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1. separation between the politics and religion by banned the religious ceremonies within the ministry and all of the army have to carry the Iraqi flag, no any other flag related to a party or to religious doctrines (normally some of the Iraqi army are carrying a flags related to religious doctrines during their formal duties, and give themselves holidays in their ceremonies without getting permission to do so)

2. in the past the system of ministry was following the obligatory armed forces services but after 2003 this rule cancelled, i recommend to return it again in order to make an army of a combination of all the Iraqis no matter ( religion, doctrines, city,...)

3. protecting the country has to be under the Iraqi identity .. the ministry has to ask to cancel the militias which represent a part of doctrines or a part of people like ( peshmerga (Kurdish militia, mahdi army (Shia militia ) or sunni militias and make the power of the country and weapons just under the control of this ministry to great the faith and loyalty to the Iraqi identity.

Background of Iraq Ethnic and Religious Diversity

Iraq had serious ethnic tensions prior to the U.S. invasion of 2003 the regime of one Saddam Hussein didn’t give way for establishment of sectarianism. Consequently, there was a well existence of Shias and Sunnis in Iraq mostly in large cities. Iraq religion had considerable population of ethnic, Christians and other religious minorities. Marriage in Iraq was mostly between members belonging to different sects (Rabi, U, et al, 2018). In the reign of Saddam, Islamic discourse was tolerated as long as it politically suited him since 1980s to the end of his reign to a U.S. invasion which was to come although he remained ruthless against most of the Islamic societies irrespective of whether they were peaceful or violent, Shia or Sunni (Al-Shadeedi, 2018).

Secular ideologies in Iraq greatly influenced the political affiliation in the country; the act of inquiring ones religious persuasion was considered a taboo. Sunni-dominated regime in Saddam’s reign included a significant Shia presence and he made sure that no group became too strong over the other. If anyone was perceived as a threat, then he or she would immediately face the harsh arm of his security forces. Even during the time of occupation by U.S., there was a fair broad based insurgency with the militias of Shia Sunni all united to drive out those who were otherwise considered as occupiers (Ismael,  2017) . The then appointed U.S. head of provisional Authority of Iraq, Paul Bremer undermined this trend by deploying a rule which encouraged divide-and-rule strategy in the new Iraqi state. The consequences of this still continue to reverberate all through the region and Iraq. The Sunnis have strived to square their people-old aversion to anything connected with sectarianism since 2003, it was difficulty to put separate the ethno-sectarian identity from the interest of politics after 2003 due to the centrality of communal identity. Consequently, today the Arab Iraqis can’t deviate from sectarian prism due to its centrality in the society and political arena (Rabi, U, et al, 2018). All this plus extensional fear, revenge and the ongoing cycle of violence leaves the Arab Iraqis no choice but putting themselves into primarily members of a certain sect  for reasons such as self- preservation or self-interest if no other.

 In late July 2003, there was a joint effort by the government of Iraq, strong donors like United Kingdom and the United Nations to achieve an international compact with Iraq (Al-Rawi, 2017). The goals of the compact was that in the next five years or so, bring together the efforts of the international community together with multilateral organizations to make Iraq a state which is federal, united and democratic. A state which will be more economically and financially self-sufficient has peace with the neighbors and itself, hence allowing prosperity. Since 2003, there has been a significant improvement as far as economic, legitimate politics and government institutions are concerned. A successful electoral process has brought about important success in bringing up the foundations of a democratic and free Iraq. Irrespective of all these achievements in Iraq, the nature of Iraqi violence has ensued creating instability, challenging transition and reconstruction (Rabi, 2017). Extremists and Insurgents inciting sectarian tensions are increasing at a high rate over the last quarter, bringing about kidnappings, killings, displacement of persons and attacks of civilians. One of the highly ranked stability and security threats in Iraq was the continued level of ethno-sectarian violence. Nonetheless Iraq as a state continued to fight for their country to be a free, peaceful and a democratic state.

