Paris, 17 Aug. (IPS) For almost a week after an influential Iraqi Sunni official openly insulted both Iranians and the Shi’ites, and called on Arab leaders to save Iraqi Sunni Arabs from “total destruction by the “Persians” and Sh’ia “hegemony”, the Shi’a-based Islamic Republic of Iran has remained silent.
"Your brothers in Baghdad are facing an unprecedented campaign of genocide carried out by militias and death squads under Iranian direction, planning, support and weaponry", Mr. Adnan al-Dulaimi, a senior member of the National Concord Front, one of the main Sunni political parties in Iraq, said in a communique released on 13 August and addressed to the leaders of all Arab nations.
Iran seeks to uproot the sons of Sunnis in Baghdad and make Iraq a village of Iran.
The National Concord Front resigned from the Sh’ia-dominated Iraqi government led by Mr. Nouri al-Maleki on first of August and accused the government of failing to rein in Shi’ite militias, accused of killing Sunnis in the brutal Iraqi sectarian strife.
Mr. Maliki, a Shiite, ten days ago paid an official visit to Tehran, where he was greeted warmly by all senior Iranian leaders, including Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i, the Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran and President Mahmoud Ahmadi Nezhad, and where he was quoted by Iranian media as praising Iran's "constructive" role in "fighting terrorism in Iraq".
Iranian political analysts are surprised and indignated at the silence imposed by the authorities on the media to not report Mr. Dulaimi’s communique, specially because not only he insulted Iranians, but also the Sh’ias, an Islam sect which is predominant in Iran, but also in the neighbouring Republic of Azarbaijan, as well in the Persian Gulf island of Bahrain, with minorities all over Arab and non Arab Muslim countries,
"Your brothers are facing the most ugly injustice and persecution in the ancient and modern history of Iraq... that seeks to uproot the sons of Sunnis in Baghdad and make Iraq a village of Iran", the communique stressed, adding: "Scores are dying every day. The government and the occupation detention camps can no longer accommodate our youth who total more than 80,000 and whose only crime was being Sunni Arab".
"By God, it is a war that started in Baghdad and will not stop there. It will engulf any place where Arabic is spoken", Mr. Dulaimi alleged, quoted by the British and French news agencies Reuters and Agence France Presse (AFP).
He urged the Arab world at large to "stop the genocide crimes of Iran" to defend "the identity of Iraq and maintain Baghdad, as a bastion for the Arabs". "Use all means to stand up to Iran, as you are its next target. It is trying to occupy your Iraq, the Persian Gulf and all your countries," it added.
However, according to a dispatch from Baghdad by the American news agency Associated Press (AP), Mr. Dulaimi used the words "Persians" and "Safavis," to emphasise his warning, saying: “Persian and Safavis were on the brink of total control in Baghdad and soon would threaten Sunni Arab regimes which predominate in the Mideast”.
This eventual provocative appeal of hatred between “Persians” and Arabs refers to historical differences between Sunnis and Shiites which politically started when “Safavis”, or the Safavid Dynasty (1502-1722), imposed Shi’ism as the state religion on Iran instead of Sunnism, which, until then, was in majority in Persia, or Iran.
According to historians, the Dynasty promoted Shi’itsm in Iran as a mean of preserving Iranian national identity in face of the Arabs and also to target at the Sunni Ottoman Empire, not Arabs.
Ever since, to insult the non Arab Iranians, who are of Indo-European race and not Semitic, to which the Arabs and the Jews belongs, the Arabs used the word “Ajam” to designate “Persians” and used “Safavis” for Shi’isme, which, for the Sunni Muslims, is a heresy.
Iranians indignant at the silence imposed by the authorities on the media to not report Mr. Dulaimi’s insults to them and their religion.
In present-day, some Iranians refer to themselves as “Persian” to distance from the theocratic regime of Islamic Republic, but also to make sure they are not mistaken with Arabs.
However, considering the tone, accusations and insults Mr. Dulaimi unleashed at Iranians and at the Shi’ites, Iranian political analysts are surprised at the authorities ordering the Iranian media to keep a total silence on the unprecedented attacks.
Not only the ruling mollahs, but also none of other Iranian Islamic factions, including “Melli-Mazahbi“(national religious), has yet reacted. Normally, all of those who have the word “Islam” attached to their names respond swiftly, within no more than one day and without waiting for orders, against pre-selected targets.
According to some pundits, the reason Tehran decided not to react to Mr. Dulaimi’s provocations is not to further undermine Mr. Maleki, their protégé, who is under pressures by Washington, which the Iranians believe might be behind the recent Sunni campaign against both Iran and the Sh’ites, as on the same day Mr. Dulaimi issued his vitriolic communiqué, another influential Sunni personality, Sheik Hares al Dari, a cleric, reminded Bush administration not to back up the “pro-Iranian” Shi’ite government of Maleki, because of his “repeatedly failed policies”.
Mr. Dulaimi can condemn the IRI for every single crime they did against humanity. He can accuse the IRI of being behind the sectarian crimes in Iraq, but cannot assimilate the Islamic Republic of Iran with Iranians. He must read the news to know that a great majority of people in Iran are the most vulnerable targets of the same IRI’s “death squads”, commented an Iranian analyst.
Actually, a civil war is difficult to end when it is a religious or sectarian war. The current sectarian war in Iraq is a product of both Shiite and Sunni political Islam to which Mr. Dulaimi belongs too.
The dominant idea in Iranians or “Persian” is the following:
Sunnis, Shiites, Jews, and many millions of seculars in the Middle East can peacefully coexist when religion does not rule. ENDS PERSIANS INSULTED 17807
Editor’s note: Mr. Jahanshah Rashidian is a political activist and commentator living in Germany. Author of several books and articles, including “M.E Youth Thinking Ahead”, in English and “Dis-moi”, in French, he is published by several Iranian internet sites, including IPS.