The Happy Arab News Service

Monday, April 16, 2007

Know Thyself

Middle Easterners exploring their own and each other's religious and ethnic identities...

Los Angeles Times

By Borzou Daragahi, Times Staff Writer
April 16, 2007

Iraq returns to its Persian heritage

. . .

A bitter Jan. 2 television debate about Hussein's legacy on the satellite channel Al Jazeera underscored the ethnic underpinnings of Sunni Arab rage against Iraq's new Shiite order.

The debate pitted Mishaan Jaburi, a Sunni Arab politician, against Sadeq Moussawi, a Shiite journalist and supporter of the current government.

During the debate, which was posted on the Internet and rapidly became famous here, Jaburi waved sheets of white paper at Moussawi, screaming, "These are your documents! You are an Iranian citizen …. You are Persian."

"Your father killed Kurds," Moussawi snapped back.

"You are Iranian," Jaburi reiterated. "These documents show that [you] applied for Iraqi citizenship in May 2004."

Moussawi didn't bother denying the accusation. "We will settle accounts with all of you," he said instead.

. . .

Persians and Shiism have become so intertwined that opposition to Tehran's policies across the region has taken on a Sunni character. Ethnic Baluchi separatists in southeastern Iran fight under the banner of a Sunni Muslim group linked to the Al Qaeda terrorist network. And in a growing number of cases, Iran's Shiite Arab separatists have converted to Sunni Islam (!!!).

Even as Sunnis fight Shiites, accusing them of being Iranians, Shiites have begun to whisper about the identity of Iraq's Sunnis.

"The Sunnis of Iraq aren't really Arabs," one Iraqi Shiite diplomat said recently. "They're Turks." (!!! Why not Jews ??? NB)


Meanwhile the real Turks are pondering a limited invasion of the Iraqi Kurdistan, used as a base by Kurdish insurgents for launching attacks against Turkey. One big advantage of living in the Middle East is that it's never boring here.

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