Sectarian rift is tearing Iraq apart - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Sectarian rift is tearing Iraq apart

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Raad and Abbas have been friends since childhood, even though one is Shia and one is Sunni. (Source: CNN) Raad and Abbas have been friends since childhood, even though one is Shia and one is Sunni. (Source: CNN)
Raad and Abbas live close to some of the most bombed ares in their city. (Source: CNN) Raad and Abbas live close to some of the most bombed ares in their city. (Source: CNN)
These men and their families have shared good times and bad in Iraq and just want Iraq to be secure for their famiiles (Source: CNN) These men and their families have shared good times and bad in Iraq and just want Iraq to be secure for their famiiles (Source: CNN)

(CNN) – As the insurgency threatens to break up Iraq, there are fears the divide between Sunnis and Shia will only grow wider and more violent. But there are those who wonder why everyone can’t get along.

Childhood friends Raad and Abbas, one a Sunni and the other a Shia, wish they could be at a road-side cafe, enjoying a relaxing coffee together the way they used to, but these days it’s too dangerous.

Sunni radicals ISIS are sweeping the country and a Shia sectarian backlash seems imminent.

“We hope it is not going back to sectarian violence again like in 2006 and 2007,” Raad Abass said.

“They are gangs who do that sectarian violence for money, no more, no less,” Abass Kashkool said. “We don’t want it again.”

Their wives fears run deeper. Nadya Habib Yousuf is Abbas’ wife.

“My children have no future,” Yousuf said. “I had to stop my daughter going to school because of bad security like a sudden bombing.”

Thuraya ali Hassan is married to Raad, and with soldiers for sons, she has much to fear.

“They have not seen any good things in this life,” ali Hassan said. “Two of them are in the military and the other two are in school. We just need more security and stability.”

These families are neighbors, they’ve shared good times, and now the bad, with power cuts, summer heat.

Outside all hell often breaks lose. They live close to some of the most bombed intersections in the city. It’s an unpredictable daily churn, grinding everyone down.

They all want the same thing.

“We have no objections of who will rule Iraq, but he should apply security,” Abass said.

“Sunnis and Shia are together,” Kashkool said. “We are looking for solution, it is the security is what we need.”

They look at themselves and their families for how it can be done. Both men married outside their sect.

If they can hold it together, as hundreds of thousands of other Iraqis do, bonded by friendship and marriage, why not the country’s politicians?

“The government are always in problems and the only losers is the Iraqi people,” ali Hassan said. “We need a solution.

The alternative, a sectarian rift that risks tearing the country, if not friends and families apart.

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