Throughout its history Iraq was a craddle of revelations, religions and a birth place of prophets. Geographically Iraq can't be but tolerant, for its territory is open and is a crossing place for cultures, people, ideas and commercial exchange. It is impossible to imagine Iraq as a closed territory. Since the foundation of the modern state of Iraq, Iraqis of different religious and ethnic backgrounds played a key role into the developpement and prosperity of this country. An example : The Iraqi Jews, a substantial component of Iraq population were the yeast of Iraq as musicians, skilled artisans, politicians.. until the day the Mossad attacked synagogues and killed many Jew forcing them to leave to Palestine and attributed the crimes to the Iraqi government. Before the US invasion we had no sectarian hassels in Iraq. I knew of many mixed Christian Muslim couples. He was a Muslim and a high officer in the Iraqi army and she was a Chaldean. He went to the mosque and she went to church and baptized their children. Mosques and churches lived side by side..No one knew if their neighbours was Sunni or Shia. Bagdad was the biggest Kurdish city in Iraq, population wise. And then came the terminology, the Sunni triangle – of US death - Shias.. minorities..etc. Now we know that those who practice discriminations are not Iraqis.. For Iraqis in their essence are open and tolerants towards the others. Just a question : What happened to the Muslim population in Spain ? Gone ! Vanished..While in Iraq the Christians, Mandeans, Yezidis have been in Mesopotamia for millenia and for a simple reason : Iraq vocation as multicultural and multi religious country. We can't conceive Iraq otherwise. Every time minorities were persecuted, it was always because a foreign invasion. For Iraq to win back its vocation, it has to quell the invaders and their puppets.. and acquire back its independance, freedom and in a word, snatch back its very soul.
Behnam Keryo, Iraqi Artist and activist, living in France