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HILLAH, IRAQ - MAY 15: An Iraqi man cries while holding a human rib he pulled from the ground at the site of a mass grave Thursday, May 15, 2003 near Hillah, Iraq. Saddam Hussein murdered countless Shiites in his bid to stomp out any form of resistance. Powerless under Saddam and predominately poor, the Shiites of Iraq now find themselves major players on the world stage often at odds with the world's only remaining superpower. Making up over 65 percent of Iraq's population the success or failure of the United States' occupation of Iraq rests squarely on the shoulders of this previously marginalized group of people. The Shiites of Iraq are a diverse people who's beliefs range from the radical, as seen in Muqtada al-Sadr's morals court, to the progressive, as seen at Baghdad's elite universities where Shiites, Sunni's, and Christians mix freely. They are a people who have survived Saddam's killing fields, found solace in their religious rituals, and are poised to take the reins of power for the first time in modern history.
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©2003 Matt Moyer
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Shiites of Iraq
HILLAH, IRAQ - MAY 15: An Iraqi man cries while holding a human rib he pulled from the ground at the site of a mass grave Thursday, May 15, 2003 near Hillah, Iraq. Saddam Hussein murdered countless Shiites in his bid to stomp out any form of resistance. Powerless under Saddam and predominately poor, the Shiites of Iraq now find themselves major players on the world stage often at odds with the world's only remaining superpower. Making up over 65 percent of Iraq's population the success or failure of the United States' occupation of Iraq rests squarely on the shoulders of this previously marginalized group of people. The Shiites of Iraq are a diverse people who's beliefs range from the radical, as seen in Muqtada al-Sadr's morals court, to the progressive, as seen at Baghdad's elite universities where Shiites, Sunni's, and Christians mix freely. They are a people who have survived Saddam's killing fields, found solace in their religious rituals, and are poised to take the reins of power for the first time in modern history.