Alwaght- The Kurdish Islamic Unity Party stepped in the Iraqi Kurdistan region’s political scene following rise of the jihadist factions in the Kurdish region in the early 1990s while holding a combination of Islamic, democratic, and modern values.
The party is led by Salahaddin Muhammad Bahauddin and holds 10 seats in the Kurdish regional parliament. Embarking on a moderate policy and cordial approach in dealing with present issues like rifts between the different Kurdish political parties and between Baghdad and Erbil, the party has managed to secure an appropriate place among the Kurdish region’s people and the politicians.
With regard to the outstanding role and position of the party in Kurdistan's political developments, Alwaght News and Analysis has arranged an interview with the party’s leader Bahauddin, focusing on a series of cases in relation to the Muslim world and also the Kurdish regional government.
What follows is a full text of the interview.
Alwaght: While the Muslim world is hit by divisions and rifts, what is your suggestion for the Muslim countries to rid themselves of such sources of disagreement?
Bahauddin: The humans naturally have ideological and creedal discords. But the question is that how these differences should be tackled. With dialogue, with war, with bloodshed, or other ways. Either way, the current internal disputes in the Muslim and Arab countries majorly stem from the domestic forces and in some other cases from the foreign interventions. Anyway the remedy for these problems is a return to the principles of the Islamic and humanitarian civilization. Because the civilization is a product of the human wisdom and includes the experiences and principles that have been inherited from the prophets and are now existing in the today’s culture and traditions. Both piety and civilization are the real remedies of the humans. So there must be a shift to the ethical, legal, and religious values and principles.
The clerics should do their task of spreading the ethical, Islamic, and humanitarian principles. They have to elaborate on these issues for people. The clerics should advise the government to avoid rifts, though in many cases the leaders of the government want the clerics to be monarchical and work in accordance with them. In fact, if the clerics do not be wary, it is likely that they shift to court clerics instead of being popular and religious without their knowledge. If this happens, we can no longer expect them to take their real role.
Alwaght: The past few years' developments have marginalized the Palestinian cause. What plans and options does The Kurdish Islamic Unity Party suggest to guarantee a return to the Palestinian cause as a top priority of the Muslim world?
Bahauddin: Although Palestine has a nation to pursue its own case as a national issue, still it is home to significant and holy places for the whole Muslims of the world. The opponents and enemies try to paint the Palestinian issue as related only to a specific nation, the Palestinians. The enemies even divided the Palestinian society. Such measures led the Palestinian cause to end up in the current situation. This is while it must be a central cause of the Muslims and a lot of attention must be paid to it. I can assure that due to the present condition of Palestine even other religions, including the Judaism, were damaged. Because we know that the Jewry are distinct from the Zionists who act as a political movement. Some Jewish rabbis are against the Zionists' approach because the Zionists gathered the Jews in Palestine from around the world for a political intention. In fact, unlike the Zionists, the Jewish people are respectable. Anyway, it is the task of the Muslim governments to pursue the Palestinian cause and Al-Quds' liberation.
Alwaght: At the present time, a set of political and economic troubles in Kurdistan region have inflamed some popular protests. What measures are being taken to do away with them?
Bahauddin: The economic problems in the Kurdish region are deriving predominantly from two different internal and external matters. The internal factors are associated with the sagging oil prices and reduction of Kurdistan's budget as a result of rifts between Baghdad and Erbil. Both of them are out of control of the Kurdish region's officials. At the same time, internally, they (Kurdish officials) should fight economic mismanagement, official corruption, and bribery.
Alwaght: As you know some political parties insist that with end of term of presidency of Masoud Barzani he has to step down from power. What is your party's viewpoint about prolonged Barzani's presidency?
Bahauddin: This is natural that his legal term in office as a president has finished. But the Kurdistan region’s problems at the current time are not his presidency. Economic corruption and the current Kurdistan's economic woes are not influenced by lengthy presidency of Mr Barzani and administrative issues in the region. Some cases like low oil prices and budget cuts by Baghdad authorities are out of the government officials' will and control. Despite all these, the remedy is mutual understanding and unity of all of the parties to settle the problems, particularly the presidency of the region. Mr Barzani himself has announced that he was not interested to continue work as president beyond his legal office term.
Alwaght: How did the parties react to Mr Barzani's announcement of readiness to step down from his post? Do they agree on a specific person to fill the seat as a successor?
Bahauddin: Other parties have welcomed the announcement, though from the viewpoint of the Kurdish Islamic Unity Party Mr Barzani's presidency is better to continue until election that is set to be held in eight months. At the present time, no specific figure is eyed for the president post.
Alwaght: With a consideration of the close Iranian relations with Kurdistan region, what more do you think they can do to improve their ties?
Bahauddin: Certainly, the ties of Iran and Kurdistan region should continue in an acceptable level. If there appear some misunderstandings, the two sides should try to solve them through negotiations and mutual understanding. The region needs the Islamic Republic of Iran, and this need is mutual. For the Islamic Republic stability and security of the Kurdish region is important. This is a mutual necessity. Each side's security guarantees the other's. In the current conditions, there are no serious problems between the two sides, an even if there are, they should be eliminated by talks and understanding.