The Sabean-Mandaeans: Perceptions of Reconciliation and Conflict

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The Sabean-Mandaean community in Iraq is threatened with extinction. As a result of unabated kidnappings, robberies and killings, much of the community has been displaced from Baghdad and areas in the south of Iraq to the Kurdistan Region and Kirkuk. Considering the particular vulnerability of the community,and the continued security threats present in their areas of origin, community members are currently not considering going back.

After the defeat of the Islamic State, the Iraqi government should seize the window of opportunity to promote coexistence, religious pluralism and citizenship. In the short term, however, the Kurdistan Regional Government can play an important role in supporting the continued survival of the Sabean-Mandaean community by adopting a long-term vision towards their settlement in the Region and facilitate their integration in Kurdistan society. The international community who are concerned with religious pluralism in Iraq should seek to support the KRG in its approach and improve the community’s connectedness with its diaspora by reducing restrictions on visiting visas for countries hosting a large number of Sabean-Mandaeans.

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