Sliwa told Al-Monitor that the role of religious leadership is important, especially that of the supreme cleric in Najaf, so as to limit the effects of hate speech targeting the rights of religious minorities in Iraq such as Muslims, Yazidis, Mandaeans, Kakais, Baha’is and Zoroastrians. “When supreme clerics intervene to prohibit hate speech and discrimination on the grounds of religion, pluralism — which gradually turned absent in Iraq in the past few years — will be promoted,” Sliwa said.
Any crisis may result in an opportunity to reform and rebuild trust, provided it is dealt with appropriately. Similarly, the current crisis may have underlying opportunities of reform, as happened when its underlying challenges threatened Shiite-Christian relations, thus promoting diversity management in a post-IS Iraq.
The crisis following the video leak, as well as the stands taken by religious and political leaders, emphasized the importance of formulating a state-sponsored national strategy to limit hate, as well as the importance of an agreement between Muslim and non-Muslim minority religious leaderships that would support such a strategy through a unified stand, as Iraqis pursue freeing another Ninevah district from the hands of IS.