, 29, told Al-Monitor. A couple of years ago, the modern, educated woman who had become a professional and loved her job decided to take off her headscarf.

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