The leader of the biggest anti-Saddam Hussein Shiite opposition group Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim, left, is greeted by Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Jazayeri.
The Islamic Republic of Iraq is becoming more of a reality with every passing day of lawlessness and civil disorder in Iraq. This is not the ranting of naysayers or the defunct liberals who seek to find some fault with U.S. President George Bush's Iraq scenario. The likelihood of an Islamic Republic is voiced by a majority of Iraqis. Indeed, there are those who would prefer secularism, especially religious minorities such as the Chaldeans, Assyrians, and other Christians who number up to 800,000 in Iraq.
However, the momentum of political Islam began some 1,400 years ago and began to take on its present shape after the 1991 Gulf War. While much of this flux is being propagated by organized Shiite groups, it does envelope Sunni factions as well.
It would not be a surprise, then, to read something similar to the mock letter below in the coming days and weeks:
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for getting rid of Saddam Hussein, a man who has kept us from realizing our political power, a man who has forbidden us from many of our beloved customs. But, by God, we lived like the Imam Ali, and we died like Hussein. Today, you have destroyed Saddam's reign and ended his hold on Iraq. And today you have freed us, the Iraqi people and the Shiite people of Iraq.
Before Saddam, there was Ahmad Hassan Bakr (we doubt any of you know who this man is because you have been so ignorant of Iraqi affairs for so long) who also kept us from majority rule. Then there was Abd Al Karim Kassem, Colonel Abdul Salem Mohamed Aref, and many others as well. We were never really allowed to voice our concerns, our will, our aspirations.
But, thanks to you, America, our day has finally come. Today we celebrate the return of our beloved Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim, who was forced to flee for his life to neighboring Iran, our spiritual brothers, for the past 23 years.
Did you hear his speech today in Basra? "I am a soldier of Islam, serving all the Iraqi people. We don't want extremist Islam, but an Islam of independence, justice and freedom," he told the tens of thousands of us who gathered to hear him. (Associated Press)
No, we will not be like Iran. After all, we are Iraqis, all of us Iraqis with a historic role to play in world affairs. And Islam is the only way for us to move forward as a nation. Secularism in Iraq has failed us. It is not the way of our people. It is socialism; it is communism; it is un-Islamic.
No, America, today we declare with our voices that we will be Islamic, by God.
And Islamic law will ensure that Iraqi society is a righteous one. Islamic law will root out the thieves, butchers, rapists, drug smugglers, prostitutes, and alcohol merchants.
Look how we are already rooting out those who insist on sinning. Just two days ago, in this very city of Basra, "two Christian businessmen were shot dead after ignoring repeated warnings from Islamic militants to stop selling liquor in their shops." (Los Angeles Times)
Thank you, America, for allowing us to realize our 1,400-year quest to build a just society on the land that saw the martyrdom of Ali, and his sons Hassan and Hussein. Did you not know that Iraq is holy land? Indeed, the whole world is God's, but Iraq is hallowed ground to us.
We are ready for rebuilding the country; we are already bringing the hospitals back, even though you did nothing to prevent their destruction. We have brought back social services, which you allowed brigands to destroy; we have armed men patrolling the streets because, since you came, people cannot sleep in their own houses anymore. We are making sure that Iraq stands on its feet again.
Now, please go home. You have removed Saddam. Thank you. Here are a few tons of dates; take some oil on your way out. We will even find you a few Baathist loyalists. But, really, that is it. Our beloved al-Hakim is here and he will lead us.
Go back to Kuwait - they worship the ground your dirty boots walk on.
Our time has come...
The above is a very likely scenario because U.S. foreign policy and the planning for post-war Iraq were influenced by external forces that were simply out of touch with the reality of Iraqi religious aspirations. So much planning, effort, disinformation, public relations, and diplomacy were put into the war effort that the post-war religious power that would likely emerge in Iraq was completely overlooked. Members of the Iraqi National Congress, the main Iraqi opposition group, (with much influence in the Pentagon, but regarded with disdain in the State Department for its unreliable track record) assured the Bush administration that the Shiites of Iraq would rise up against Saddam, fight side by side with U.S. forces and welcome them with flowers. Despite urgent efforts by mainstream media to portray the latter, the information relayed by Iraqis in and outside Iraq is clearly unfavorable to U.S. efforts to establish a democratic state in Iraq.
