Iraqi affairs expert
Translated by Shaimaa Shedeed
The role played by the economic offices affiliated with the IMIS in Mosul city left many questions marks asking about its real function. This is because the security and economic institutions affiliated with the IMIS have interfered in all practical sides of the city, moreover, it approached new ways from which it can support and strengthen its economic and financial bases. One of these ways that was recently invented was the issuance of key cards for most of IMIS elements in Mosul city in order to be included in the care aids provided by the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry to the unemployed. These aids are simple financial assistance to the low income families and obviously it seems that the US economic sanctions imposed on Iran had a major impact pushed the IMIS to compete in the aids provided to the modest families. It also seems as if the IMIS wants to compensate the shortage caused by the stoppage of financial aids granted by Iran.
The strong IMIS desire to contain Mosul city made them couldn’t disregard its university. It is well known that Mosul University is one of the most important centres in which the IMIS can build a young proportion supporting their existence in the city. This has already happened through many economic, educational and security channels.
The IMIS economic offices actually began to get in buying and selling bids related to many coffee shops and entertainment places inside the university campus whether by investment or by sharing the owner. It even had set specific conditions for the work and the profit sharing.
In a related context, investors in relation with these offices worked on taking Ibn elAtheer Publishing House to economically invest it after having a consent from the higher education ministry. They included neighbouring lands to the publishing House in order to widen it. Thus, the House management was informed to deliver the House in the due date to start working on it.
On the level of educational and students activities of the IMIS in the city, they were keen on attending all educational and cultural events held in the university campus. This was in purpose of directing the trend of these events to serve its existence in the city whether on level of chosen topics or raised slogans. Moreover, they are currently establishing offices or students’ representative offices inside the campus like what other parties did in the university. This was in order to attract more students in return of supporting and providing them, which pushed many of the uncommitted students to join them and then protest against the university regulations whether on level of lectures’ times or the exams’ controls. Thus, the incident that happened few days ago in the faculty of environment when a student affiliated with the IMIS cheated on an exam and assaulted and beat a professor was just a part of a bigger problem from which the educational institution in Mosul city currently suffer. Actually, the cheating committed by those students affiliated with militias almost has become normal phenomenon. And under the absence of law power that can protect the university professor, many professors have been avoiding clashes with these students as there were many threats cases committed by students after professors had seen them cheating or while committing any violations.
Indeed, absence of a clear vision about the role of the IMIS inside Mosul city, specifically in Mosul University made the issue of searching the reality of its role precarious. The power the IMIS currently enjoy in Mosul University made them even one of the sides dominating the issue of appointing the new University President. Thus, up till the moment of writing this article, Mosul University is presided by an acting President, although the former president left his post one month ago. This is because the IMIS is using all powers to appoint a president serving their ambitions and projects inside the university. What’s more, the IMIS strongly supports a specific candidate on the account of another one supported by the higher education university, hence, this post is still vacant and occupied by an acting President.
The security activities of the IMIS weren’t only out of the university but also extended to be inside the university campus. They recruited some students to spy on other students and professors in the university especially those whom the IMIS Intelligence have concerns on. In fact, the matter is even extended to include another proportion in need to security permissions in order to resume their official deals with the university as that employee who can’t get an official permission from the national security office inside the university campus can’t do his job inside or outside the university. This formula found its way in Mosul University especially after liberalizing Mosul city from the ISIS grip.
Meanwhile, the IMIS didn’t miss a way can enable them of penetrating Mosul University. This is actually in order to establish the samples the IMIS is seeking for in the Iraqi universities. The main reason behind that new formation is Qais alKhozali call for forming “university militias”. Number of gatherings were convened for this purpose including that gathering held in March, 2017 in Baghdad University that was attended by dozens of students. In this gathering that was attended by representatives from Asaeb Ahlu Alhaq, Badr and Hezbollah, volunteering door to join new militias was announced open.
Now, it is not even weird anymore finding pictures of Khomeini or Khamenei or pictures of militias leaders or those who were killed from the IMIS receiving you in any governmental university in addition to flags of sectarian, political and partisan slogans. Most of educational institutions were turned to be ways for mobilization and although this annoys many students there, they aren’t dare to disclose their resentment because this will expose them to risks may reach to assassination.
Although the Iraqi laws obliges the Iraqi universities to be away from any sectarian or political conflict, most of these universities became already main part of the conflict especially after delivering its management affairs to people affiliated with parties of armed wings. Most of Iraqi universities today are presided by persons affiliated with or supported by specific armed militias. The IMIS is currently seeking for repeating the same scenario in Mosul University.