Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Fading hope for Iraqi national unity

In the midst of increasing sectarian violence, hope is fading in the hearts of some Iraqis. “When the Baathist regime collapsed, I initially felt that there was a good chance for national unity, that Sunnis and Shiites would band together in the absence of a dictator who had played them against each other. Talking to [a childhood friend], I realized how wrong I had been,” Hussain Abdul-Hussain, a media analyst who grew up in Baghdad, writes in a New York Times op-ed on Monday.

To some Iraqis, the idea that Iraqis no longer see themselves as Iraqi, but rather as Sunni, Shiite, etc., provokes fear of a greater divide. Abdul-Hussain’s friend recently said to him: “When we fought the Persians during the 1980s, we were wrong. We’re Shiites before being Iraqis. Sunnis invented national identity to rule us.” In the presence of such ideas, hope for common ground seems dim, Abdul-Hussain argues.

For the full article, click here.


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