Over 1000 peo­ple killed in Iraq in Jan­uary

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE - By Sabri Mag­daci

More than 1,000 peo­ple were killed in Iraq in Jan­uary, of­fi­cial data re­vealed on Fri­day as se­cu­rity forces grap­ple with a surge in blood­shed and a stand­off with mil­i­tants.

Euro­peans suf­fered from in­tel­lec­tual autarchy in the Mid­dle Ages for rea­sons known to all. The En­light­en­ment played an im­por­tant role in sav­ing the West from this ter­ri­ble scourge, which still dom­i­nates in­tel­lec­tual and cul­tural is­sues in the Arab and Is­lamic world. It seems that the East is dif­fer­ent from the West. While democ­racy was born in the for­mer by means of a nor­mal de­liv­ery, and while the tran­si­tion in East­ern Europe af­ter the col­lapse of the Soviet Union came nat­u­rally, more or less, with a few ex­cep­tions like Yu­goslavia and Ro­ma­nia, the birth of moder­nity and the es­tab­lish­ment of real democ­ra­cies in our re­gion seem worse than Cae­sarean de­liv­er­ies. When­ever Arab and Mus­lim in­tel­lec­tu­als try to open a win­dow for change, the op­pres­sive ide­ol­ogy and cul­tural prac­tices of some sec­tors of so­ci­ety have blocked the roads and ports and kept the light of moder­nity and a civ­i­lized way of life away on the pre­text of re­main­ing true to our re­li­gion and our her­itage.

We con­sider China to be the best model of an East­ern state that has over­come the stiff­ness of rea­son and in­tel­lec­tual autarchy. Be­cause China has opened its doors to the ideas of new cul­tural, sci­en­tific and eco­nomic chal­lenges, even though its Com­mu­nist ide­ol­ogy kept it closed off from the out­side world for decades. Now com­pare China to North Korea and the Is­lamic world to un­der­stand what we are try­ing to say in this re­gard. Of course, North Korea has tremen­dous po­ten­tial to re­build quickly if the peo­ple are given the op­por­tu­nity to open up to the out­side world.

I don’t want to be pes­simistic, but our sit­u­a­tion re­ally is unique in the world: it would seem that we are liv­ing in the past. In ad­di­tion, the flaws in the over­all in­tel­lec­tual per­for­mance of Arabs and Mus­lims in terms of ac­tiv­i­ties, ef­fec­tive­ness, and their role in form­ing and for­mu­lat­ing the cur­rent global civ­i­liza­tion make ours very frag­ile com­pared to the rest of the world.

We are fa­mil­iar with the crises in the Is­lamic world and with the suf­fer­ing of its peo­ple; we have lived the strug­gle to main­tain cul­tural val­ues and our in­abil­ity to in­te­grate into the mod­ern demo­cratic sys­tem. The time has come to ac­knowl­edge our fail­ure in giv­ing ad­e­quate room for the sort of free thought and cul­ture that gave rise to the great civ­i­liza­tions of the mod­ern era.

This has led our so­ci­eties to the dire sit­u­a­tion they find them­selves in to­day; to the bul­ly­ing and op­pres­sion of men in the name of re­li­gion; to our fail­ure to deal with re­li­gion and her­itage ob­jec­tively. We have lost fo­cus on our fu­ture and con­sider our an­cient cul­ture to be heaven-sent and thus as some­thing that must be nei­ther al­tered or re­newed. With that, we have re­jected free­dom and plu­ral­ism and em­braced re­stric­tions of thought and the mind.

We need to fo­cus on the fu­ture of our peo­ple and take steps in the right di­rec­tion; we need to sep­a­rate re­li­gion from the state. I am cer­tain that the best way to ful­fill this kind of sys­tem is to have a strong elected au­thor­ity which can shrug off gov­ern­men­tal and re­li­gious mind con­trol—for our re­gion has al­ways been used to con­trol minds and guar­an­tee their loy­alty to au­thor­i­tar­ian regimes.

How­ever, de­spite the pes­simistic out­look on the re­al­ity of our sit­u­a­tion, there are still some grounds for op­ti­mism in some ar­eas like Egypt, Tu­nisia and the Kur­dis­tan re­gion in north­ern Iraq, which clearly in­di­cate a def­i­nite de­sire for change on the part of Is­lamic peo­ples.

I am proud to bear wit­ness as a cit­i­zen of Kur­dis­tan to the eco­nomic achieve­ments and progress that has been made to­wards the co-ex­is­tence of dif­fer­ent eth­nic and re­li­gious groups. I bear wit­ness to the free­dom of opin­ion we en­joy, to the em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able to most in­hab­i­tants of the Re­gion, and to the re­con­struc­tion of all vi­tal fa­cil­i­ties since the fall of the Sad­dam Hus­sein regime in 2003.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Iraq

© PressReader. All rights reserved.