The Mosque of the Golden Dome

It’s been a year since insurgents destroyed Iraq’s sacred golden domed mosque in Samarra. The destruction of the Shiite shrine by Sunnis amplified the already raging sectarian violence.

Unfortunately, not a single piece of it has been rebuilt.

The Mosque of the Golden Dome destroyed

Before the attack, more than a million Shiites streamed into the mosque each year, visiting the graves of the 10th and 11th Imams. They also came to honor Muhammad al-Mahdi, who became the 12th Imam when he was only 5 years old, in A.D. 872.

There has been no rebuilding and no healing; the million annual pilgrims, and the prosperity they spread, are gone. The roads south to Baghdad and north to Tikrit are pocked with roadside bombs and fake checkpoints where travelers are abducted. The citizens of this Sunni city, who protected and took pride in the Shiite mosque for more than 1,000 years, say they want to lead the reconstruction, but Shiites will not hear of it.

And a proposal from the Shiite-led government to send thousands of Shiite troops to provide protection for a reconstruction project has been met with threats of bloodshed. (Source: NY Times)

If the Iraqis can’t come together to rebuild one of their most sacred mosques, then how can we expect them to build a viable unity government?