So, here we are again. Blogging about devastation in Iraq.
At the moment, a religious extremist militia is seizing control over much of the North and West of the country including one of the worlds oldest cities, Mosul.
I’ve written a lot about Iraq in the past. Commenting on the Iraq war was why I started blogging in the first place, back in 2005.
This is perhaps the most serious strategic upheaval that has occurred in Iraq since the civil war of 2006/07, the resultant US troop surge and eventual ‘withdrawal’ of international combat forces.
There have been elections. There have been some significant protests. There have been far too many random explosions. There has also been a variety of sectarian political manoeuvring. Then Vice President of Iraq Tariq al-Hashimi, the most senior Sunni in the Iraqi Government, was even sentenced to death after being charged with murder in 2011 and later found ‘guilty in absentia’.
The rise of religious extremism in Iraq is a result of the US-lead invasion in 2003. In dire times it is not uncommon for people to turn to religion and extremist groups who knew this used Anti-US sentiments to gain support in Iraq after Saddam’s fall.
Extremists groups crossed the border from Iran (the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq // “Badr Corps”), Saudi Arabia and Jordan (“Al-Qaeda in Iraq”). Prominent religious leaders, whose strong stance against the presence of Coalition forces in Iraq had won over many Iraqi’s, began to envision an Islamic theocracy in Iraq. Damage caused to important religious sites also inflamed caused people to rally behind their religious leaders, who have become more extreme as the occupation continues. As a result of the invasion and the cunning of extremist leaders, religious extremism has thrived in Iraq since 2003.
Through out history it is noted that people tend to turn to religion in times of crisis and war as faith allows us to remain optimistic. This means the already deep roots of religion in Iraq became suddenly much more important during and after the 2003 invasion, providing religious figures with the confidence to speak their minds and promote their own motives. Irani religious leaders including Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani provided imported Shiite leaders with credibility and support by endorsing the United Iraqi Alliance (Shiite Bloc) in Iraq’s first round of elections. Continue reading Religious extremism on the rise in post-Saddam Iraq
In whatever way they could find bloggers were reaching out to help Jill, be it contacting media, politicians, other important political//religious figures or just posting, praying and sending support to Jill’s family and employers at the Christian Science Monitor.
Iraqi bloggers and the blogosphere which immediately surrounds had a strong response to the incident surrounding Jill’s capture- particularly the death of Alan Enwiya (Jill’s translator). Alan was much loved by the younger generation of Baghdadi’s for his all-encompassing knowledge and love of music. Alan ran a popular music store which became central to the life of many music loving Iraqi youths including many popular Iraqi bloggers- until war came back to Baghdad once again. Continue reading Jill Carroll & The Iraqi Blogosphere