Denying Opportunity to Forces of Extremism in Iraq

  • 20 June 2010

The difficult security situation in Iraq since the March elections – the latest being Friday attacks which killed 22 and injured 111 – demonstrates that forces of extremism and terrorism are still making efforts to destabilize the country. They are inciting sectarian violence once again so that they take advantage of the conflict in the formation of the government. Anyone who has observed the nature of violence since elections will conclude that it is aimed to derail the political process in the country. Winners of the recent elections and those attached to certain political parties have been targeted simply because they can influence the on-going discussions on the formation of the government. The places of worship for both Sunnis and Shiites have also been targeted in a bid to trigger sectarian violence in the country all over again. This is in line with the disputes over some electoral alliances that have given a sectarian dimension to the political crisis in the country.

Until now all the political efforts made and constitutional procedures adopted in this direction have failed to yield results. This has been the pattern since the Supreme Court’s endorsement of the elections results, the formation of the first parliamentary session last week, which failed to elect its chairman and two deputies even though the session was open for an indefinite time period with a hope that these disputes will be overcome. Even the meeting between the State of Law coalition leader, Noori Al Maliki, and Iraqiyya List’s Ayad Allawi ended in disappointment. There was a hope that this meeting would bring to an end the disputes between the two sides but, on the contrary, it exacerbated the differences. As a result, each party announced itself constitutionally eligible to form the next government. All these are indications that Iraq is passing through a political and constitutional crisis which naturally feeds violence and terrorism.

If the return to violence represents a major challenge to Iraq what further aggravates the danger is the incessant political crisis prevailing in the country. This is because it leads to sectarianism which has already become evident in recent times. Leaders of the political parties keen to form the next government must realize that accusations of sectarianism and another round of violence is not in anybody’s interest. More importantly, the lack of resolution of political conflicts and the accompanying ethnic and sectarian tensions give the forces of extremism the opportunity to incite acts of violence with a sectarian dimension. The return of violence to Iraq has made it necessary for the political parties in the country to close their ranks and prevent the extremists from creating a political crisis in the country. They should focus on implementing plans that ensure the country’s security and stability and such a situation cannot be achieved unless through the compatibility between these powers on controversial issues that have so far prevented the formation of the government.