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Sunnis Who Fled Iraq Remain In Exile

American troops are starting to come home from Iraq, but many Iraqis have yet to return to their homes. In the violence since the U.S. invasion, about 4 millions Iraqis had to leave their homes. Another 2 million left the country entirely, and many are still outside its borders.

Throughout the war, NPR's Deborah Amos has spent much of her time with Iraqis who fled to Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. Many of them are Sunni Muslims, a minority sect in Iraq.

"One of the reasons I wanted to call this book Eclipse of the Sunnis is because I thought that part of the story has been under-reported and misunderstood," Amos says. "They are a testament to how far Iraq still needs to go."

She says that majority rule, as it stands in Iraq, is not democracy. In the U.S., there is a rule of law; there are religious protections and protections for minorities.

"That is still missing," says Amos. "And as long as that is still missing, Iraqis will not come back."

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Deborah Amos covers the Middle East for NPR News. Her reports can be heard on NPR's award-winning Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.
Steve Inskeep is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.