As for That Other Election


Tucked away in the by-lanes of Baghdad's upscale Yarmouk district, the Omar al-Mukhtar Mosque is an unimpressive structure. Gray cement and concrete, it boasts no glittering dome, no grand courtyard, no elaborate stucco work on the ceiling. The loudspeakers on its single minaret are set at a modest volume, and the muezzin's call to prayer barely travels a few blocks. "We like to keep things low-key," says Abdul Karim al-Nasseri, the mosque's soft-voiced imam. "People come here for quiet contemplation."

But the peaceful exterior hides a deepening disquiet. The Omar al-Mukhtar is a Sunni mosque, and these days, many of al-Nasseri's...

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