Impact of Saddam Hussein's Regime on Sectarianism

Security wise Iraq continued to face attacks from terrorists, insurgents and extremist who had a goal to destabilize the existing new Iraqi government and depriving the citizen to enjoy their freedom and peace which they had chosen by carrying out free and fair elections. Most of these civilian casualties and attacks were characterized by ethno-sectarian reprisals and attacks (Walsh, 2018). Baghdad which was the Centre for politics, high population and media experienced the most of the attacks. Despite all this, the people of Iraq continued to show their confidence in the Iraq army in that it can provide them enough security and push away the bad future dreams held by extremists. The Iraq government and the multinational force continued to ensure that security was well beeped up especially in northern Iraq and Fallujah regions (Rabi, U, et al, 2018). The army had taken lead as far as counter-insurgency was operations were concerned and had in most areas, assumed security responsibilities.

The political leaders who were Shia after 2003 had a unique goal of reshaping the future of Iraq although there were long –held grievances between them and the Kurdish groups, not only with the issue of Saddam’s regimes but also against the minority dominance of Sunni which had continued to exist in varying degrees since the establishment of the Iraqi state in 1921. The leaders from Shia community encouraged narrative of a great change as far as victor was concerned and discouraged the rise of oppression amongst the people of Iraq. They were more geared towards addressing justice in the Iraqi community (Helfont, 2018). The U.S. occupation authorities together with Shia leaders campaigned for inclusion and universal participation. This was achieved through lumping all Sunnis with the Ba’ath and Saddam which consequently lead to a deraconian de-Ba’thification laws and the army dissolution, which were considered as tools and vehicles of the Sunnis. It was the responsibility of the Sunnis to prove innocence and their acquiescence to the new statutes (Haddad, 2017).

After a new constitution was drafted in 2005, a slowness was evidenced were Sunnis were reluctant to join the deliberations and when this happened, it was already late to bring change in any way to their advantage (Wehrey,et al, 2018). Many Sunnis didn’t buy the idea that they were a minority and this therefore brought suspicion, triumphalism, fear, rejection and exclusion which greatly fueled the ugly sectarian warfare in between the Shia militia and the Sunni insurgents in the year 2006 (Al-Rawi, 2017). In 2008, the U.S. military did efforts to bring a reconciliation by trying to integrate the combatants of Sunni into state institutions with end goal of pacifying the armed insurgency and putting an end to the so called sectarian conflict (Bozorgmehri, 2018). The talks which were considered to be reconciliative were made superficial and never attempted to discuss matters such as grievances, mutual fears, aspirations and communal relations.

Role of Secular Ideologies on Political Affiliation

To prevent and cub the sectarian situation in Iraq, numerous measures has to be put in place. Since the U.S. military forces were withdrawn, the ability to influence Iraq by the U.S. has decreased but not completely disappeared (Wehrey,et al, 2018). Through a carefully balanced engagement between the U.S. and different sects in Iraq, the behavior of the local, principal and the national leaders could be influenced and likewise facilitate co-existence in between different competing political blocs. To address this major issue of the country’s division, Iraq needed to restructure most of its governing rules and current governing systems (Iraq Isakhan, 2018).

The militia had to be reshuffled and the legislation has to make sure that only one army existent and all other communal armies’ banned down. This created the atmosphere of oneness in the country under centralized government. Due to existence of different militia groups, it implies that different flags were beings used showing separation and increasing more tension amongst the majorities and the minorities in (Iraq Isakhan, 2018). The central government encouraging the use of one army and a common flag was a great boost to the wellbeing and the peace of Iraq as a state. Real change will call for various constitutional amendments, reconstruction of the electoral systems and also new laws on political parties in Iraq. To protect Iraq, it has to be under the authority of one militia identity and put aside the differences existing between the various doctrines. All other sub militias have to be cancelled out and leave the identity of Iraq under a central military system responsible for control of all weapons and state security (Wehrey,et al, 2018).

