The Jakarta Post
As if not sufficiently devastated by incessant suicide bombs, Iraq is now facing a completely different threat that has turned the country into a scene of complete disaster.
The country is likely about to be physically divided into three and worse yet is that this is happening with a brutal civil war and a completely unacceptable fraternal fighting.
The situation is so dire that Islamic scholars are handing down war fatwas (edicts) like candy, leading to more cries for war when there should be calls to peace. Obviously, the attitude of Islamic scholars should always be urging peace.
An organization called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has begun to seize the western, central and northern parts of Iraq where Sunnis mostly reside.
Following Ramadi, they captured various portions of Mosul and Tikrit and are now attempting to advance towards Baghdad. However, south of Baghdad there are places where the population is mostly Shia.
ISIL relentlessly stages attacks against the Shia in the cities it captures: not a single day goes by without news of fresh attacks and brutal slaughters. When this is the case, urging the Shia to jihad is obviously an unspeakable mistake. These calls and fatwas only push the Iraqis further into that dangerous mood which will inevitably cause more bloodshed.
This bodes ill for everyone, and this situation must be brought to an end.
First of all, all these jihad fatwas must be revoked; instead of calls to topple Muslims and Muslim countries into pits of fire, calls to peace and restraint should be made, coupled with efforts to make peace between the quarreling sides.
Instead of saying 'continue to fight with each other, shed more blood', they should be saying 'reconcile and make peace'.
When there is fire, the first action to be taken must be putting out the fire. The best course of action is to work to end this fraternal fight, as the parties that have come to the Middle East for the sake of their interests want the region to be completely divided.
The first time the idea of dividing Iraq into three different parts first surfaced was in 2003 as the originators of this idea reasoned that the country could be more easily managed when it is smaller and weaker.
However, let alone creating new borders, the existing borders in the Middle East should be revoked just like it is the case in the Europe.
Within a union resembling that of the European Union, everyone should be able to live according to his choice of faith with full freedom, equality, justice and love. Such a model will benefit not only the region, but the EU, the US, Russia, China and all other countries as well.
The current Iraqi administration is among those regimes who are cold, stoic, stern and who fail to build brotherhood due to unfair and loveless policies.
However, coercion, oppression and hatred only add to the existing polarization in the country and any attempt to bully people into submission invariably backfires terribly. More hatred and deeper anger take over society due to oppressive policies.
Is it the unfair sharing of the resources in Iraq that is causing all the problems? Surely not. Looking at Iraq, the answer makes itself clear.
Iraq has more than enough resources for everyone with its history, richness and culture.
The Mesopotamian plateau, watered by the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, are fertile grounds that are a great source of richness for the country.
The place where these two rivers meet is called the legendary Shatt al-Arab and Basra.
Then there is the pearl of Middle East; Baghdad, with its breathtaking beauties and immense cultural heritage due to its history as a capital to many civilizations over the centuries.
There is Babylonia, a land of fairy tales, or Najaf where the tomb of Hz. Ali, the fourth caliph of Islam can be found. Erbil is a tourist attraction for rafting and mountain climbing, and we also find the historical cities of Suleymaniye, Mosul and Kirkuk. These cities are also very rich in oil reserves, most notably Mosul.
Iraq is the third biggest oil producer in the world with its raw oil reserves (extractable reserves) reaching 143 billion barrels. Its natural gas potential is at 13 trillion cubic feet.
In other words, Iraq has enough underground resources for everyone living on its lands; the Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Arabs, Turkmens, Christians and Jews. It has more than enough physical geographic space to allow everyone to live together in a brotherly and peaceful manner.
Despite that, the country is being torn apart with war, occupation, sectarian tensions and most recently a fraternal fighting. It is the duty of all of us to disperse the gathering dark clouds and bring back love, the one thing that is needed the most. Otherwise, this fire will spread to the entire region.
Iraq is the third biggest oil producer in the world with its raw oil reserves (extractable reserves) reaching 143 billion barrels.
The writer has authored in many languages on political, faith-related and scientific topics.