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The Flag of the World

-G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

This here blog is a glimpse or two or three at the condition of the 'fortress of our family' through the eyes Timothy Goddard, a Christian writer with an unhealthy interest in politics living in the Puget Sound area.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2003


Class warfare
A "hardcore leftist" friend of David Adesnik at OxBlog, Nir Rosen, is a Time Magazine correspondent in Baghdad. His first article is fairly even-handed, only dropping into grauitous leftishness once or twice. But the article had one major, glaring omission, one that a true liberal, uncolored by anti-American feeling, really ought to have noticed. Consider these paragraphs.
On the walls of the mosque stood young men holding banners proclaiming "One Iraq One People," "We Reject Foreign Control," "Sunnis are Shias and Shias are Sunnis; We are all One," "All the Believers are Brothers," and similar proclamations of national and Islamic unity.

The sermon that followed the prayers elaborated the nationalist sentiments on the banners. Baghdad had been occupied by the Mongols, Sheikh al Kuwaisi told the faithful, referring to the sacking of what was then the capital of the Muslim world in 1258. Now, new Mongols were occupying Baghdad and they were creating divisions between Sunnis and Shias. The Shias and Sunnis were one, however, and they should remain united and reject foreign control. They had all suffered together as one people under Saddam's rule. Saddam oppressed all Iraqis and then he abandoned them to suffer. There were no Sunnis or Shias, said the Sheikh. All Iraqis were Muslims and they had defended their country together from the Americans and British, as a united people. Al-Kuwaisi also thanked the Shia people of Basra for defending their country against the foreign invaders.

In a Muslim world where Sunnis have often referred to Shias as heretics, polytheists and apostates, Friday's sermon was a remarkable development. There were even Shias praying inside the Mosque.
Hmmm... so, the powerful minority Sunnis have been grinding the majority Shias under their collective boots for years and years, but when a force shows up to upset the balance of power, and possibly even set up a political system that allows for things like 'majority rule' that could further upset it, suddenly "Sunnis are Shias and Shias are Sunnis?" How remarkably convenient. Now, I'm hardly one to shriek about classes and oppression and such things everys I get a whiff of disparity between groups, but this seriously stinks to high heaven. Yet Nir Rosen, reportedly a die hard leftist, the sort of person who ought to be most closely attuned to this sort of thing, calls it "a remarkable development." Funny.
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