Saturday, June 21, 2014

Petititon of The Initiative of Iraqi Intellectuals for the Unity of Iraq

 Please sign the petition below:

A possible "silver lining" to the crisis caused by ISIS' seizure of large parts of north western Iraq, with help of former regime members in the so-called Naqshibandi Army, is that it may cause Iraq's dysfunctional political elite to put aside their divisions and desires for personal gain.

The existential threat facing Iraq could then lead not only to a new government that is more  pluralistic and inclusive, but one that gives more authority to the provinces, thereby creating a more  participatory, democratic and efficient political system.  If that were to occur, Sunni Arabs and the Kurds would no doubt be more supportive of a unified Iraq because they would feel that their concerns are being addressed by the central government.

Obviously, the anger Sunnis and Kurds, and the Shi'i majority provinces of the south, feel towards Nuri al-Maliki's government, constitutes one of the key causes for the crisis and the possibility that Iraq may collapse as a nation-state.  Such an outcome would be a disaster of the greatest magnitude, not just for Iraqis but for the entire Middle East.  It would constitute a victory for extremism and encourage more such movements to form throughout the region.

Therefore, all democratically minded global citizens need to support Iraq in its time of need and not act as if terrorism is a spectator sport.  We all need to stay informed and pressure policy-makers, both inside and outside Iraq, to enact policies that keep Iraq unified, and based on a democratic system of governance, and on a political culture comprised of the norms of pluralism, tolerance, negotiation and compromise, and social justice.

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