Iraqi President Barham Salih said that his country “has become resistant to sectarian strife, and its people are united.”
In comments on Twitter following his visit to the shrines of Imam Musa al-Kadhim in Kadhimiya, northwest of Baghdad, and Imam Abu Hanifa al-Numan in Adhamiyah, Salih said: “Two cities that summarize the history of Iraq, its resilient people and the achievements of coexistence despite the storms of adversity.”
A presidential statement quoted Salih as saying during his tour in both cities (Al-Kadhimiya, which is predominantly Shiite, and Adhamiyah, which is mostly Sunni), that Al-Kadhimiya had positive role in “strengthening the bonds of brotherhood, equality and tolerance among the components of the Iraqi people.”
He also stressed that the city of Adhamiyah has a rich history as an “axis for fraternity, solidarity, and a meeting place for science and scholars.”
“The two brotherly cities, Kadhimiya and Adhamiyah, have a prominent role in burying sedition, confronting deviant extremist ideas, and consolidating the values of love and harmony, as they are a symbol of unity and cohesion among Iraqis,” the Iraqi president underlined.
Salih’s visit came in the wake of calls on social media to demolish the shrine of Imam Abu Hanifa Al Numan, the founder of the Hanafi school of Sunni jurisprudence and a statue of Abu Jaafar Al Mansur, an Abbasid Caliph who founded Baghdad in the 8th century.
The two cities of Kadhimiya and Adhamiyah, which are separated by Al-Aimmah Bridge on the Tigris River, witnessed the most violent event in Iraq in 2005, when a stampede occurred following a rumor about the presence of an explosive belt, which led to the death of more than 1,200 Shiite visitors, who were marching toward Al Kadhimiya Mosque.