Monday, 5 March 2007

The Obstacle

She was injured in the first American attack on Al-Fallujah in April 2004, the surgical team did the best to help her and her mother, a couple of Islamists girls and I, were also looking after her.

After finishing her treatment the consultant decided to send her home as she didn’t need to stay in the hospital, everyone was against his decision as she wanted to stay in the hospital, but, the two girls had different explanation “he is sectarian”, I had never imagined such thing about him and the man was really not as his team and friends were from different sectors and religions and he never talked about religion or even politics, yet, I realized something else; there is a word going to disturb our life.

Sectarianism is the most common accusation nowadays, it’s the worst thing we’re suffering and probably we’ll suffer for many years.
Many people don’t know what sectarianism means, many people think that sectarianism is about fighting the others, refusing to marry them or to deal with them.

Many people refuse sectarianism and try to deny it, however, they accept it subconsciously; many people try to defend my country by saying that this mentality is a foreigner one which was brought by the invaders, but they believe that their sectors are threatened by the others and they have to get their rights.

It’s quite surprising that there are many agnostics, atheists or believers who don’t care about religion and don’t practice anything religious, yet, they defend their sectors or even their turbans.
It has been like a race which wasn’t decided by them so they have to live with it, it doesn’t have anything to do with believing in certain things apart from being threatened as you belong to that group.

Once Imam Ali said “fanaticism is not to be in love with your people but, to consider the most evil guys from your people are better than the saints of the others”.

I think sectarianism is denying facts or justifying crimes and defending criminals just because they’re from our sector. Ignoring the others and denying their sufferance is a barrier between us, it’s the main problem which is used by whoever wants to create a quarrel or even a war.

Our flagrant mistake is considering sectarianism as a fact we have to cope with not a cancer we have to eradicate.

Many people think that religion is the main reason behind sectarianism; in fact sectarianism has nothing to do with religion apart from using it to convince people or probably to cheat them. Whenever someone asks me; are you Sunni or Shiite? I reply: I’m neither, I’m Iraqi only. I don’t say I’m Muslim, because the question is about politics not religion

I appreciate that being oppressed, threatened and loosing a family member are factors which make people stop thinking properly, I know that sufferance makes people biased to one side, yet we have to think probably to solve our problems instead of waiting for their consequences.

It’s obvious that many Shiites are defending Al-Malki government just because the prime minister is Shiite, they deny the horrible failure, corruption and the torture in prisons or they even try to justify such things. Others may defend Al-Hakim or his Badr brigade, Al-Mahdi army and even the Iranian role in Iraq. Nothing can explain their attitude apart from being Shiites.

On the other hand, many Sunnis are defending whoever is considered Sunni or even whoever against Shiites like: Saddam, Al-Qaida, Sunni turbans and even the wicked Mishaan Al-Juboori.

It’s stabbing that people are ignoring how bad those guys are, it’s horrible that we accept being slaves for no reason. People are going to accept being ruled again by dictators if they are from their own sectors and this is the real threat to us and to the new generation, it’s really the worst which we can ever expect.
If we go on with this attitude we’ll sink more in this mud and we’ll suffer other ages of slavery; this time it’ll be the slavery of sectors.

We have to realize that if anyone of either side gets the power, he will just be another Saddam; will we be pleased if we see another Saddam is ruling Iraq? People don’t think about taking them to wars, confiscating their properties, dealing with them like slaves and depriving them from simple human rights.
Whenever everything settles down they’ll think and they’ll regret it.

Whoever wins this war, we will lose, all what we will get is being abused by a dictator and his followers.

To think about a country controlled by Sunni insurgents means thinking about depriving women from education, banning happiness and being hundreds of years backward, moreover, being ready to fight everyone in this world as they’re human beings. What they did in Afghanistan is a good example.

Not far away from that, letting the country to Shiites forces means living in endless misery and horror, being dressed in black for the whole year, loosing human rights and waiting for civil war between Shiites themselves apart form the war with Sunnis, the best example is what goes on in the southern cities of Iraq nowadays which represents the beginning.

In regard to how horrible our life is nowadays, it’s obvious that we don’t trust each other, yet, can we trust someone else? We have to admit that no one cares about us, no one accepts helping us and no one is going to do so. We are the only ones who have the duty of solving our problems, and if we don’t, no one else will even think about it.

The only way to solve our problems is by thinking about the country and its people instead of thinking about sectors. We have to admit that the idea of giving a certain share to every sector has failed, let’s look at our ministries, putting people in positions according to sectors is destroying everything.

The only fact we have is Iraqis are suffering and dying regardless to their sectors, all Iraqis are deprived from fuel supplementations, electricity and from living a normal life, and we have to admit that Iraqis have always passed through the same sufferance regardless to their sectors.

No one can say that Sunnis didn’t suffer from Saddam’s regime or Shiites were not tortured in the Iranian prisons.

I’ve been accused of being unrealistic when I criticize people for being unfair or when I ask them to think how the others are suffering, I don’t think that it’s too much if we ask people to be a bit fair, I know that no one is perfect, but still we have to look for justice.

I’m not asking people to deny their sectors, it’s a right for everyone to choose what they believe in, all what I’m imploring Iraqis is to think about everything logically, not to justify crimes of those who consider themselves as leaders and not to let them get a benefit from our disagreement, I don’t think that there is someone who deserves to be holly, in simple words “let’s not be slaves of sectarianism”.




I agree 100% we should all have empathy for everyone who is suffering, and I would like to think that in isolation we do all feel the pain for any other human suffering, regardless of any other factor.

However when confronted by suffering all around we are also capable of being more affected by the suffering of “our own kind”, what our own kind is will depend on the individual so that may be because we are of the same race, the same nationality, from the same city, the same neighborhood, the same street, the same house, or the same family, or it may be that the people hold the same beliefs (the Uma), or the same sect.

I am sure that I am not alone in feeling more for the pain of an Iraqi than for a non-Iraqi. And I expect I will empathize more with a woman than you would.
Unfortunately it is also true that frustration and a sense of inability to do anything about extreme injustice can erode the human empathy toward those we feel have harmed us directly or indirectly, and her again I will (perhaps foolishly) admit that after many years of seething anger for what I felt was being done to “my kind” by the Americans, when on the 9th September I watched the towers burn, the only thought that went through my mind was “7ail beekum, tistahloon akthat million mura”

We are all mere humans, flesh and blood and bundles of nerves, we feel pain, and in times of great difficulty we depend on rather primitive instincts to help us survive, as children we are influenced at some subconscious level by our surroundings, and no matter how much our adult logical minds may try and guide us it is sometimes very difficult to overcome years or decades of subliminal messages, many of which we are not really aware of.

You say sectarianism is not religion, and to some extent I agree for even within the same family it is possible to fight to the death over what ultimately all battles are about Power.

But as I am sure you already know I think the most dangerous factor about religious divisions is that trying to argue against what highly respected if not revered religious scholars “of the other kind” say, and what a prophet who uttered the words of God is reported to have said.

And so despite everything we all of us still have to say things like "we respect so and so" and make excuses for them that it is almost impossible to move foreword, the only way around it has so far been as you to tip toe around the subject, and pretend it doesn't exist, in some ways this has meant we have survived for so long together, but it also means that there are layers and layers of pent up frustrations, and anger that has now exploded, the Genie is out of the bottle and he will not go back in!

A&Eiraqi said...

Dear 3mti
unfortunatly , you're right ;the Genie is out of the bottle and will not go back in.

I heard it many times.


Marshmallow26 said...

I call it as malicious cancer deforming every single part and cell on its way!

Thanks for your post, it is so real.

Treasure of Baghdad said...

"Many people refuse sectarianism and try to deny it"

Not anymore my friend... A few days ago, my neighbor's son is trying to kill his Shiite brother-in-law since his father was killed by the Mahdi Army.

This was a lovely family once upon time. Now, hatred and revenge filled their hearts.

When I heard this news, I totally lost it.

Little Penguin said...

salam a&e,

thanks for your concern.. my results come out tomorrow, so im stressed..

everything else is fine.. im functioning well.. im writing a new post but it's still being fermented.. da yitkhammar :)


ThroughGracePeace said...

تبرىء الكلمات في القلوب

ثم همس الرب في قلوبنا...
الكلمات تصل حيث لا يقدر السلاح

سألنا حكيم قريتنا، كيف ينزل الدفء
على النفوس والشيطان
قد ألقى بسمومه المفضلة
خوفاً ويأساً وكراهية
على القلوب البريئة
كما الرماد من محرقة السعادة

كيف تنام عيون الايمان
وسرير الأمل
تفترشه ملاءة القنوط الشاحب
وعيون الحنث الفاسدة
تنتهك حرمة الكلمات المقدسة
وتسعد باغتيال هدايا السماء

وسألنا :كيف يبتسم الخير
ويصفع الكره الفضيلة من وجه الخجل
و أتباعه يشوهون ويحرفون فى نفوس ضحاياهم
حتى يصل الاعتقاد
بأن الإثم فضيلة والقتل عدالة والكره هو الحب

تحدث الحكيم
بصوته الخفيض وقال
أن للشيطان أتباع
يغتسلون في أنهار النبيذ في حادي*
وبعشق السخرية الفارغ
يحصدون نفوساً مغشوشة جنيت بمنجل الانتحار

مستحيل أن يكون الطريق إلى الفردوس مرصوفاً
بجثث الأبرياء - عبر نهرٍ من الدم
اعتنقوا مد الحق وجزره الرائع في قلوبكم
تقبّلوا الشك والعار أينما كانوا
لكي تدركوا أن النفس تسعد بالعطف وليس بالانتقام

سطع صوته كالضوء وقال:
ابحثوا بشجاعة في أعماق قلوبكم
بلا نفاق ولا خداع ولا إجحاف
وحين تلمسوا الايمان هناك
ستنزل الكلمات الالهيه دواءً للقلوب
مثل مطر أبدي يجذبه البحر دائماً
حتى يرتفع ليملأ حرم النفوس
بودٍ عميق هادىء ويغدو سلاماً
على شواطىء العزم الالهي.

[أرض الموتى في الأساطير الاغريقية*

Nadia said...

We human beings under the right conditions can be mould to do and believe many things. This is our weakness.