One of the disadvantages of sectarian quotas in ministries and governmental posts is that bad models hold positions that have nothing to do with them, and the public interest is preyed on in favor of the personal interest. In this case, it’s the interest of a party or several parties that monopolize the representation of a sect since the society is only looked at and considered from a sectarian angle.
The ministries of defense, interior, finance and foreign affairs are usually the sovereign ministries, and sometimes they also include the ministries of energy, oil and public works depending on the importance of each portfolio in the country that’s stricken with sectarian calculations.
This is happening in Baghdad, the city of civilization and culture, the Baghdad of Al-Jahiz, Abu Nuwas, Tawhidi and Al-Ma’mun. Baghdad is thus being deprived of its civilizationMashari Althaydi
This can be seen when a cadre from the Lebanese Hezbollah holds the tourism ministry, for instance! Or to have a member of the Iraqi League of the Righteous – compared to the latter, Hezbollah is a party that resembles the Green Party that protects the environment – hold the culture ministry in Iraq!
In an article published in the Iraqi Al-Mada newspaper, Iraqi writer Ali al-Sarray sadly noted this reality amid the debates to form the Iraqi cabinet under the leadership of Adil Abdul Mahdi. He quoted Abdul Ameer Ottiban, an MP representing the League of the Righteous movement, as saying: “The ministry of culture is our right. We are the ones who taught people and the world culture…and how to act and to be a role model.”
Sarray adds in bitter irony: “In order for the quote not to be out of context, (I must note) that the MP was angrily responding to Atheel al-Nujaifi, the former governor of Nineveh, who objected to giving (a party that carries arms) the portfolio of culture.”
This is happening in Baghdad, the city of civilization and culture, the Baghdad of Al-Jahiz, Abu Nuwas, Tawhidi and Al-Ma’mun. Baghdad is thus being deprived of its civilization.
This is Iraq, and this is Baghdad and this fate of civilization after culture became a “prey” granted to a group that fights intellect, art and life.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Saudi journalist Mshari Al Thaydi @MAlthaydy 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 & the Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Al Thaydi 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.