Published On: Fri, Feb 2nd, 2024
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The Middle East needs to learn from history and its sectarian scars, says Mithal Al Alusi | Express Comment | Comment

In the heart of the Middle East, where history whispers tales of human civilization, the land is also scarred by the atrocities of sectarian violence. As a voice from this region, I find it imperative to remind the world that ignoring the lessons of history only serves to deepen these wounds.

Let us start with the Holocaust, an event of unparalleled horror, often clouded by conspiracy theories and denial. Yet, its truth stands undeniable, a stark reminder of the depths of human cruelty when fueled by hatred and intolerance. The Holocaust was not an isolated chapter in history; its echoes are felt across time and space, resonating with other tragedies in our region.

In Iraq, our Jewish brethren once faced executions in Tahrir Square, a grim testament to the sectarian strife that has plagued our nation.

Similarly, the Kurdish people endured the horrors of the Anfal genocide and the chemical weapons attack in Halabja – events that should have been a wake-up call to the world about the catastrophic consequences of ethnic and sectarian targeting.

More recently, the brutality of ISIS in Sinjar against the Yazidis mirrored these historical tragedies, reinforcing the grim pattern of sectarian violence that seems to repeat itself endlessly in our region.

Today, Iraq stands at a crossroads, with militias exerting influence over our government and judiciary. This reality poses a grave threat to our nation’s stability and the rule of law.

However, it’s crucial to understand that the dominance of these militias does not justify the sectarian crimes committed, nor does it absolve the perpetrators of their sectarian opposites.

As we navigate these turbulent waters, it is essential to remember that the path to lasting peace in the Middle East lies in acknowledging and learning from our past.

We must confront the uncomfortable truths of our history, understand the deep-seated roots of our conflicts, and commit to a future where such atrocities are never repeated.

The international community, especially influential nations like the United States, has a crucial role to play in this journey.

It is not enough to merely condemn these acts of violence; there must be a concerted effort to support policies and initiatives that foster tolerance, understanding, and coexistence among the diverse ethnic and religious groups in our region.

The blood of the victims, from the Holocaust to Sinjar, cries out for justice and remembrance. Let their memories be a guide to a future where such horrors are relegated to the pages of history, never to be repeated.

In the spirit of those who have suffered, let us work together towards a Middle East that is defined not by the shadows of its tragic past but by the light of its hopeful future.

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