Scepticism and anger….

By Sabrina Tavernise in the New York Times , Tuesday 4th March, 2008

Violence leaves young Iraqis doubting clerics


An article that might leave us to wonder if we might, finally, be getting somewhere around the Arabian Gulf (actually, I am sure the Iranians would be pleased to think that I still name it as the Persian Gulf).

Of course, we might be taking a lot longer to get there.


Baghdad - After almost five years of war, many young people in Iraq, exhausted by constant firsthand exposure to the violence of religious extremism, say they have grown disillusioned with religious leaders and sceptical of the faith that they preach.

In two months of interviews with 40 young people in five Iraqi cities, a pattern of disenchantment emerged, in which young Iraqis, both poor and middle class, blamed clerics for the violence and the restrictions that have narrowed their lives.

"I hate Islam and all the clerics because they limit our freedom every day and their became heavy over us," said Sara, a high school student in Basra. "Most of the girls in my high school hate the Islamic people control the authority because they don't deserve to be rulers."

Atheer, a 19-year-old from a poor, heavily Shi'ite neighbourhood in southern Baghdad ,said: "The religion men are liars. Young people don't believe them. Guys my age are not interested in religion anymore".

The shift in Iraq runs counter to trends of rising religious practise among young people across much of the Middle-east, where religion has replaced nationalism as the unifying ideology.


And on this article....



On this article I would firstly like to thank the writer for a contradictory approach to the one we so often get from the media. It is encouraging that there might be a sense of Enlightenment coming to the very much dominated population of the Gulf region. I hope that that is true,

As far as the rest of the article is concerned: I apologise Sabrina, for my correction of your spelling (sorry, I am English); for changing Middle East to Middle-east; for being dubious of you punctuation considering you were reporting on how the Iraqis actually speak English; for being irritated by the American definitions of the middle or poor classes (that last one is either working or lower classes, Sabrina).

I'm afraid Saddam Hussein behaved the way he did - because he had to.