Sunday, October 23, 2005

Between Al-Mansour and Bamyan...

Two incidents have been bothering me in the last few days and I started o worry more about the way some parties are dealing with things they don’t agree with creating another form of terror. What’s dangerous about this is that the people behind these incidents are not only from inside but also are connected and backed by parties in the government.
I’m not accusing anyone in particular but the doings lead to the affiliations of the doers.

The two incidents I’m talking about here are the assassination of the lawyer and the bombing of Abu Jaafar’s statue in Baghdad (Fayrouz has details about the statue).

That statue is a symbol for Al-Mansour district of Baghdad which is named after the caliphate who first built Baghdad some twelve hundred years ago. Regardless of the history of that caliphate and what different people think about him, we cannot deny the fact that he put the foundations for the city we’re living in today so even if we disagree with what he did centuries ago but blowing up a statue was sort of an execution without a trial; the act was made without going back to the authorities or the city council of that district. We have established these councils and elected them to make decisions on our behalf and run things in our neighborhoods in a civilized manner.

The destruction of the statue reminds me of the Taliban when they blew up the Buddha statues of Bamyan because this caliphate died more than a thousand years ago and he no longer affects our lives and is now merely a part of our history whether we liked it or not.
And if we wanted to cut all our connections with our history we should then destroy everything related to Hamurabi who-in today’s standards-would be considered a brutal dictator claiming to be representing the Gods.

This is way different from when we pulled down Saddam’s statue; we did that in day light and we didn’t hide from people’s eyes and it was a natural reaction for the atrocities committed by Saddam till the last days before his regime collapsed.
If we move to the second incident where the lawyer defending one of Saddam’s aides was assassinated we’ll see that the doers have-assuming that they did that for revenge- assumed the ways of the murderous Ba’athists and this would only be like admitting that what Saddam and his gangs did to their opponents was justified.

The presence of such armed militias which unfortunately have support from parties and organizations regardless of their sect or ethnicity represent a serious threat to the new Iraqi state and this is actually one of the points in the constitution that we need to go over and review real soon because the constitution stated that forming armed militias is forbidden but there is no mention on how existing militias are to be dealt with and this-in my opinion-is not helping in enforcing the law but it’s more like settling accounts between different parties.

What happened is obviously a partisan militia work and not a people’s job and that is totally rejected. It is true that we’re optimistic about the progress of law in our country but I feel that we need to voice our concerns when we see groups backed by this or that party from the government deliberately ruining our history and our city.

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