Turmoil in Iraq  


Sir: The grave political situation emerging in Iraq due to the taking over of Mosul, Tikrit and other cities by ISIS is a cause for concern, as it may instigate all out fighting between the two factions of the Iraqi population — Shia and Sunni — fuelling sectarian violence even further.

The ambition of ISIS to create an Islamic emirate or ‘Khilafat’-type government in the region may not materialize without the help of the masses. Also there is no precedent of any other country functioning on true Sharia Law.

This split between Sunnis and Shias is not a good sign. The Shia majority government of

Nouri al-Maliki may not have addressed the genuine concerns of the 19 percent Sunni population and inadvertently strengthened the hands of ISIS.

The neighbouring Shia majority country Iran intends to join the US to help Iraq fight and eliminate ISIS and its extremist influence in the region. The caveat that this intervention might further enhance tension and divide the region along sectarian lines cannot be ignored.

It is of utmost importance that both ISIS and the Iraqi government resolve this dispute through meaningful dialogue to avoid foreign intervention. Otherwise, the fires of sectarian violence will spread across the Islamic world.

Mohammad Ashraf