Fanar Haddad on the Language of anti-Shi’ism

MEI In The Media

Fanar Haddad on the Language of anti-Shi’ism

16 Aug 2013

MEI’s Fanar Haddad, author of Sectarianism in Iraq: Antagonistic Visions of Unity (2011), wrote an article last week for Foreign Policy entitled “The Language of anti-Shi’ism.” Haddad considers the changing vocabulary of anti-Shi’ism in the Arab world and what that says about identity, nationalism, and communal relations in the post-2003 Middle East. Where previously an Arab nationalist-influenced anti-Shiite discourse questioned the Shiites’ ethnic and nationalist pedigree by referring to them as ajam, today a Salafi-influenced discourse questions Shiites’ doctrines, religious beliefs, and ultimately their belonging to the Islamic world by referring to them as rafidha.