In the old days of Iraq’s Ba’athist dictatorship, Saddam Hussein’s government terrorized religious minorities under the banner of secularism. For years, Kurds and Shiites were brutally subjugated in the name of Iraqi secular nationalism.Today, the banner of repression is a different color, but its message is quite the same. In the name of Islam, divergent minorities are repressed or marginalized by the state as governing power is once again consolidated in Baghdad. Government committees urge men and women to “dress modestly.” New laws being considered by Parliament would proscribe prison sentences for online disrespect of “the independence of the state or its unity, integrity, safety,” as well as “religious, moral, family, or social values.” The democratic process has placed political power in the hands of new groups, many of which have religious priorities. As one women’s rights activist told the Washington Post, “At least with Saddam, we had one red line. Now everyone is Saddam. We have 300 Saddams, each with his bloc and his party.”This could be the future of Iraq (and Syria too, for that matter). The tyranny of the majority by the central government in Baghdad—no longer in the name of Ba’athist secularism but instead under the banner of Islam.Iraq ironically remains the most fertile ground in the Middle East, other than Lebanon, for democracy, but that very potential—its diversity—also makes it, like Lebanon, a strong candidate for endless civil war.