The Baath regime, which ruled Iraq through 1968-2003, wasn’t one that was known to have embraced Islam as an ideology or take it as an important source for its values. The regime has most often been described as a secular one of a singular directive approach to establish a totalitarian regime that adopts centralisation and cruelty in power. But it is apparent that the nineties of the last century witnessed the ruling regime moving towards the integration of some Islamic ideas within its control instruments and command tactics exerted by the Baath Party to prove its isolated rule from the Iraqi society. Regardless of the reasons that prompted the regime to adopt such a strategy, which was centered on the so-called “major national faith campaign”, the effects of this campaign and the repercussions of its effects are still fastened until this day in Iraq and the region. With the growth of what is known as the “Islamic awakening” and by observing the evolution of the Baath Party’s political practices during the 1980s and 1990s, it seems that the regime sought to control religious segments of society by crystalising influential Islamic topics expressed over the trends, frameworks and methods of the Baath Party especially with the decline of national thought. The party seized control over the expanse of the religious awakening in Iraq to a position from which it can entrench sectarian reality in the Iraqi arena, so as long it can prove through national thought its stance in the previous period.

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Researcher at Al-Bayan Center for Planning and Studies.