Al-Hakim's return to Iraq is compared by many Middle Eastern analysts (not Washington think tanks who are not in the Middle East and rely only on Israeli sources) to the Ayatollah Khomeini's return to Iran in 1979.
Firas Al-Atraqchi, B.Sc (Physics), M.A. (Journalism and Communications), is a Canadian journalist with eleven years of experience covering Middle East issues, oil and gas markets, and the telecom industry.
Even though i live in Singapore, my heart and my mind feel so restricted, i'm still not free. God help me in finding my paradise, i will sacrifice my material world for it.
Great article...the only way out of chaos and misery is Islam and following the teachings of the Quran. Everything else are just fleeting moments and fancies that have no benefit or could be harmful.
That is very unusual, with all due respect, I
regret to say that I found the article
"unrealistic". I mean, what is discussed in the
"possible" letter to US, it seems to be so far
I especially "disliked" the part where it said
that "we are not going to be like Iran..."
I believe it is dividing the Ummah, seperating
from overall Islamic brotherhood, and most
significantly, FLATTERING US.
Insh'Allah Us is NOT going to receive such
I apologize before the author, brother Firas Al
Atraqchi, it is just my comment of my personal
reaction to the article.
The below quote from this article, IS NOT ISLAMIC.
"Look how we are already rooting out those who insist on sinning. Just two days ago, in this very city of Basra, "two Christian businessmen were shot dead after ignoring repeated warnings from Islamic militants to stop selling liquor in their shops." (Los Angeles Times)
I am an American Muslim: proud to be American and proud to be a Muslim (to the best of my ability). I grew up in a Muslim state and never had the chance to have the religious, cultural, educational, and personal freedoms I am enjoying in America today in that Muslim state. I personally do not believe for one minute that putting someone like Al-Bakir at the helm of the Iraqi ship is going to revolutionize Iraq into a pure Islamic democracy. We need someone who will be elected into office through the vote of all the people of Iraq, no more and no less. I am also tired of those so called Muslim leaders who embezzle the wealth of their countries and claim that they are "Muslim" and do the best for their people. There is no better political system than that of the US in the entire world. Our votes are taken into consideration and our leaders do take care of us. I still do not saying that it is perfect. We truly love it. All the Islamic leaders have to give up their treacherous tactics and work for their people; otherwise, Al-Bakir or the like will be only one other failure.
Keep up the debate going; thank you.
Do they expect that Jews not to have common bond with each other or that French have no such common feelings for their own culture? Indeed it is naturally so. The Shiites likewise have common bond and brotherhood with each other regardless of anything else. In fact we love each other and this love eminates from the love of Ahl Bait - The progeny of the Prophet pbu them all.
Having said that, our love also extends for our brothers in Islam and our brothers in humanity at large, but it is always based on mutual respect for we are all creatures of the One Almighty God, The Sustainer of this universe and we are ALL custodians of this earth until the appointed time which is known only by The Creator Himself alone.
So, perhaps it is time for the US to trust us and work with us as an equal partner. Not as a slave and master relationship - for if this is their plan, then we are all doomed to further wars and destruction. May Allah guide us to the right path, the path of peace, justice and common bond.
Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance. All minorities can live in peace and tranquility with others just like Islam set an example of tolerance in muslim spain. If external powers are not in favor of islamic system, then its a proof they are against Islam and muslims.
Now muslims want Islamic Republic of Iraq and Turkey.
We already have Jewish Republic of Israel.
Hindus want Hindu Republics in India, and Nepal.
Christians want Christian Republics in US, UK, Canada, European Community, Russia, Mexico, Latin America, etc.
Is that what muslims want?
Remember, Jewish Holocaust was not some sort of aberration in the world history; it is normal happening in the christian world; remember, chrisitans slaughetered 125 million native Indians in North and South America, and not a single christian feels any remorse for it; rather they enjoy the fruits of that slaughter; actually, they don't even care to remember that slaughter.
Do muslims want this kind of world, split on religion?. If they want it, they will get it. And they also will have stronger versions of Patriot Acts.
You cannot have islamic republics in the muslim world and secularism in the rest of the world. You cannot have both ways, because the world will not allow it .
By having islamic republics, muslims are the greatest losers today and will be the greatest losers in the future. Take your choice fellows. May be there will be Islamic Holocausts in the non-muslim world.