Iraq – Society & Areas of Conflict – Script (en)

Iraqi society consists of several religious, ethnic and social groups. However, Iraqis are equal citizens before the law without discrimination based on sex, race, nationality, religion, sect, or the belief.

Islam is considered the official religion of the state, as 97% of the population are Muslims. Sunni and Shiit sects are the two fundamental components of this religion in the Iraqi society.

Islam is spread all over Iraq and then comes Christianity, Sabians, Mandaeans and Yazidis.

Christianity is considered the second followed religion after Islam, and it is acknowledged by the Iraqi constitution, including 14 Christian denominations in the country. They all speak Arabic, in addition to small percentage of Syriac and Armenian speakers.

Christians reside in all governorates of Iraq in various numbers, but the larger numbers are concentrated in Baghdad and in northren Iraq, especially in Nineveh valley next to Mosul.

Arabs compose the majority of the population (75-80% of the total population), followed by the Kurds (12-18%).

This diversity and mixture have resulted in the emergence of different groups and communities, where different religion believes or ethnicities are merged. For example, there is a group called “Al-Shabak”, that lives in east of Musel, and includes different nationalities; Arabs, Kurds and Turkmans.

The main three nationalities in Iraq, are Arabs, Kurds and Turkmans.

Dr. Sarmad Ahmad Alsalmani

Iraq’s contemporary history, according to many observers, is divided into two parts, the first one refers to the era before 2003 and the second is after 2003. The conflict areas have changed between the two eras, and this is due to the political, demographic and geopolitical change in Iraq. This change has also overshadowed the media, which became more open and free with multi-outlets and satellite channels.

This change has led to broader and bigger media landscape and that is why we see how media coverage of conflict areas vary between the different media outlets. This difference is usually attributed to the finance, the political orientation, the policy, and the strategy of the channel.

For an example, if we look at the media landscape today, we see that terrorism is one of the most issues discussed by the media. Indeed, Iraq today is where terrorism is practiced massively, and where the conflict zones are increasing. Therefore, TV channels discuss the issue accordingly, but we can’t find any of them who discusses it impartially and objectively.

These channels are divided into those who do not give much importance to terrorism and ISIS threat, and this is related to the channels policy.

The other part includes the channels who inflate the issue beyond reality. This is also due to political reasons but also could be due to problematic professional morals.

We look today for channels that discuss these issues impartially, objectively and accurately, which can portray the threats of ISIS and its ideology. We are facing today not only an ideological invasion, but also an intellectual invasion that is storming our region.