Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Islamic pressures in Iraq
MEMRI (The Middle East Media Review Institute) has the complete lowdown on the state of Islamic groups and Islamic pressures in Iraq today. It explains how Islamic factions have blossomed since the fall of Saddam, and what that means for the future of Iraq.
"There are growing signs that Islamic extremism threatens to turn Iraq, or at least parts of it, into a repressive theocracy reminiscent of regimes such as those prevailing in Iran and Saudi Arabia, and perhaps even the defunct Taliban regime of Afghanistan. If this were to occur, the result would be a regime in which self-appointed religious clerics would introduce a form of religiously-sanctioned repression in place of the old secular ideology."

"The state of lawlessness that accompanied the removal of Saddam's regime and the inability of the central authority in Iraq to enforce the law in many parts of the country has created a volatile situation. Various groups of thugs and vigilantes have exploited these circumstances to terrorize the largely secular educated elite into submission to rules of religious orthodoxy and Islamist norms akin to Saudi Wahhabism and alien to the historical Iraqi reality of ethnic and religious coexistence. An Iraqi writer, Nabil Yunis Damman, put it in these words: 'We do not wish to emerge from the cloak of fanatic nationalism only to enter into the cloak of religious extremism.'"

It's well worth a read...