"Faith Gives Iraqis Solace, Not Just a Reason to Fight," a Commentary by Sam Dagher

August 15, 2007

Author: Sam Dagher and Awadh al-Taiee

Source: The Christian Science Monitor


BAGHDAD - Nashaa Jouie Salman lies on a small bed with her arm and waist bandaged – the result of a recent mortar explosion. Her two grim-faced daughters, in black abayas, hover around the bed; the faces of her late husband and son, victims of Saddam Hussein's regime, stare from portraits above.

"We console ourselves with faith and patience," says another of Mrs. Salman's sons, Abdel-Karim Hmoud, who was wounded in the same blast. The explosion killed his 6-year-old niece, Aya. "We are believers, so whatever comes from God strengthens our resolve even if it's bad."

While religious devotion is partly driving a devastating sectarian war in Iraq, it's also keeping many average Iraqis going in the face of death, kidnapping, destruction, displacement, and lawlessness. For many, faith remains the one constant and the only way to cope with the daily agony and perils.