December 26, 2004

Sunni Inclusion

Setting legal concerns aside, the proposal to shoehorn Sunnis into the new National Assembly by fiat is a good one, though it still leaves a few practical problems. It matters a great deal, for instance, what kind of Sunnis get seats in the Assembly. Obviously Taliban-wannabes won't be included—and nor should they be—but it might not be wise to have no fundamentalists at the negotiating table.

Meanwhile, whatever Sunni leaders do get plopped down into the Assembly may not have a good deal of popular legitimacy, especially so long as religious groups like the Association of Muslim Scholars continue to boycott the whole process. Interim president and Sunni tribal leader Ghazi al-Yawer may enjoy a lot of popularity in the polls, but no one should pretend that he or any of his urbane and witty cohorts speak for the country's broad band of Sunni fundamentalists.
-- Brad Plumer 2:02 AM || ||