Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Perspective: More Iraqis go north, fleeing violence

Northern Iraq

ARBIL, IRAQ - Uthman Hassan is relieved to live in a city where his first name won't get him killed.

He's a Sunni named after an early Islamic Caliph, Uthman ibn Affan, who is revered by Sunnis and disputed by Shiites. It's an identity that could spell death in Baghdad, where religious fault lines continue to divide the city.

Mr. Hassan fled the capital after his older brother, Umar, also named after an early Sunni Muslim leader, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen. Hassan suspects that his brother was the victim of Shiite militants and was murdered for having the wrong name.

"Everyday I left the house I made sure to say goodbye to my family," he says. "Going to the grocery store, meeting a friend, the fear something bad might happen never went away."

Read the rest at the Christian science Monitor