Monday, February 19, 2007

Perspective: As Iraq divides into camps, a wave of resentment toward foreign Arabs

BAGHDAD, Iraq: The wealthy Arab man, sporting a foreign accent, has just given an Iraqi teenager some cash and a bomb when police burst in and arrest him. "You come here from abroad and want to make this young man kill his Iraqi brothers?" an officer accuses.

The television ad, widely aired across Iraq in recent weeks, is a startling example of a new strain of anger and discrimination against foreign Arabs in this Arab-majority country.

The suspicions have shown up in official pronouncements from the Arab Shiite Muslim-led government of Iraq, too. After a suicide truck bomb killed more than 132 people and wounded hundreds in a Baghdad market a few weeks ago, the head of the Shiite-controlled Interior Ministry's explosives department, Maj. Gen. Jihad al-Jabiri, told state-run Iraqi television: "I call on the government to deport (foreign) Arabs immediately."

Read the rest at the International Herald Tribune