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Iraqi Expat

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

WE have a problem and WE must solve it

I have always believed that when a system is malfunctioning, no matter how much pressure and efforts outsiders put to change that system, it will not change unless insiders work twice as hard to change it themselves. Take Islam for example, no matter how much the western world is going to talk about Islam and try to enlighten Muslims, Muslims will have to work twice as hard, if not more, to enlighten themselves, their Muslims brothers and try to reform Islam. Outsiders will never be able to change anything, unless those who are part of the problem do it for themselves and for others.

When I first read that Sunni mosques in Baghdad have been closed as part of three day protest; the first thought that came to my mind and many others was, why they are protesting now and didn’t protest when innocent civilians, Shiites, Iraqi Policemen and Iraqi National Guards got killed/executed by terrorists? Or do the clerics of these mosques call the terrorists “freedom fighters”?

I believe this was one of the worst moves of the Sunni clerics, because it has, whether we like it or not, widened the sectarian rift between Sunnis and Shiites. By doing so, they said that Shiites are killing Sunnis in retaliation and that they are protesting against them or against their actions. They are almost saying that they do not care much when others die (even when Sunni IP or ING die)! They are saying that Shiites are retaliating against Sunnis and that is totally unacceptable, but when others die its only pitiful.

They are basically saying that they shouldn’t be punished for crimes done by others, which is absolutely right but they should work harder to denounce those crimes before they say we shouldn’t be punished. They are doing this to prevent civil war, when they should’ve done the same to prevent it when others got killed.

Do I blame westerners for hating Islam or having prejudice toward Muslims? Absolutely not; why do we expect them to love us when there are so many of us (Muslims) hate them so much? Unless Muslims work hard to denounce those anti-Westerners, we shouldn’t expect much from them.

The problem is that some Sunnis believe - or try to believe - that there is a real patriotic resistance and there is terrorism, as if that resistance would be in Iraq’s best interest, but never mind! Most Sunnis, however, even those who believe there is resistance, condemn terrorism but at the same time try to deny that terrorism is more of a Sunni problem.

Yes, I know, terrorism is more of a Wahhabi problem, but are those Wahhabists acting alone? Who feeds them? Who harbour them? Who helps them? Who is working with them? Baathists and some Sunnis, and since most Baathists are Sunnis anyway; then most of those who are working with the Wahhabists are Sunnis. And that is why it is more of a Sunni problem.

I know that most Sunnis are against terrorism; hence, I believe that Sunnis need to acknowledge the problem and work harder than anyone else to eliminate it. Criticizing, blaming and changing oneself takes courage and conviction, and that’s what Sunnis need. They should denounce all terrorists, be it Wahhabists, Baathists, Sunnis or Shiites (like al Sadr, but that should be denounced more by Shiites). If Sunni mosques close for three days when Sunnis get killed, it should close for six days when non-Sunnis or when IP or ING get killed. Sunnis should preach against terrorism twice as much as Shiites do. Sunnis should try to get involved in politics twice as much as others do. Sunnis should try to denounce every terrorist no matter which sector that terrorist belongs to twice as much as others do. If that happens, terrorism will then be defeated easily.

We have to act now, before it is too late; both Sunnis and Shiites must get their act together and work together for the good of the nation and not for the good of their sectors. Baathists do not deserve another chance, but they shouldn’t be persecuted either. Sunni clerics and politicians must not align themselves with al Thari and his ilk, terrorists or Baathists; they must not try to legitimise terrorism as “resistance” and or try to bring Baathists back to power; instead, they should be against terrorists and Baathists more than others, at least for preventing them from participating properly in the elections.

The Shiites have behaved badly too and they should get their act together too; they shouldn’t play the winner card every time they try to form a team. They should outcast al Sadr; in fact, he should be arrested and put on trial for the murder of al Khoie, if not for his other actions.

Iraqis must force their representatives, clerics and politicians to behave for the good of the nation. When Shiite individuals, clerics and or politicians do wrong, Shiites and Sunnis must protest; when Sunni individuals, clerics and or politicians do wrong, Sunnis and Shiites must protest. If Iraqis act as Iraqis and Muslims act as Muslims, then politicians will have no choice but to act for Iraq’s best interest.

I accept that this might be too optimistic, but we must try and protect each others interests; and we shouldn't be afraid of identifying problems within our community and sector, because if we keep ignoring them, the problem will only get worse.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahmed...You are a treasure.


May 24, 2005 3:29 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope for the best. I will not blame Muslims for crimes commited by a few crazy people.

May 24, 2005 7:38 am  
Blogger DaKruser said...

Keep posting Ahmed, with sane minds like yours, there is still hope for the future.

May 24, 2005 3:48 pm  
Blogger CJ said...

Ahmad, as a Christian, I believe that EVERYONE has a right to worship God (the same God we all worship, regardless of religion) in the way they seem fit. I have defended Islam many times since returning from Iraq. I learned a lot about a religion that I admit I also held responsible as a group, instead of seeing the terrorists as individuals.

