Between sectarian and ethnic division .. What will remain after the explosion of the map of Iraq?
In northern Iraq, almost a year after the liberation of Mosul, I visited it in July 2018. I saw destroyed buildings and streets without sidewalks and houses without roofs. The city turned into rubble. Electricity and water worked sporadically. After the Islamic State destroyed the cities and villages scattered around the Tigris in Ninewa in 2014, at least 20 to 30 per cent of Christian families left the country. Iraq, and when it was liberated and found those who returned home that had burned Wen The tunnels were dug under their floors.
The question now is how to protect minorities in Iraq. This contemporary question is linked to a long-term dialogue between researchers and policymakers on nation-building and nationalism: can nations maintain long-term stability while having a wide range of ethnic and religious identities?
"As long as fundamentalist forces are dominant, the division will continue as the most effective way to end the conflict is to give each group an autonomous region," he said. , Instead of drawing arbitrary limits. "Former US Vice President Joe Biden, in an article in the New York Times in 2006, wrote to foreign policy writer Leslie Gelb, proposing that sectarian cleansing be resolved through the creation of a federal system of three Areas: Kurdish, Sunni, Shiite, enjoy a great deal of Autonomy, its laws and its administrative and security forces.
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The division will not protect minorities in Iraq because it addresses the wrong issues: borders, ethnic diversity. In fact, it ignores the real motives of the conflict in Iraq, which the Iraqis are aware of: the state's central rush, administrative corruption, unequal distribution of resources
In 2016, Mark Veville, George W. Bush's former national security adviser, wrote in Time magazine that Biden was right: "The Sunni Arabs should be given an autonomous region as an incentive to fight an oppressor." But these ideas are based on a dubious perception of both Iraq's history and its reality. Like many Western analyzes, they tend to have easy solutions to complex internal conflicts. Iraq sees a "sectarian" and "regional" fund. Will separation help reduce ethnic and religious violence?
The problem with the "solution" of partition based on the assumption that ethnic homogeneity creates stability has elevated this idea to the height of controversy between World Wars I and II, leading to harmful policies such as forcible population transfer, demographic change, annihilation and the ghetto society. At that time, it was accepted as a supposed solution to the authoritarian conflict. Now, the United Nations considers the ethnically based and brutal state-building processes to be the time of ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and genocide.
The concept of minority protection was a clear concession to the impossibility of establishing ethnically homogenous states. At the time, political theory assumed that there were two ways of forming a state: a liberal civil agreement on a social contract or self-determination on the basis of a common ethnic identity. After World War II, the international community shifted from minority rights to human rights. However, a solution such as the "partition of Iraq" is due to the old ethnic concept of the state left behind by history. The Western clamor for applying these downward frames to Iraq and Syria today is reminiscent of the treatment of the super-Powers of Eastern Europe in the interwar period: transcendental, Orientalist and ultimately ineffective.
The division will not protect minorities in Iraq because it addresses the wrong issues: borders, ethnic diversity. In fact, it ignores the real motives for the conflict in Iraq, which the Iraqis are aware of: a centralized state, administrative corruption, an unequal distribution of resources, and authoritarianism. The current Iraqi system is based on sectarian distribution of power (quotas) for sectarian representation, To intensify sectarian and regional loyalties. For the bulk of the people, backing a sectarian party is the only way to get a job and a decent life. The biggest losers in this system are the minorities of Iraq, who have representatives in parliament, based on minority quotas, but find that no one represents their interests. Electoral success requires an alliance with the main sectarian blocs: Shiites, Kurds and Sunnis.
In Qarqosh, Father Ignatius al-Awfi of the Church of St. Behnam said in an interview that Christians have 18 candidates for elections, but none of them wins to disperse votes. Like the Christians, there are Yazidis who also believe that no one cares about them. Equality and democracy are illusions. In the words of the director of Yazda, a non-governmental organization for Yezidi relief, "In the end, what protects you is your strength." The Azzis suffered from the worst ethnic cleansing, Sexual slavery by the preacher, and there are still about 3,000 women and children in captivity, and there is no legal response from Iraqi and international courts so far.
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Instead of removing minorities from the system and returning to the patriarchal model of war, there is a longer and more effective way of protecting minorities: addressing problems of power imbalance, corruption, security and the rule of law
What minorities want is not separation, but a non-sectarian state. "Iraq can not be a Shiite or Sunni state, Iraq is for all, we must build a true identity that is not ethnic or religious." This is the language of minorities, despite the continued marginalization and denial of justice. Politics, not tribal tribal identities, is responsible for violence. Non-sectarian secularism has deep roots in Iraq, and among Shiites in their rich history, in the founding of the Communist Party. There are non-sectarian rural and urban policies in the modern state. The recent protests in Basra in southern Iraq are not about sectarian identity, but unemployment and lack of services. Those who demand autonomy in Basra, for example, do not do so on a sectarian basis, as western thinkers tend to assume, but in the hope of achieving a fairer distribution of wealth.
Many Iraqis are nostalgic for the powerful state days, but they have been linked to Saddam Hussein's regime, which has killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis in war and campaigns that clearly target Kurds and Shiites. But this does not diminish the fact that the main problem in Iraq is the state of spoils, with militias and sectarian parties as a mechanism of distribution. If you want to protect the minorities in Iraq, the solution is not more fragmentation and separation, but structural reform. The recent Iraqi elections, the first since liberation, have led to an increase in sectarian alliances.
This reflects the non-sectarian atmosphere, which the technocrats propose; however, the deep framework of politics has not changed. Everyone joins, the only question is who gets the ministries, who gets the biggest piece of cake? Recent studies suggest that ethnic division does not better protect minorities, meaning that countries that are divided after the civil war are no less likely to explode in war again than non-divided States (Southern Sudan). In a 2003 study on race, rebellion and civil war, James Veron and David Laitin at Stanford University found that ethnically and religiously diverse countries were no more vulnerable to civil war than others.
But problems such as poverty, slow growth of the economy and weak states are the factors that create conditions for rebellion and make civil conflict more likely. Instead of removing minorities from the system and returning to the patriarchal model of war, there is a longer and more effective way of protecting minorities: addressing problems of power imbalance, corruption, security and the rule of law.
It is a colonialist approach, which shows that Kurds, Christians, Shiites, Arab Sunnis and Yazidis must live in separate and closed societies. The most sustainable and accurate solutions are the same in Western democracies: protection of minorities through integration and equality, ; Not by taking people out and excluding them according to narrow identities. If Iraq is a citizen state on the basis of equality, will there be sectarianism?