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 Iraq's Kurdistan Government and Opposition

 Opinion — Analysis  
  The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author


Iraq's Kurdistan Government and Opposition  16.12.2011  
By Bedran Ahmed Habeeb, Iraqi Kurdistan

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Badran Ahmed Habeeb, the Director General of Kurdistan News Agency

December 16, 2011

ERBIL-Hewlêr, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — The Kurdish opposition is made of three parties, three factions. First there is the left wing Gorran Movement which split from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. Most of their constituents and supporters are the poorest in Kurdish society. These people are the base members of past revolutions. It is not unusual to see this class of people use violence whenever the opportunity presents itself. Like what happened to Kurdistan Democratic Party branch in Sulaimaniyah in February this year.

Second, the Kurdistan Islamic Group that, like Gorran, spread its branches in the working class and poor in Kurdish society. Economically they have the same constituents and supporters but what separates them is religious ideology.

The third party is the Kurdistan Islamic Union is different from other two. Their activities are more civilized. They can count a small fraction of the bourgeoisie who yearn for a comfortable life among their supporters. What happened in Zakho and Duhok was the first time KIU brought chaos to the Kurdish political scene.

KIU is a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood which emerged as one of the more moderate political movements in the Arab world after the First World War. KIU brought a new culture to the Kurdish political game: they do not have weapons. A sensible philosophy - it makes them acceptable for both middle class supporters and the outside world. Until recently they only demanded change - now their actions are changing. They are becoming more aggressive.

I believe the events of September 11, 2001, were the source of change for the Muslim Brotherhood movement in general and KIU in particular. After September 11 they became more militant and followed al-Qaeda's suit. After 2003 we saw Iraq become a battle ground for them to do some of the most outrageous things in the history of mankind. They turned the country into a land of fear and terror.

KIU lost its accountability toward the middle class. But it also became a party using mosques to spread the word, trying to get their message to people and attract new supporters. They ignored the urban population, the skilled and intellectuals. We can see where we are and what happened in Badenan (Duhok – Zakho) were examples. What we hear is that members of KIU are not happy with their leadership and they want them to be more aggressive. They do not want negotiation. This is the result of a year's preparation through sermons in mosques. KIU blamed a member of KDP for the recent chaos in Badenan but can any intelligent man believe such blame where KDP is the dominant party there? Especially as the Arab spring is everywhere. Perhaps we do not see or feel such blame from the report issued by KRG parliament.

Parliament's report shows a picture of hell which if this plan was successful we would have been in a much worse situation. Optimistic people want development, happiness and peace.

What happened in Zakho was burning, looting and destruction which only a hopeless, brain washed person could do. Someone waiting to die and sacrificing himself to get to the next world. This is what they call a modern Islamic party and this is what they want to achieve.

Having a massage parlour is a medical necessity for natural remedies recommended by doctors. It is a humanitarian profession and it needs to be respected like all other professions. What is this burning image they want to give to our new country? Are those who are do these things, or those behind the scenes, really human beings? Or are they brainless, emotionless instruments made for the destruction of a new born country?

It seems this is another reason for KIU to lose its reputation of moderate and democratic. It seems it is a continuation of last spring’s events in Sulaimaniyah. It looks like that KIU is following Gorran and KIG. Co-existence and living in harmony side by side removes all individual differences. The base of KIU did not allow its leadership to sit down with KDP at the negotiation table. They demanded a kind of retaliation. Dooming us to repeat the old horrible history, a pointless fight between government and opposition which will delay the true Kurdish movement.

Bedran A. Habeeb is the Director General of Kurdistan News Agency.

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The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author


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