On this episode of the Order From Ashes podcast, Ali Al-Mawlawi traces the long history of anti-Shia prejudice in Iraq. That prejudice, he argues, distorts contemporary debates over whether Shia factions are undermining the state when they compete for power.

This episode of Order From Ashes is the fourth and final episode in “Shia Power,” a series about the transformation of Shia politics in Iraq, and what Iraq’s experience teaches us about the role of religion in politics everywhere.

In episode 1 of “Shia Power,” Sajad Jiyad and host Thanassis Cambanis chart the powerful role of religion and the Shia clergy in the creation of a new Iraqi order after Saddam Hussein. In episode 2, Marsin Alshammary draws on her fieldwork in the seminaries of Najaf to argue that clerical authority has not diminished, despite setbacks over the last twenty years. In episode 3, Taif Alkhudary chronicles the revolutionary efforts of the Tishreen protest movement to establish an alternative to religious politics. In episode 4, the final in this series, Ali Al-Mawlawi connects some of today’s sectarian rhetoric to Iraq’s long history of anti-Shia prejudice.


  • Ali Al-Mawlawi,
  • Thanassis Cambanis, director, Century International