New Iraqi Education Minister Resigns Because of ISIS Brother Connection

Published December 31st, 2018 - 03:38 GMT
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel-Mahdi addresses parliament in Baghdad in October. (AFP/File)
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel-Mahdi addresses parliament in Baghdad in October. (AFP/File)

Newly appointed Iraqi Education Minister Shaymaa al-Hayali submitted her resignation Sunday to Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi after it emerged that her brother had appeared in an ISIS promotional video.

The video was widely circulated on social media, prompting the minister, who was appointed to her post last week, to hand in her resignation.

Hayali was the Arabic Project bloc candidate, which is headed by Khamis Khanjar. The bloc is part of the Sunni national coalition that is allied with al-Binaa bloc of Hadi al-Ameri.

In her resignation letter, she said: “I am foremost an Iraqi woman. I have never worked with any political party or bloc. I was nominated to my post because I am an academic at Mosul University.”

“We have suffered and are still suffering from terrorism that has destroyed our cities and killed our loved ones,” she continued.

The terrorists had seized the Nineveh province and forced people to work for them, she added. “Among them was my brother, whom ISIS forced to work for them before and after the province was liberated.”

“It forced him, as it did to others, to declare his loyalty to the group,” she said.

Hayali clarified, however, that he had never taken up arms or abetted the terrorists in fighting Iraqis.

A member of the Arabic Project told Asharq Al-Awsat that Khanjar accused the rival Qarar bloc of plotting Hayali’s demise.

They plotted this in order to gain the education portfolio given that there had been disputes over this ministry before Hayali’s appointment, he said on condition of anonymity.

The purpose of revealing the ISIS video was not to warn of the group’s threat, but to strike at the heart of the Arabic Project and tarnish Hayali’s reputation, he declared

Head of the Qarar bloc, Atheel al-Nujaifi, told Asharq Al-Awsat that his lawmakers had submitted many candidates from Nineveh for the education portfolio post, but the premier opted to disregard them and chose Khanjar’s candidate.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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