A recent scene at the new Iraqi parliament looked like it was from a history series or a modern comedy series that’s mocking old historical scenes like Egyptian actor Mohammed Saad, who’s famous for his character El-Limby, did when he wore Abu Dulama’s turban and spoke formal Arabic in his character’s sarcastic way.
The scene was an angry and loud comment by a Member of Parliament who is supposed to represent the Iraqi people, especially the people of Basra, Nasiriyah, Samawah and Hillah. The angry MP was Ammar Tohme, the head of the Islamic Virtue Party, one of the parties which God troubled Iraq with, similar to the Sunni Iraqi Islamic Party, the Muslim Brotherhood’s branch in Iraq. Why was MP Ammar angry?
Is it because of the extreme thirst of the people in Basra during these days when they are commemorating the memory of Husseini’s Karablan thirst in 14 centuries ago?
Regardless of the shallow and primitive perspective he has on history and even if we assume his genius theory is accurate, what is more important for the Iraqi people in central and south Iraq near Kufa and Najaf? Today’s problems or the vendettas against the Abbasid era?Mashari Althaydi
Upset for the wrong reasons
Was Mr. Ammar Tohme voicing anger over the hundreds of billions of dollars that were stolen from the Iraqi state funds, as late Ahmed Chalabi, the founder of al-Bait al-Iraqi al-Shiite (the Shiite home) confirmed?
Did Tohme’s veins pop out of his neck because of violations against Iraq’s sovereignty, whether by Iraq or even the Americans?
No, he wasn’t angry for any of these reasons. He was screaming and his eyes popped out when a “civil” MP, who was the parliament’s pro term speaker given his age, until Mohammed al-Halbousi was elected speaker of parliament, spoke about the country’s situation.
During the first parliament session to be attended by all MPs, the respectable civil MP Mohammad Ali Zainy, who belongs to a movement that fights sectarianism, whether Sunni or Shiite, spoke in sorrow and national innocence about the tragedy of the Iraqi people due to the collapse of services and spread of corruption. He voiced surprise how this has become the situation of Baghdad, the center of the world, the jewel of the ancient world and the home of Al-Rashid and Al-Ma’mun.
All that Tohme found in Zainy’s statements to be angry about was that he mentioned Haroun Al-Rashid and Al-Ma’mun.
Because they killed the imams of Ahl al-Bayt. This is what Tohme said. Regardless of the shallow and primitive perspective he has on history and even if we assume his genius theory is accurate, what is more important for the Iraqi people in central and south Iraq near Kufa and Najaf? Today’s problems or the vendettas against the Abbasid era?
Iraqi writer Adnan Hassan wrote in the Iraqi Al-Mada newspaper: “Islamic Virtue Party MP Ammar Tohme was not agitated that the Iraqi people are still suffering from injustice and are still deprived and humiliated and their rights and dignity are violated during the current regime in which political Islam groups are influential. He was not provoked by the fact that Baghdad has become one of the dirtiest capitals in the world and the least suitable for human life.”
Iraq really deserves better than this. We wish they would have done for Baghdad one quarter of what Haroun and his son Abdullah (Al-Ma’mun) did.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Althaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists. He tweets under @MAlthaydy.