Screenshot of Al-Nahar newspaper, published on 26/09/2017
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Kurdistan’s lawmakers have hit back after an Iraqi newspaper published an offensive image implying a sexually aggressive reaction to the independence referendum. The image makes clear the differences in culture between Kurdistan and Iraq and the need for separation, said MPs from across the political spectrum.
“Our two different cultures is one of the reasons behind our separation. The publishing of this image unmasks their real face. It shows how they eye our women, honor, territory, and wealth. They showed this in practice during the Anfal campaign and in the assaulting of the Yazidi women,” Shakhawan Abdullah, the deputy head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s (KDP) faction in the Iraqi parliament, told Rudaw.
An image on Tuesday’s front page of Al-Nahar, an Iraqi-owned newspaper, shows five men in boxers, staring in an unwelcoming manner at a young girl. The meme captions the five men as Iran, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Jordan and the girl as Kurdistan.
Its publication has sparked outrage online
“Establishing an independent Kurdistani state will be our best response to them, and this is because we can in no way live together with them. This action of belittling and staring at the honor of women is what can be expected from them,” Abdullah said.
Shirn Raza, a Gorran MP on the human rights committee in the Iraqi parliament, condemned the image as disgusting but not surprising.
“We strongly condemn this disgusting action. Showing disrespect to women and this very action is expected from them,” she said.
“Publishing this meme amounts to a declaration of war against the Kurdistan Region. We will be filing a lawsuit against this paper,” she added.
Rezan Sheikh Dler, an MP with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) sits on the women, families and children committee in the Iraqi parliament. She vowed to take a firm stance on the matter, telling Rudaw “They are unmasking their real face even more by this action.”
Rough language like this “will not help resolve the problems in any way. Rather, the problems should be solved through negotiations and constructive dialogue,” she added.
Head of the human rights committee in the Iraqi parliament Abdulrahim Shamari told Rudaw, “We will not allow the Kurdistani nation to be insulted in any way.”