A sectarian quota system has no respect for citizens

A sectarian state cannot exist on the basis of representing the people.
Sunday 18/11/2018
An Iraqi man walks past a poster of Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr in Sadr City, east of Baghdad. (AFP)
In the sectarian shadow. An Iraqi man walks past a poster of Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr in Sadr City, east of Baghdad. (AFP)

In sectarian countries, such as Lebanon or Iraq, people are not appointed to government positions based on experience and competence. Government appointments are decided by sectarian quotas between communities.

Take the case of Iraq. Because of the quota system, a man, whose only qualifications were that he had spent most of his life at the Shia shrines of Husayniyah, found himself heading the Ministry of Education.

That person destroyed the Iraqi educational system, a system that was designed by British and Iraqi experts over more than a decade.

That is an example of the catastrophes that can ensue when a sectarian quota system is adopted. It is, of course, all of society that ends up paying for the unavoidable catastrophes.

Then again, what can you expect from a society where a good chunk of the population can fall for a scam making them believe they can talk to Imam Hussein through a special service provided by a mobile phone company?

Such ignorance is appalling. Unfortunately, it is only one step in the process of sliding into the abyss that has been facing Iraq for years.

In Lebanon, there is a Foreign Affairs minister whose only qualification is that he is the son-in-law of Lebanese President Michel Aoun.

Aoun and his son-in-law, Gebran Bassil, were appointed to their positions by Hezbollah as representatives of the Christian community in Lebanon.

It was unfortunately Lebanon’s destiny to have a sectarian state in which the president and the Foreign Affairs minister had to be Christians. It was Hezbollah’s fortune to have found those two puppets for the positions. The two execute what Hezbollah dictates even if it goes against the wishes of Lebanese Christians. This shows that the sectarian quota system is a just scam.

Bassil had tried more than once — and failed — to get elected to the Lebanese parliament. Logically then, one cannot say he represents Christians. His appointment as minister illustrates the fact that Hezbollah has monopolised the political game in Lebanon and can choose those it deems fit to carry on its agenda for consolidating power.

The above shows that representatives in a sectarian government are basically members of the same gang. Representing their communities is the least of their concerns.

A sectarian state cannot exist on the basis of representing the people. A citizen who goes to the polling station is stripped of his or her citizenship once the glorious democratic practice is over. Humiliated, regretful and even ashamed, he or she returns to the folds of his or her community.

In 2003, the Americans took a fateful decision in Iraq, which is still in effect. It will continue to remain so until Iraqis dare to make a coup against themselves and take the side of their identity.

This means they must declare war against the US and Iranian occupations of their country but that is very unlikely to happen.

The sectarian quota system in Iraq was an American invention that has been implemented by Iran. A similar situation happened in Lebanon. The Lebanese sectarian quota system was a French invention and Iran is reaping its benefits.

The Americans and the French before them justified their decisions by arguing for fairness between communities and wanting to prevent one sect or group from monopolising power. They were, of course, lying.

Had the quota system been a successful model, they would have applied it in their own countries instead of choosing to promote equal citizenship under the same law for everyone. One can say that the Lebanese are still paying the price of a crime committed by the French, just as the Iraqis are suffering the consequences of a crime committed by the Americans.

The system of sectarian quotas has nothing to do with justice and fairness. Just the opposite. It is only a cover for the rise of incompetent losers.

6