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article imageOp-Ed: On ISIS's latest mass-murder

By Paul Iddon     Nov 2, 2014 in Politics
The Islamic State groups (IS, formerly ISIS) have, over a 10-day period, massacred at least 200 members of the Iraqi Albu Nimr tribe in Iraq's Anbar province. This latest atrocity is quite telling given the denomination of that tribe.
The Albu Nimr tribesmen are Sunnis, the same denomination of Islam which IS claims to be and claims to represent, if not epitomize. Why where these tribesmen massacred?
For the simple reason they didn't wish to be ruled under IS's caliphate and do not recognize them as a legitimate authority or representative.
Many Iraqi Sunnis loathe their unrepresentative government (which is set to begin reforming). Iraq is a Shiite-majority country and the last Prime Minister of Iraq (himself a rather sectarian-minded Shiite) oversaw governmental policies which to say the least of them led to widespread discontent amongst the Sunni Arabs and the Sunni Kurds of Iraq. They voiced their discontent and their grievances, many of which were very real and understandable. But that didn't mean they held the front door open for IS. On the contrary, IS simply capitalized on the political instability which gripped Iraq and rendered it so wholly incompetent in the wake of the IS assault.
I sincerely doubt Albu Nimr will be the last Sunnis IS will be butchering. I'm glad the United States clearly recognizes that IS isn't seen amongst Iraq's Sunnis as a natural way in which to vent their grievances against past policies of the Baghdad government. Indeed one of the things retired U.S. General John Allen is trying to do is spearhead a Sunni Awakening in Iraq. One which will see those Sunnis empowered so they can dispense themselves of that barbaric and reactionary group.
Indeed it was Albu Nimr who, as part of the Sahwa militia, fought al-Qaeda in Iraq – from which IS grew. As with its al-Qaeda in Iraq IS relies on fear and brute violence to survive and consolidate its control over its subject populations. This is not indicative of its confidence that it has the support of these Muslims whose beliefs about how society run they view themselves as epitomizing.
One hopes that those Albu Nimr tribesmen IS militants murdered in a brutal systematic fashion (such actions, even in the fog of war are fragrant war crimes and even crimes against humanity) by IS haven't died in vain. One hopes that instead their stand will prove to be the beginning another Sunni upheaval. One which will see to the Sunnis dispense themselves of this monstrosity and stand firmly for their rights as equal, and not marginalized and sidelined, Iraqi citizens.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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