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Re: [casi] The West's unnerving ignorance ...

Dear all
Without getting involved in the demographic composition of the Iraqi society
I want to state few facts:
1- Population census are carried out every 10 years since 1937 (1927?)
2- In each and every time people were asked to state their religion (Islam,
Christianity, or Judaism)
3- No information was collected whether the person is Sunni or shii,
Catholic or protestant
4- As far as I know there is no (Iraqi) government study or statistics
published on the sectarian composition of the Iraqi society for the last 60+
5- Any study made by other non-government groups may not be accurate. It
depends on the sample selection, sample size...etc.
6- Studies made in the 60's and 70's may not reflect the current composition

I have no problem with either side claming any percentage.

Best Regards
Ghazwan Al-Mukhtar
Baghdad, Iraq
----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, June 07, 2002 2:25 AM
Subject: [casi] The West's unnerving ignorance ...

Two pieces follow on the West's unnerving ignorance of Iraq:

[1] Frank Smyth collects several bits of pie-on-face punditry referring to
Iraq's 'Sunni majority', by such luminaries as Henry Kissinger and the
American journal, Foreign Affairs.  To wit: "As Foreign Affairs' editors
two issues later: 'Most Iraqis are Shiites. Our apologies.'"  (... though
members n.b., the offending authors were arguing against rollback.)

[2] Paul Roberts' splendidly written review of Sandra Mackey's "The
is also notable for its source: the Washington Post.  One wonders what the
Post's editorial board made of the first paragraph, among the most angry and
despairing I've read in the American mainstream.  Is there yet hope?

Drew Hamre
Golden Valley, Minnesota USA

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