Image credit: Tommy Avilucea/U.S. Air Force
March 10, 2023
Iraq’s Crackdown on Booze, Social Media Posts Raises Alarm
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.