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Islam in the West

Iraqi Shi’i Communities in Transition and Dialogue


Kieran Flynn

This book studies the historical, religious and political concerns of the Iraqi Shi‘i community as interpreted by the members of that community who now live in the United Kingdom and Ireland, following the 2003-2010 war and occupation in Iraq. It opens up a creative space to explore dialogue between Islam and the West, looking at issues such as intra-Muslim conflict, Muslim-Christian relations, the changing face of Arab Islam and the experience of Iraq in the crossfire of violence and terrorism – all themes which are currently emerging in preaching and in discussion among Iraqi Shi‘a in exile. The book’s aim is to explore possibilities for dialogue with Iraqi Shi‘i communities who wish, in the midst of political, social and religious transition, to engage with elements of Christian theology such as pastoral and liberation theology.


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I wish to thank my family members for their support and understanding throughout this project. My parents have been both the inspiration and foundation for my world of faith and understanding. I am indebted to them for their generosity and faithfulness to me throughout my entire life. I am particularly indebted to the members of the Shi‘i community, Milltown, Dublin, for their constant encouragement and inspiration throughout this work. I want to thank in particular Sayyid ‘Ali Al Saleh and the members of his family, also Sheik Abu Ahmed Khalad, Sayyid Abbas Al Mousawi, Dr. Rafid Al Kashan, Sheik Majid Al Hashim and Ahmed ‘Ali. I want to acknowledge the support and encouragement I received from the Iraqi Shi‘i Community living in London. At the Al Kho‘ei Foundation I was received with kindness by Sayyid Fadil Al Milani and Mr. Yusuf Al Kho‘ei on many occasions. I want to express my gratitude to the entire community of the Dar Al Islam Foundation, Cricklewood for their encour- agement and support. I wish to thank all the members of the Ahulbayt Foundation, Kilburn, and particularly Sayyid Fadil Al Mahadi for their hospitality, welcome and encouragement. I wish to acknowledge the mem- bers and founders of the Muhammadi Trust, Walm Lane and Dr. Sayyid Majid Raza Abidi for their support and welcome during my visit there. I was received with kindness by the entire community of Abrar Islamic Foundation, Crawford Place, and learned a great deal from Sheik Hassan...

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