One of the important factors was the institutional capability within the Iraq’s ministries of defense and interior. More than two thirds of the Iraq army was taking the lead and the multinational forces were shifting their focus on helping the Iraqis develop control, stronger logistics and command capabilities. The joint committee which was geared towards to help Iraq achieve its security self-reliance would come up with a road map with conditions based on transitions of security responsibility (Johny, 2018). Training of Iraq security forces was very important, after taking over; Al-Maliki’s government launched an international compact which had goals such as, national reconciliation, reforms, reconstruction as well as economic development. The international community together with the multinational force supported the people of Iraq as its government made efforts to stabilize the state by promoting inclusion and national dialogue. The combined efforts of the multinational force together with the Iraqi security forces made sure that there was an establishment of an environment that encouraged Iraqis government to be democratically elected and the people of Iraq to realize a more secure, prosperous and a bright future (Alagha, 2018).

International Compact to Achieve a Federal, United and Democratic Iraq

Conclusion

At a basic level, democracy has been interfered by what we can call a false definition of what constitutes minority and majority whereby in Iraq these aspects are expressed by sectarian and not affiliations from politics. This therefore gives an impression that the Shia will always remain the political majority and the Sunnis will always be the political minority. The interpretation of democracy is terribly undermining the aspect of equal citizenship equality when it comes to rights of the citizens irrespective of gender, religion or race (Louër, 2017). The international community will continue to be largely challenged by the ethnic and religious conflicts. Although such conflicts should not be considered inevitable and it should always be put in mind that solutions for such problems are always possible.

Alagha, J. (2018). Shii Sectarianism in the Middle East: Modernisation and the Quest for Islamic Universalism. ISLAMIC STUDIES, 53(3-4).

Al-Rawi, A. and Jiwani, Y., 2017. Mediated Conflict: Shiite Heroes Combating ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Communication, Culture & Critique, 10(4), pp.675-695.

Al-Shadeedi, Al-Hamzeh. "The Unintended Effect of Faisal’s I Dynastic Goals on the Increase of Fragmentation within the Iraqi Society." Bachelor's thesis, 2018.

Bozorgmehri, M., 2018. Impact of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (IS) on regional equations in Middle East. World Journal of Social Science, 5(1), p.64.

Haddad, F., 2017. 'Sectarianism'and Its Discontents in the Study of the Middle East. The Middle East Journal, 71(3), pp.363-382.

Helfont, S., 2018. Compulsion in Religion: Saddam Hussein, Islam, and the Roots of Insurgencies in Iraq. Oxford University Press. P.112

Isakhan, Benjamin, and José Antonio González Zarandona. "Layers of religious and political iconoclasm under the Islamic State: symbolic sectarianism and pre-monotheistic iconoclasm." International Journal of Heritage Studies 24, no. 1 (2018): 1-16.

Ismael, T.Y. and Ismael, J.S., 2017. Entrenching sectarianism: How Chilcot sees Iraq. International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies, 11(1-2), pp.23-46.

Johny, S. (2018). Sectarianism, Geopolitical Rivalry and the Syrian Civil War. In Contemporary Persian Gulf (pp. 99-112). Routledge.

Louër, L., 2017. The New Sectarianism: The Arab Uprisings and the Rebirth of the Shi'a-Sunni Divide by Geneive Abdo. The Middle East Journal, 71(4), pp.691-692.

Rabi, U. and Friedman, B., 2017. Weaponizing Sectarianism in Iraq and Syria. Orbis, 61(3), pp.423-438.

Rabi, U. and Mueller, C., 2018. The Geopolitics of Sectarianism in the Persian Gulf. Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, 12(1), pp.46-65.

Walsh, D., 2018. Iraq: Iraqi Kurdistan, Unresolved Issues, and Changing International Priorities. In Territorial Self-Government as a Conflict Management Tool (pp. 179-217). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Wehrey, Frederic, ed. Beyond Sunni and Shia: The Roots of Sectarianism in a Changing Middle East. Oxford University Press, 2018.

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