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Voices from IraqA People's History, 2003-2009$
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Mark Kukis

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231156929

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231156929.001.0001

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A Visit to the Temple

A Visit to the Temple

A Visit to the Temple
Voices from Iraq

Mark Kukis

Columbia University Press

In this chapter, Hussein Radhi Zuboon talks about his experience during the Iraq war. Hussein is a community leader among Iraq's Mandaeans, monotheists who believe in spiritual purification through ritual baptism. Mandaeanism is one of Iraq's earliest religions, predating Christianity. Adherents, who have lived mainly in areas of southern Iraq for roughly 2,000 years, look to John the Baptist as the faith's great teacher. According to Hussein, roughly 15,000 Mandaeans were living in Iraq at the time of the U.S. invasion. They were a relatively wealthy community. Many Mandaeans worked as goldsmiths. Criminals began targeting Mandaeans because of their wealth in the lawlessness following the U.S. invasion. Further threats came in later years because of their faith, as minority sects drew the attention of Islamic militants.

Keywords:   invasion, Hussein Radhi Zuboon, Iraq war, Iraq, Mandaeans, Mandaeanism, criminals, minority sects, militants

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