Local Iraqis Demonstrate over Conflict at Home
COLUMBIA – A group of Iraqi citizens living in Columbia planned a demonstration in front of city hall Friday night.
The group is trying to promote awareness of the conflict in Iraq, where militants calling themselves ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), have seized control of large areas in an effort to overthrow the government.
The demonstrators all live in the Columbia area and some go to school here. The group has no official name, saying they are simply Iraqi people in Columbia.
The demostrators said their message is simple: brotherhood. They are demonstrating for unity between all the different people of Iraq.
"We are Iraqi people against any terrorists and any sectarianism," said Ali Sultan. "We as an Iraqi people will stay united, we are brothers as we used to be and we are still united."
Sultan said the conflict in Iraq is between the people of Iraq and terrorists. He said the terrorists have no religion because terrorism itself has no religion.
The conflict between Sunni and Shiite has been blown out of proportion, according to Sultan.
He said his wife and himself are of different sects of Islam, along with his uncle and his uncle's wife.
The demostrators said they are not against new U.S. military action in Iraq, if it becomes necessary, although Sultan said they believe the Iraqi Army could defeat ISIS on its own.