2011 / 12 / 22
Barzani Lost Credibilty
By: Freyad Ibrahim
On December 2, rioters allegedly stirred up by preachers at Friday prayers rampaged through Zakho, destroying a controversial massage parlor before moving on to torch several liquor shops and hotels. In retaliation, a mob of Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) activists attacked the local office of the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) and KIU media offices in nearby Duhok and Semel. There is only one problem, a KIU activist explains to me: While the KIU used to have two imams in Zakho, they were fired a long time ago by the government. The KDP regulates the mosques and appoints the preachers. Ismael Osman, the cleric who called for worshippers to attack the massage parlor told Hawlati that he hates the KIU and belongs to the KDP.
Regional President Masud Barzani condemned the violence and promised that a special committee would investigate the incident. Alas, Barzani appointing a committee to investigate any outrage against democracy and security in which the perpetrators come from his own party is akin to the fox taking charge of an investigation into a break-in at a hen house, or Syrian President Bashar al-Assad promising to investigate attacks against protestors on the part of his own security forces. Barzani may be sincere, but after so many attacks allegedly perpetrated with such seeming impunity by his own party – and even in some cases his own immediate family – against opposition political parties and independent journalists, Barzani has forfeited any credibility on issues of justice and human rights.
12 – 12 - 2011