Assailants attacked the headquarters of the Iraqi Communist Party in Al-Diwaniyah on Monday at midnight. The attack is, first and foremost, neither brave nor heroic. It’s rather the work of cowardly gangs which only work in the dark.
The attack is also an aggression against the Iraqi state, its authorities, prestige, dignity and sovereignty. It violates the law of the state. These operations harm the state a lot more than they harm those targeted.
The attack disrespects Iraqi national principles which are currently being tested during this holy war against the terrorist ISIS organization and the remnants of Saddam Hussein’s regime. The masterminds and the perpetrators of the attack have objectively put themselves in the same category as ISIS and its allies and have put themselves at the latter’s services for free.
Even people with small minds cannot but link between the attack on the headquarters of the Iraqi Communist Party and what happened few hours earlier at the University of Al-Qadisiyah when hundreds of students protested because armed members violated the campus’ sanctity. The Iraqi law frankly prohibits such armed presence on campus. The communist party was dragged into this dispute despite the lack of evidence.
It’s also not possible to separate between what happened at the communist party’s headquarters and the escalating campaign of some influential parties – specifically Islamic ones – against the community party due to its vigorous contribution in the popular activity which has been on for more than 20 months now. This activity has made urgent demands for political reform, combating administrative and financial corruption, providing general services and improving citizens’ livelihood conditions as unemployment is on the rise and many are below poverty line.
This popular activity, which the Sadrsit Movement, a significant Shiite Islamic movement, is a part of, embarrasses the influential political class which is mostly made up of Shiite parties and groups and upsets its balance especially given the countdown for the parliamentary and local elections. There is only one Shiite leader who recently complained about that. Although the campaign which opposes this activity has only made implicit hints at the Sadrist Movement, some influential leaders have not hesitated to make statements in the name of communists and civilians in general. As part of this campaign, communists and seculars are being accused of infidelity just like the former regime used to do. This is happening now although Baathist leaders publicly confessed that following the July 14, 1958 revolution, they and the Nasserists used to carry out acts that oppose religious traditions and beliefs and then falsely accuse communists of them.
For 80 years, many governments and several parties fought Iraqi communists and planned horrific massacres against them. They all shamefully went to the dustbin of history, beginning with Bahjat Al-Attiyah, Saeed al-Qazaz, Ali Salih as-Sa’di, Ammar Alloush, Khaled Tabra, Nazem al-Qazaz and ending with Saddam Hussein and Fadel al-Barrak. Unlike the political Islam parties which govern today, the communist party has remained a colorful national icon whose hands are white and not stained with administrative and financial corruption or Iraqi blood.
This article is also available in Arabic.
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