Recently the British journalist Colin Freeman while reporting on the crisis in Iraq for the Daily Telegraph, the establishment newspaper in Britain, made this observation on the reconstituted Shia militias now making their muscular presence felt in the Sunni districts of Baghdad:
“Waving rocket-propelled grenades and Kalashnikovs, the convoy of Shia militiamen rolled down the Baghdad street, a 30-vehicle column of vans, pick-ups and battered saloon cars.
Above the roar of their combined engines, they chanted how they were now crushing the “terrorists” of Isis, the Sunni extremists who have seized much of northern Iraq.
Their message is unspoken, but as loud and clear as the chants – any Sunni who is thinking of supporting Isis can expect Shia gunmen at his door.
“Ever since last week, not a day has gone past without them coming down the street, shouting and yelling and waving rifles and pistols,” said Imad Ahmed, a shopkeeper in the Sunni district of Adel in west Baghdad.
“They say they will crush the Isis terrorists and anyone who stands in the way of the Shia, but these guys are nowhere near the frontline. This is just designed to intimidate us.”
Rather like Belfast’s Orange parades, the militiamen have no compunction about driving through neighbourhoods already stained by past sectarian bloodshed.”
Apparently the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, an avowedly anti-Catholic and anti-Irish grouping with well documented links by individual members to the British terror factions, objects to this comparison by a representative of the international press. So they have lodged a complaint with the newspaper regulator in Britain. As the veteran British journalist and editor Roy Greenslade rightly points out:
“The complaint is wholly without merit.
Freeman’s analogy was merited because that’s what the Orange institution does and, if not prevented by the Parades Commission, would seek to do more often.
It is an avowedly anti-Catholic organisation that exacerbates tensions by marching through areas in Northern Ireland in which Catholics live.”