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IRAQI KURDS THEIR HISTORY AND CULTURE REFUGEE FACT SHEET NO.13  
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Kurds have always been among the more liberal Muslims.

Religion

Kurds are overwhelmingly Muslim and are typically members of the Sunni sect, along with most Turks and a minority of Iraqi Arabs. (The other major sect of Islam is the Shi'a; the Iranians are mostly Shi'a, as are the majority of Iraqi Arabs.)

Kurds have always been among the more liberal Muslims. Kurdish women, for example, have never covered their faces and have never worn the abbaye or chador, the all-covering garments worn by some Arab and Iranian women. They have worked outside the home: Traditionally, they worked the fields; in modern times, they have attended school and university and held jobs outside the home.

Many aspects of daily Kurdish life, for example their bathing requirements, are determined by essentially Muslim customs and strictures. Some of these are discussed below in the section "Making the Kurds Comfortable."

 

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