Area Handbook Series: Persian Gulf States Country Studies
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC FEDERAL RESEARCH DIV
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THE COUNTRIES OF THE PERSIAN GULF covered in this volume-Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates-have assumed added prominence as a result of Operation Desert Shield in 1990 and the Persian Gulf War in 1991. These states share certain characteristics while simultaneously differing from one another in various respects. Islam has played a major role in each of the Persian Gulf states, although Kuwait and Bahrain reflect a greater secular influence than the other three. Moreover, the puritanical Wahhabi see Glossary Sunni see Glossary sect prevails in Qatar Bahrain has a majority population of Shia see Glossary, a denomination of the faith that constitutes a minority in Islam as a whole and the people of Oman represent primarily a minor sect within Shia Islam, the Ibadi.
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