Islamists taking the banner of a civil state

Adnan Hussein

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It does not irritate or provoke me that the leaders of powerful Islamist parties, blocs and groups in the Iraqi authority have finally abandoned their traditional (Islamic) discourse, which they exaggerated its sanctity, and started shouting our sinful civic discourse.

It does not irritate or provoke me either that a number of these powerful Islamist parties, blocs and groups may run for Electoral Commission, which is responsible for registering parties and political associations under the law of parties issued last year, to enlist them with new names under a civil status and reforms.

In general, these recent developments are implicit or shy acknowledgment from these parties, blocs and groups and their leaders that they have failed to run the country for the past 14 years based on the Islamic theses and slogans only to deceive the Iraqis for the sake of power, public and private funds.

These developments are not provocative, because they are nothing but tricks. The rational people will come to realize that these blocs and groups are not concerned with civilization and reform and will not establish a civil state, just as they were only interested in Islam for their own personal agenda and benefits. The masses and groups and their leaders are the perpetrators of failure, mistakes and major sins, which lead to the downfall of one-third of the country for more than two years in the hands of ISIS with all the human suffering that accompanied millions of people and the destruction of dozens of cities and towns, as well as degrading the prestige and status of the state and its armed forces. Consequently, 35 million Iraqis suffered from poverty, destitution, ignorance, backwardness and the lack of public services in addition to fueling destructive sectarian and nationalist tendencies.


I do not think that raising the banner of civil reform by the influential parties, blocs and Islamic groups will benefit them in the parliamentary and local elections that will take place one year from now, especially if they are not accompanied by the launching of civic and national reform projects and programs and a change in leadership who are responsible for failures, mistakes and errors.

For a few number of people who have experienced firsthand the Islamic forces in Iraq and abroad, the mere implementation of civil and reform projects and programs or a change in leadership will not be enough. People are accustomed to hearing one thing and seeing something else on the ground. Since the start of the protest movements more than a year and a half by millions of people, the ruling political class, through its government and its parliament, has made several reformist packages full of promises and pledges. Nothing has come of value, and some "reformist" measures have been reversed.

There is a great deal of mistrust in this political class, and the gap between people and this class will not simply be filled by introducing a new "movement", embodied in changing the names and addresses from "Islamic" to civil and reform.

This article was originally published in Al Mada.


Adnan Hussein is the executive editor-in-chief of Al-Mada newspaper and head of the National Union of Iraqi journalists. Previously, he has held the position of Managing Editor in Asharq al-Awsat newspaper. He tweets under the handle @adnanhussein

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