1st Edition

Nationalism and Islamism in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq The Emergence of the Kurdistan Islamic Union

By Mohammad Salih Mustafa Copyright 2021
    234 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    234 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Exploring a new political phenomenon in the Middle East, this book studies the reconciliation of nationalism and Islamism by Islamic political parties in the context of nation states. Islamism in Kurdistan has become significantly framed by the politics of nationalism.

    Although the concept of religious nationalism has been discussed substantially before, this work highlights a new brand of religious nationalism that has emerged as a result of intertwining nationalism and Islamism. The focus of this study is on the development of religious nationalism in the continuously tumultuous region of the Middle East. The volume investigates whether Islamism in Kurdistan is limited by the politics of nationalism – which is an accentuated example for the whole Middle East region. By looking at the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU), the research studies Islamism in the Kurdistan Region to elaborate on this new type of politics. This is essentially due to the absence of a politically recognised nation state, which renders Kurds to be particularly susceptible to various manifestations of nationalism.

    Offering an account on the spread of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Kurdistan Region, this original research on Kurdish nationalism will be a key text for students and researchers interested in nationalism, Islamism and Middle East politics.


    1. Religious nationalism and Islam

    2. From embracing Islam to the dawn of religious nationalism

    3. The de facto Kurdistan Region and the rise of religious nationalism

    4. Islam and the Kurdistan Islamic Union

    5. Democracy and the Kurdistan Islamic Union

    6. Nationalism and the Kurdistan Islamic Union



    Mohammad Salih Mustafa is a lecturer at the Department of Politics and International Relations, Soran University, Iraq. He holds a PhD in Ethno-Political Studies. Research interests includes: religious nationalism, Islamism, Kurdistan region, Muslim Brotherhood, counter terrorism and security. His publications include is The Trajectory and Current State of Inta-Kurdish Politics in Kurdistan Region, the Role and Influence of Iran and Turkey’ published in the Turkish Journal of Security Studies (2016).