Center for Strategic Communication

[ by Charles Cameron — a tale of Sunni, Shia and Sushi ]


It’s a remarkable image, with viral potential to be sure, but there’s a practical side to it too — I found it at the head of an IQNA (ie Iranian) article from February, titled Karbala’s Shiites Welcome Anbar’s Sunni Families, which informed us:

After weeks of fighting between armed groups and Iraqi military forces in the Anbar province, civilians caught in the middle of the clashes have been fleeing for safety. The region has a Sunni majority but safe places of refuge are being found in Shiite districts such as Karbala.

In the previous month, Osama al-Shami, deputy head of Karbala’s Shiite endowments authority, said that families fleeing Iraq’s predominantly Sunni Anbar province would be welcomed in the southeastern Shiite-majority province.

Dozens of displaced families – including many women and children – have fled to the city of Karbala, where they have been given shelter in the part of the city usually reserved for pilgrims.
Observers have noted the significance of Karbala’s Shiite endowment authority offering shelter to Sunni refugees amid ongoing sectarian tension in Iraq.


Did I say viral? It has been cleverly adapted with exactly that in mind…

— and there’s even a translation in circulation:

Not talking about fish indeed!


In much the same spirit…

Hayder al-Khoei, scion of a remarkable Shiite clerical dynasty and an Associate Fellow at Chatham House, shifts the emphasis regarding ISIS away from sectarianism and towards simple terrorism:

— while Maajid Nawaz, once a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir and now Executive Director of the anti-extremist Quilliam Foundation, re-orients “say no” to the same purpose: