Chris HardyHistory-4thMay 5 2008Iraqi NationalismOne would have to lead a very sheltered life to not at least have head of the turmoil and strife in the Middle East. The media has been focused on Iraq no doubt due to the United StateÃÂs involvement in Iraq. Many know of the unrest and violence in the country but few know why it is present. Some assume that is merely the nature of the area but that is not so. One of the main reasons for the unrest is that ÃÂseveral loose and ethnically incompatible bits of the old Ottoman Empire were stuck together by British imperial officialsÃÂ (Pfaff: 1). The British made a country containing two major Islamic sects, the Sunni and the Shi'a, who are rival sects of Islam. The Sunnis, who are the larger sect as a whole, are a minority in Iraq though many Sunnis refuse to accept it.
The ShiÃÂa, however are a smaller sect of Islam but hold the majority in the state of Iraq. This only fuels the rivalry between the two. Even thought the Sunni and the Shi'a are rivals they can be united by a sense of Iraqi nationalism if their country is invaded.
Though the two sects are currently fighting it has not always been so. In the 1980ÃÂs the two sects fought side by side against Shiite Iran, ÃÂShiites rallied to support the Sunni insurgents in Falluja in late April (2004)ÃÂ (Pfaff: 1). What this implies is that the rivalry between these two sects, while ever present, can be put aside to fight a common foe,like the United StateÃÂs presents in the middle east.
This is of no surprise to the historically informed person. One only has to look back to the years after the British instated their mandate of Iraq. They...