Arab drama stirs sectarian debate in Iraq

By REUTERS
August 16, 2011 15:43

BAGHDAD - An Iraqi lawmaker's move to ban a television drama about events leading up to the historic split in Islam into Sunni and Shi'ite sects lays bare the fears of anything that could ignite sectarian tensions as US troops prepare to leave.

Iraq's parliament voted on Saturday to ask the Communication and Media Commission, a media regulator affiliated with parliament, to ban "Al Hassan and Al Hussein" on the grounds it incites sectarian tensions and misrepresents historical facts.

"This TV serial includes sensitive issues in Islamic history ... Presenting them in a TV series leads to agitated strife in Islamic communities," said Ali al-Alaq, a Shi'ite politician who heads the religious affairs committee. "We are concerned with Iraqi national unity ... You know that Iraq's reality is sensitive," he said.

The fragility of Iraq's security was underscored on Monday when suicide attackers and car bombs killed at least 60 people across the country in apparently coordinated assaults.


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