[Marxism] Shia and Sunni-What are the facts?

Jon Flanders jonathan.flanders at verizon.net
Fri Apr 9 20:35:12 MDT 2004


IRAQ: After Saddam, the Mullas & Imams(an excerpt)

full article : http://www.saag.org/papers10/paper973.html

this was written a year ago. The South Asia Analysis Group is an
Indian(govt?) based think tank that has a lot of useful information.

by B.Raman

(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat. Govt.
of India, and, presently, Director, Institute for Topical Studies,
Chennai, and Distinguished Fellow and Convenor, Observer Research
Foundation, Chennai Chapter. e-Mail: corde at vsnl.com )



..........3. While everybody, including Iraqi officials, are agreed that
the Shias constitute the majority of the population, there is little
agreement on what percentage of the population they constitute.  As a
result, one finds wildly fluctuating figures of the Shia component of
the population ranging between 51  and 70 per cent.

4. The psychological apparatus of the USA's Central Intelligence Agency
(CIA) used to project the Shias as constituting about 51 per cent during
the 1980s, when anti-Teheran Iraq was seen with a benevolent eye by  the
US and Donald Rumsfeld, present Defence Secretary, and other officials
of the Reagan Administration were rubbing shoulders with Saddam Hussein,
hailing him as a benign dictator with a secular outlook who enjoyed the
support and loyalty of the Shias in Iraq's war against Iran.

5. After the first Gulf war of 1991, the same apparatus  started
inflating the total number of Shias in the country and projecting him as
a malignant tyrant, who suppressed the Shias. Initially, the Shias were
said to have constituted about 60 per cent of the population and  this
figure further increased to 70 per cent before the outbreak of the
recent US-UK invasion.  They calculated that stories of how a tiny
Sunni  minority of 26 per cent suppressed a vast Shia majority of 70 per
cent would create a more negative image of the Saddam regime in the eyes
of the international community than the previous figures of  46 per cent
Sunnis and 51 per cent Shias..................................






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