We have the same problem, to a slightly lesser extent, in Christianity with the bombings of abortion clinics and killing of doctors who go against our "morals." They are also a minority, much like the Muslim terrorists.

Thanks for the post. I completely agree that we as people, individuals, need to enact change. No one can do it for us. No one can do it for you. I will continue to correct people I see and hear talking negatively about Islam.

May 24, 2005 11:16 pm  
Anonymous Annie said...

I have a lot of respect for you but the comment above about having the same problem to a "slightly lesser extent" was really way off. It should read a "HUGELY lesser extent."

Terrorism is a tactic that can be used by anyone to attempt to further their own cause, that is true. But looking at Islam and Christianity from the perspective of a Christian who believes in individual reponsibility for their own soul and coming to the same conclusion for both religions, I feel is a mistake. It is like Ahmad said if the problems are ignored they will only get worse.

In Islam, the way to heaven is earned. You get people like bin Laden, Zarqawi, or even the House of Saud, et al, who believe they are doing Muslims and the rest of the world a big favor by forcing their way of life on others and ultimately saving their souls through control. Even if they behead, bomb and mutilate other Muslims, to get their way, it is a noble cause to them. To Pol Pot it was a great cause to kill educated people and anyone wearing glasses. To Ceausescu it was a noble cause to kill those who were handicapped because they, in his opinion, took from society and couldn't give anything meaningful. I could go on and on, not even mentioning Hitler. There have always been people who would seek such power over others, some in the name of a religion, some not. Unfortunately because of these such power hungry people in the Middle East, which happens to be predominately Muslim, and the spread of the teachings of the Wahhabists, who are not tolerant of anyone lest they be Wahhabi, the moderate Muslims have much bigger issues to deal with than Christians do at this time, in reforming and calling for moderation. Add in the Baathists who only used Islam for their gain and did not feel any real spirtual calling and the issues become even greater.

I just feel comparing the likes of an Eric Rudolph to a Zarqawi is an injustice to everyone dealing with these issues. I feel the west and moderate Islam are fighting against the same thing: power hungry people who want absolute control, some in the name of Islam, some just using Islam.

May 25, 2005 3:03 am  
Blogger Ahmad said...

While I totally understand your anology; like Annie said, it is a MUCH MUCH bigger problem in Islam.

And what makes it even worse is that people in the Middle East are not as enlighted as you would like them to be, which makes those power hungry dictators (or wanna-be-dictators) have popularity!

May 25, 2005 11:16 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Then some clueless Christian Religious Robots disagree with him.

Well Clueless Children, listen up!

In order to be a member of the KKK, you MUST be a Christian
and some other hate groups in the US have the SAME membership requirment.

The Christians KILLED MILLIONS durning the Inquistion and MOST of them were women and children,

Right now in the US, MOST of the more than 28,000,000 Americans who are ATHEISTS are AFRAID to publicly state they are.

And they sure as hell are NOT afraid ot the Moslems in the US, they are AFRAID of what their "loving"
neighbors will do to their children,
businesses and them.

CJ has a clue, too bad the rest of you do not.

I am a 70 year old Atheist who like MOST Americans who are now Athiets, were brought up as Christians.

Only we have DE-PROGRAMMED ourselves.

MANY, MANY MILLIONS of more people
have gone from being Christians to being Atheists than have gone the other way!

We have been where you believers are and we have moved past it.

Been there, Done that!

Neil C. Reinhardt

May 28, 2005 10:27 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yeam when your loved ones are blowen
up by a bomd and killed by some terrorist, it makes no differnce
is a Moslem or not.

It could be the Christian
terrorists like Eric Robert Rudolph OR TIM MCVIEGH!

Blown up is blown up and dead is dead!

Neil C. Reinhardt

May 28, 2005 10:33 am  
Anonymous Annie said...

Mr. Reinhardt,
You missed the whole point. The point being that moderate Muslims are the ones being killed daily by power hungry people who have hijacked Islam. You can sit on your pity potty and think that the Christians in America are out to get you at the same rate that radical Islamists are killing people in Sudan, but you are only fooling yourself.

By the way, Ahmad is an Iraqi, who commented above, and who owns this blog.

May 29, 2005 9:00 am  
Anonymous annie said...

I just thought I should state, also, Mr. Reinhardt, I have never blamed Islam as a group, not now and not in the past. I have always blamed power hungry people, and you seemed to have missed that point in my writing. That was true, in my opinion, of Christians in the example you used of the inquisition, as well. It was true of the puritans that beat my quaker ancestors through the streets of America, too. (I also have Indian grandfathers and grandfathers who were scalped by Indians...who would you recommend that I hate?) I did believe, however, that the topic was the present. Who are todays power grabbers?

You, more than I, blame a religion for what a small percentage of those that hold to that religion do. Perhaps you project your own thinking onto others, and that is why you misread my words?

May 30, 2005 7:39 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Neil C. Reinhardt"
E-MAIL: wowitsgreat@webtv.net
(310) 978-2785
(Hawthorne, California, USA)

November 23, 2005 12:35 am  
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