Iraqis no longer ask, 'Are you Sunni or Shiite?'Tearing down wall: ok; keeping it down: failed policy favored by John McCain.
For years, when she approached Iraqi Army checkpoints and produced an identification card for soldiers to study for clues about her sect, Nadia Hashim used a simple formula to signal the mostly Shiite Muslim force that she, too, is a Shiite.
"I am one of you," she'd say.
The soldiers would harass Sunnis, but they'd simply wave Hashim through.
Now her pat line gets her an official reproach.
When a relative used it recently, a soldier admonished the driver and the passengers. "'We are Iraqis, and you shouldn't say such a thing,' " recalled Hashim.
The 35-year-old mother of three said that for her and countless other Iraqis, the fact that soldiers are now using nationalist rather than sectarian language is a significant change. Being a Shiite is no longer key to her survival.
With violence subsiding throughout Baghdad, residents said that sectarianism is becoming less pervasive. They're starting to think of themselves as Iraqis, not as hostages to hyphenated, sectarian identities.