MEMRI’s justly famous for publicizing radicalism in Islamic media but rarely do they get credit for what they do to bring to Americans’ attention Arab liberals who want to unmake the cycle of fascism and fundamentalism. Here’s a 70-minute compilation of clips, some of which you’ll recognize (Wafa Sultan) and most of which you won’t. Our hero, Iyad Jamal al-Din, gets a nice long segment starting at 20:20. Skip around and expose yourself to a bit of each speaker if you’re not inclined to sit through it all.
The leader of al-Din’s party, the once and perhaps future prime minister of Iraq, was interviewed today by Asharq al-Awsat. He’s tough on Bush and the U.S., but he’s still the country’s best chance for peace:
(Asharq Al-Awsat) Who are the parties involved in the conflict in Iraq and the Arab region?
(Allawi) This is a conflict between moderation and extremism. At the end of the day, sectarianism, terrorism, and extremism are different sides of the same coin. Here, through this respected newspaper, I warn against the focus on the issues of Shiites and Sunnis. All the Arabs and the Islamic countries should encourage the national Iraqi dimension and affiliation to Iraq. They should not encourage a Shiite-Sunni balance because if we raise the issue in this way it will lead to destruction. The right path and the final destiny of Iraq is the national affiliation, not the sectarian, denominational, or ethnic affiliation. No matter how long it takes, I am sure the will of the Iraqi people will be the strongest. We have seen the fate of the extremists, whether those who embraced the extremist national thought or the extremist socialist thought. Everyone with an extremist thought in our region will be on his way to his end. The thought of moderation and the forces of logic will ultimately prevail.
Meanwhile, the Sadrists are back in parliament. Click the image to watch.