By: Kayhan Int’l Staff Writer
In 1917, in the closing years of the First World War, the ancient land of Mesopotamia literally fell from the frying pan into the fire, when the Ottoman occupiers fled, leaving it to the new breed of occupiers, the British, who now decided to create a new state called ‘Iraq’ by merging the three Vilayets of Basra, Baghdad and Mosul.
The overwhelming majority of the inhabitants of the Land of the Rivers Tigris and Euphrates were the Shi’a Arab Muslims long suppressed by the Ottomans, next came the discriminated ethnic Kurdish minority that was confined to the rugged mountains of the north, followed by the Sunni Arabs hardly 12 percent minority – favoured by the caliph and his courtiers in Istanbul as part of the policy of divide-and-rule policy.
If Britain was really the liberator and if justice was to be done to the people of the new land on the basis of representative rule, as per the emerging trend in the West, then the majority community which was culturally and academically more progressive than the other two because of its centres of learning in the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala, as well as its fraternal relations with neighbouring Iran, should have given charge of the new country, of course, with due respect for the rights of others.
This was the very anathema to imperialist Britain, which wanted to keep tight control over oil and other natural resources, and thus in 1920 it brutally crushed the popular uprising of the southern tribes led by the ulema, exiling Ayatollah Sheikh Kashef al-Gheta and poisoning Ayatollah Mirza Mohammad Taqi Shirazi.
The notorious British spy, Gertrude Lawrence Bell, who posed as a traveler and was entrusted with the affairs of Iraq, sums this up as follows in one of her letters:
"The Shi’a problem is probably the most formidable in this country. We were discussing it last night at an extremely interesting dinner party in my house… Abdul Majid said "What are you going to do if the chief mujtahid, whose voice is the voice of God, issues a fatwa that no Shi’a is to sit in the Legislative Assembly … or when a law is being debated, suppose the mujtahid cuts in with a fatwa that it’s against canon law and must be rejected?
"If you’re going to have anything like really representative institutions – always remember that the Turks hadn’t; there wasn’t a single Shi’a deputy – you would have a majority of Shi’as. I don’t for a moment doubt that the final authority must be in the hands of the Sunnis, in spite of their numerical inferiority; otherwise you will have a mujtahid-run, theocratic state.”
Gertrude Bell in these discussions highly recommended Faisal bin Hussein, (the son of Hussein, Sherif of Mecca), former commander of the Arab forces that helped the British during the war against the Ottomans, be installed as king in Baghdad.
Historians and political analysts point out that the present troubles in Iraq are because of the British, who after the overthrow of their imported kings in 1958 (Faisal II), made sure in complicity with the Americans that minority dictatorships would be in control of Iraq.
In 2004, with the US invasion and the end of the Ba’th minority regime, the American bid to install a new strongman in Baghdad, completely failed, thanks to the awareness of the Iraqi people and the inspiration they derived from the leading mujtahid in Najaf, Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Sistani.
Laws were formulated and a system of government established, with the respect for the rights of all, to the chagrin of the US, which, along with Saudi Arabia, created the Takfiri terrorists and their bloodcurdling bid to take over the country – an intricate plot that was soundly defeated by the Ayatollah Sistani’s call to the general public to take up arms in the form of the popular mobilization units (Hashd ash-Sha’bi) and the timely advisory help, together with the necessary weapons received from friendly and fraternal neighbour Iran.
As a result of this newfound unity, Iraq became the cynosure of all eyes around the world, especially the peaceful and orderly millions-strong rallies for the annual Arba’een pilgrimage – much to the horror of the Americans.
This is the reason the US, along with Britain, Saudi Arabia and Israel has stirred the recent riots in Iraq by greasing the palms of the hoodlums, traitors, remnants of the Ba’thists, and residue of the Takfiris, in a vain bid to bring down the government and the system, and replace it with some dictator.
Thanks, however, to the vigilance of the ulema, the tribesmen, the students, and the ordinary citizens, represented by the Hashd ash-Sha’bi, which on Tuesday, December 10 marked the second anniversary of the victory of the Iraqis over Daesh, the new plot will Insha Allah, fail.
No traitor can drive a wedge between Iran and Iraq, and no foreign meddler will be allowed to interfere in the affairs of Iraq, as was the message of the government when it summoned the ambassadors of Britain, France, Germany, and Canada, and soundly censured their meddling remarks.