By Ahmed Yousef
During 18th and 19th centuries, there were several attempts to create a utopian community to achieve either equality or freedom. Utopian communities were responses to the failure of the Industrial Revolution in Europe and the French Revolution; these scientific and political revolutions failed to produce considerable equality and freedom. The two utopian models that emerged in Europe were Saint-Simon model and Fourier model; Saint-Simon model wanted to establish “a model of strongly hierarchical and strictly meritocratic society” to provide equality while Fourier model tried to destroy private property and state in order to obtain maximum individual freedoms (Screpanti, 136-9). All utopian communities in Europe and the United States could not last long, and they either turned to dystopia or economically failed. In Iraqi Kurdistan during the 1920s, Haqqa Movement, a religious community, emerged in order to spread equality among its members while at the same time it provided a unique degree of social and religious freedoms to its followers. The movement provided women with freedom to marry whoever they like and be part of the collective decision-making the body of the community. Haqqa Movement opposed to the tyranny of Aghas and the British rule in Iraqi Kurdistan, which made these two groups united against the movement. Although Haqqa community had progressive ideas and devoted followers, it could not become a long term dominant movement in Iraqi Kurdistan. The history of Haqqa Movement remained unknown to new generations of Kurds and non-Kurds since many people inside and outside of Kurdistan were opposed to this community and its ideas. This paper will discuss the emergence of Haqqa movement and challenges this movement faced from existing social and political groups in Iraqi Kurdistan.
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*Ahmed is a student of International Studies at the American University of Sulaimani.