Maliki's "Step One": Depicting His Sunni And Shi'ite Opponents
02 June 2013
Following the unrest in the country, the Iraqi Prime
Minister called for MPs to boycott the next
parliamentary session. He said that "the session will
be aggravating and hectic since both Ba'athists and
non-Ba'athists advocates of violence and sectarianism
will be active." Al-Maliki said that he considered
Iraq's parliament a "major partner of the unrest in
the country," adding that recent events could only be
described as a coup.
The political conflict in Iraq has become a threat to
the country's national components, existence, and
unity. This conflict is a sectarian one that has
unexpectedly escalated under Maliki's rule. The
division in Iraq is caused by this one man who wishes
to expand his powers and influences irrespective of
the legitimate political process. Accordingly, Maliki
is depicting his Sunni and Shi'ite opponents as
sectarian or Ba'athists.
By attacking the parliament and accusing it of causing
unrest and sectarian tensions in the country, Maliki
is not only demonstrating authoritarian tendencies but
also undermining Iraq's political process. His actions
disregard the elected parliament, which is the
legislative power that guarantees the functioning of
political process and implements and defends the
constitution. In fact, this signifies that Maliki is
plotting a coup to impose autocratic rule in Iraq.
Therefore, Maliki is no different from Bashar Al-Assad
since they both consider themselves above the law and
the constitution, describing what is taking place in
their countries as nothing but a foreign and sectarian
plot. Like Assad, Maliki considers the incidents in
Al-Anbar province as part of a sectarian plot
sponsored by foreign powers.
I have a question for Maliki and his supporters: What
foreign powers would sponsor Moqtada Al-Sadr, for
example, considering that the two are in the midst of
an immense political conflict? Moreover, it is Sadr's
movement that called for an emergency session in
parliament, a decision that the prime minister
attacked and refuted.
A reasonable interpretation of what is going on in
Iraq and of Al-Maliki's behaviorógiven that
sectarianism is on the riseóis that the prime minister
is plotting a coup to return Iraq to an even worse
state than it was in under the rule of Saddam Hussein.
This is nothing more than a sectarian coup led by a
"Shi'ite Saddam" that is threatening the future of
Osama al-Nujaifi, speaker of the Iraqi parliament, was
absolutely right to accuse Al-Maliki of "rebelling"
against the constitution and showing "indifference"
towards the blood of the Iraqi people. Maliki's
boycott and attack of the parliament can only be
interpreted as a first step towards his sectarian
Tariq Alhomayed is the Editor-in-Chief of Asharq
Al-Awsat, the youngest person to be appointed that
position. He holds a BA degree in Media studies from
King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah, and has also
completed his Introductory courses towards a Master's
degree from George Washington University in Washington
D.C. He is based in London.