Iraqi Sunnis Struggle for Survival Against ISIS
Sunni Muslims who moved back into their neighborhoods in Iraq in 2008 as five years of violence started to abate in 2008 are being forced out again, “this time mostly by Isis extremists,” writes Martin Chulov at The Guardian.
“It is frightening to be a Sunni now, to be honest,” said Iraq’s vice-president for reconciliation, Iyad Allawi. “It is unsafe, confusing and I pity them.” Allawi has been entrusted with pushing a concept that has failed to take hold at any point since the US-led invasion in 2003 that upended Iraq’s power base.
He said Sunnis who wanted to return to their homes in battle-scarred areas were being subjected to intrusive vetting at the hands of militias and security forces, and suffered regular discrimination from officials in Baghdad. “The sheikhs who come to see me from Anbar tell me regularly of the abuse at checkpoints. It is insufferable.”
In Baghdad’s Sunni enclave of Adhamiyeh, Sheikh Mustafa, an imam in the Abu Hanefah mosque – a central institution of Sunni learning in Iraq – said discrimination against Sunni residents and refugees was now a “very big problem”.
“No [Sunni new arrival] can now live in Baghdad without a guarantor,” he said. “And that guarantor must say that this person is not a member of Daesh [Isis]. We cannot let this get out of control here. If another sectarian war is going to happen, Baghdad will be a pool of blood.”
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— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.Wait, before you go…
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