Shadid on Shiite Politics in Iraq
As usual, Anthony Shadid of the Washington Post (an Arabist) does some of the best in-depth reporting on Shiite religious politics in Iraq. He managed to get an interview with Grand Ayatollah Hussain Bashir al-Najafi, the first I know of in English. His nuanced and informed report raises serious questions about the role the leading Iraqi clerics see for themselves in an independent Iraq. They clearly want to intervene at key junctures to make the country more puritanical than it has traditionally been.