Latest Issue

The coming of Shia Iraq

After 500 years of Sunni rule, Iraq's election will hand power to the Shia majority. This terrifies Sunnis, and gives Shia factions a common goal — masterminded by none other than Ahmed Chalabi

By Bartle Bull   November 2004

The Al-Askari Mosque is one of the most important Shiah mosques in the world. It was seriously damaged in attacks by Sunni extremists in 2006 and 2007

The hundred-mile drive from Baghdad to Najaf usually takes about three hours. It is hot country with low dusty towns and villages built of mud brick. About halfway along the road there is a turn to the right marked by an arch in the form of a pair of swords meeting at the tips. They are double-tipped swords, curved like those of the Imam Ali, whose defeat in war in 657 was the…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect