Monday, 21 April 2008

Iraq’s crack down on religious militias

What we need to consider when Iraq cracks down on religious militias?

Today’s Guardian reported US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice praising Iraqi government and Prime Minister Al Maliki for the crack down on the mad and the misogynous mullah Moqtada Al Sadr’s militias. As someone from Iraq would like to announce publicly my anxieties on such exercise:

1. We need to make sure that Saddam’s legacy and its deeply rooted Arabs’ culture of political elimination is out the equation or we will fall in “Only us know the rights and duties of Iraqis and let us kill whoever disagrees with us or opposes our brilliant progressive moves for being ignorant of the Iraqi people needs” old trap of Iraqi and Arabs’ politicians.

2. Like other Arab countries Iraq would easily slip into the oppressive and sick authoritarianism if politicians are not coached and monitored properly; therefore a continuous monitoring and coaching of Iraqi governments for the next three to four elections is vital and essential to the survival of democracy. People may think that I don’t have faith in my people…. not yet.

3. Of course disarming militias is one of the vital moves, but we need to educate people that it is ok for women to dress the way they like and speak their minds and to depart from religious and common misogyny.

4. Distrust between citizens and governments is an integral part of Arabs' and Iraqi history which stems from the lack of protection or support of dictatorial governments toward their citizens. This has been the disease of Arab world for the last century and it plagued Iraq for decades. Therefore building new ways of protecting citizens and showing that nobody is above the law would help to break this eternal antagonism between people and governments and build bridges of trust with Iraqi governments.

5. We need to show Motada Al Sadr and others Sunnis or Shiites that they are not above the law but protected by law if choose to protest on abuses or malpractices by Iraqi governments through political means not physical elimination.

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