March 10, 2023

Iraq’s Crackdown on Booze, Social Media Posts Raises Alarm

Source: AP

Journalists: Abby Sewell, Qassim Abdul-Zahra

Hamzeh Hadad, an adjunct fellow at the Center for a New American Security, a Washington-based think tank, said the measures could be part of an attempt to distract from Iraq’s unstable currency and to pander to the base of the conservative Shiite cleric and political leader Muqtada al-Sadr, a rival of al-Sudani’s bloc.

Hadad said the alcohol ban could disproportionately affect Christians and other non-Muslim religious minorities — a dwindling population in Iraq, particularly in the years since the formation of the extremist Islamic State group, which at one point controlled wide swaths of the country.

However, Hadad noted there were also “powerful actors with financial interests in alcohol” who might legally challenge or simply flout the ban.

Read the full article and more from The Associated Press.


  • Hamzeh Hadad

    Adjunct Fellow, Middle East Security Program

    Hamzeh Hadad is an Adjunct Fellow with the Middle East Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. He is also a visiting fellow at the European Council on Fore...