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What are the consequences of sectarian killings?

Iraqi policemen stand guard as Sunni and Shiite tribal clerics and leaders meet to discuss reconciliation between the Muslim sects and how to prevent sectarian violence in the town of Muqdadiyah, northeast of Baghdad, in Iraq's mix province of Diyala, on January 23, 2016. [AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP via Getty Images]
Iraqi policemen stand guard as Sunni and Shiite tribal clerics and leaders meet to discuss reconciliation between the Muslim sects and how to prevent sectarian violence in the town of Muqdadiyah, northeast of Baghdad, in Iraq's mix province of Diyala, on January 23, 2016. [AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP via Getty Images]

I have the right to wonder about the value of the moral, material and historical cost that the nation is still paying with the continuation of sectarian killing! For instance, we have seen what happened and is still happening in Iraq, amid an unprecedented sectarian division that our nation is experiencing these days.

One of the most prominent aspects of this sectarian scourge is the circulation of videos showing spokespersons of specific sects and doctrines, who often speak racially. These videos spread quickly like wildfire, for ridicule and amusement.

The promoters of these videos do not realise is that some of them are false and fabricated, and many of them reflect individual or limited cases.

By the way, this exists in all movements, sects and doctrines. Where you find someone who wears clothes showing a religious position, then he speaks with unsubstantiated individual heresies; his enemies immediately grab them eagerly, as if they found a booty. After that, they hurry to spread and promote them, so these heresies spread more than the expectation of their owner.

Try to write through search engines "sandals" or "secrets" or similar phrases, then write the name of someone whose ideology you adopt, whether thought, doctrine, or even political movement, then you will be astonished with the abuse and distortion of your creed!

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The most serious question here is: How would you react? The impression most likely to come to your mind immediately is: What madness is this? These are haters? You will become more convinced of what you adopt; you will also enhance your belief about the size of the conspiracy against your creed.

In other words, these videos, no matter how powerful against a movement or a doctrine, will not dissuade their followers. On the contrary, they will increase their adherence to them. If this approach was more effective, the Quraan's teachings would not call for wisdom and sage advice, rather to scandal, defamation and distorting the beliefs.

I write this after my participation in a preparatory meeting, a few days ago, to launch an intellectual front against sectarian fanaticism, where several intellectuals called for the establishment of "United Against Sectarian Fanaticism".

It is an independent cultural gathering that aims to raise awareness of the dangers of concepts, ideas and trends that support sectarian and racist fanaticism, and to create a framework for cooperation in consolidating understanding between the people of one country, the same region and in the general humanitarian context. In addition, it establishes the rules of co-existence and combats all forms of sectarian and racist fanaticism that are repugnant and condemned.

The group aims to establish a broad and effective cultural alliance so that everyone can enjoy security, peace, mutual respect and legal justice.

I believe that this idea has become a temporal necessity and a legal obligation in light of the nation's need to search for points of agreement after it was destroyed by the factors of separation.

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In this context, we affirm the inability and invalidity of the idea of ‚Äč‚Äčextermination by one party of the other, or the ethnic cleansing of the country by a certain group of people, so we can deal with each other as our fathers and grandfathers did, over centuries of time.

Whoever is involved in bloodshed or in violation of the law, our role is to contribute to supporting and enabling equitable justice to take its course through state institutions, whose reform is an essential basis for achieving this goal.

This is considered a duty. When we light a candle, it is much better than to damn darkness. We need a real serious stand against the factors that divide us, especially sectarianism and racism. Particularly because nations have rallied against us, and dangers have come upon us from all sides.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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