What are the origins of the divisions between Sunni and Shia Muslims in Iraq?
Strife between ordinary Sunni and Shia Muslims has never been a major feature of Iraqi history. But, when Iraq in its modern form was established in 1920, the British rulers chose to favour a section of society. This is an old imperialist trick. They promoted a small minority, pushing them to power and helping them to keep their privileges. This minority then feels that its privilege depends on the imperialist power. For around 80 years the state was ruled by a small group of Sunnis. That continued under Saddam Hussein. The most important ministries and industries were in the hands of his clique, who were mainly Sunni Muslims. You were in Iraq recently. What were conditions like? Iraq is one of the poorest countries in the world now. That is not just because of Saddam. Iraq was destroyed through sanctions – one of the greatest crimes in history. Now a government has been imposed upon Iraq by the same people who imposed the sanctions. The other disaster faced by Iraqis is the spread of