Saddam Husayn and Islam, 1968–2003: Ba'thi Iraq from Secularism to Faith
Saddam Husayn and Islam, 1968–2003: Baʿthi Iraq from Secularism to Faith offers an intellectual history of the Baʿth Party from the 1940s through 2003. Amatzia Baram focuses on the transition from its early insistence on “unity, freedom, and socialism” to its Islamization by the time it was toppled by US forces in 2003, a change largely impelled by the need to rally Iraqis against Iran during their war of 1980–88. Baram reveals signs that Saddam Husayn himself became some sort of born-again Muslim, though these signs are inconclusive.
Sources include open source material but also internal secret files and highly classified audiotapes of Saddam Husayn that were made available to researchers at the Conflict Records Research Center at National Defense University and some documents at the Hoover Institution.
Amatzia Baram is professor emeritus for Middle East history and director of the Center for Iraq Studies, University of Haifa.
A book launch for Saddam Husayn and Islam, 1968–2003 was held at the Wilson Center on November 4, 2014.