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[casi-analysis] "Crusade ...' - Iraq Not to be Arab ....

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Governing Council Oppose Arab Identity Of Iraq

The Interim Governing Council was handpicked by the U.S. occupation
By Aws Al-Sharqi, IOL Correspondent
BAGHDAD, February 21 ( - Amidst a heated controversy
triggered by Washington¹s opposition to Islam being the principal source of
legislation in Iraq, the U.S.-handpicked Interim Governing Council refused
to reaffirm the Arab identity of Iraq in the temporary constitution.
The council is charged with writing the temporary constitution, or
fundamental law, that will govern Iraq until national elections are held in
2005, a job that should be finalized before February 28.
The majority of the council members have turned down a memorandum submitted
by the General Secretariat of National Action in Iraq that the constitution
clearly stipulates that Iraq is part and parcel of the Arab nation,
well-informed Iraqi sources told Saturday, February 21.
They also reported heated controversy inside the Washington-sanctioned body
on issues of elections, Islamic Shari¹ah and Iraq¹s Arab identity in the
U.S. administrator of Iraq Paul Bremer said Monday, February 16, he will not
allow Islam to be the main source of law in Iraq.
His threat triggered waves of protests from Iraqi Shiite and Sunni bodies.
Sources within the Iraqi nationalist trend accused the council of turning a
blind eye to "the historical and geographic facts."
Refusing to reaffirm Iraq¹s Arabism, the sources maintained, "is simply
meaningless. This self-evident fact is stronger than the political will of
opponents in the council."
They underlined that "opponents represent an anti-Arab trend toeing the
demands of the U.S.-led occupation authority to separate Iraq from the Arab
The Independent Democrats Alliance of Adnan Pachachi, who sets on the
governing council, was the only party to defend the memorandum.
"The anti-Arab trend is unveiling its ugly face trying to blame all Iraq¹s
illness on Arabs," Dr. Abdel-Karim Hani, a prominent Arab nationalist, told
"This grudging trend does not only promote its ideas among naïve citizens
but makes public such positions through their mouthpieces in the governing
Arab Problems
Samir Yuhanna Batto, a Christian member of the Communist party, vocalized
opposition to Iraq¹s Arabic identity.
He claimed that the regime of ousted president Saddam Hussein entrenched
nationalistic concepts and imposed it on Iraq.
"Relations with the Arab nation only created problems for Iraq," he argued.
"Now that Iraq has gained its freedom and rid itself of the Baathist regime,
there will be no return to such concepts," said Batto.
He said the new constitution should not refer to the Arabic identity of Iraq
because this would "stipulates responsibilities we do not believe we need to
"We want to build a new democratic Iraq that steers clear of Arab problems."
The Heart
Lawyer Shaza Al-Mohamadawy, a Nasserite [a trend named after late Egyptian
president Gamal Abd el-Nasser who was known for his nationalist stances],
asserted that "Iraq was and will continue to be the heart of Arabism."
"None of those (council¹s members) has the right to strip Iraq of its Arab
identity, falsify its nationalist character or burry its inseparable
relations with the Arab nation," she said.
According to IslamOnline.net¹s correspondent some partisan newspapers,
issued in the wake of the U.S. occupation, are sponsoring an anti-Arab and
anti-nationalists campaign.
Members of such groups have repeatedly assaulted Palestinians and Syrians
residing in Iraq.
Four Egyptians were killed in similar attacks on Thursday, February 19, in a
Baghdad neighborhood.
Iraqi media sources said the four victims, three men and a woman, described
the attack as pre-mediated murder as part of an anti-Arab campaign.

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