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Iraq and Democracy

Reader comment on item: In Iraq, Stay the Course - but Change It
in response to reader comment: Here is a sensible exit strategy

Submitted by trans-parere (Canada), Nov 2, 2006 at 00:13

Dear Naseem,

I believe there are a great many Iraqi people living in the west who understand democracy. They are Kurds, Sunni Muslim and Shia Muslim and Christian Iraqis. You may get a few brave souls willing to sacrifice the freedoms they enjoy in the west to return to Iraq to "educate" their family members.

However, I doubt you would get the numbers necessary to defeat the religious leaders cry for jihad or the tribal leaders need to hold sway over his clan. Any Iraqi who was brought to the west for "education and to experience freedom of choice" would also have to be willing to understand the responsibility that goes hand in hand with such freedoms. Freedom requires that you role up your sleeves and dig in and contribute to the social common effort. Being Iraqi, or Shia Muslim or Sunni Muslim or of this tribe or that clan is not the primary social consideration.

This is why, regardless of national or religious community, it generally takes a couple of generations for the new immigrant to fully integrate into the host society . It doesn't mean they fully surrender their religion or history but, rather begin to see themselves as a citizen of that nation.

It's not an easy lesson. One must be willing to extend their sense of identity and their vision of community and nationhood and be willing to give a little here to gain a little there. The west is as it is because of the diversity of it's citizen population and a genuine respect for that diversity.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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