Perspective: In Baghdad, Sectarian Lines Too Deadly to Cross
BAGHDAD, March 3 — After centuries full of vibrant interaction, of marrying, sharing and selling across sects and classes, Baghdad has become a capital of corrosive and violent borderlines. Streets never crossed. Conversations never started. Doors never entered.
Sunnis and Shiites in many professions now interact almost exclusively with colleagues of the same sect. Sunnis say they are afraid to visit hospitals because Shiites loyal to the cleric Moktada al-Sadr run the Health Ministry, while Shiite laborers who used to climb into the back of pickup trucks for work across the Tigris River in Sunni western Baghdad now take jobs only near home.
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