Iraqis in Shock
Iraqis are in shock in the wake of the suicide bombings in Kadhimiya district in Baghdad and the holy city of Karbala, which together resulted in more than 200 dead civilians, mostly religious pilgrims commemorating Ashoura. According to Iranian press reports, up to 50 Iranian pilgrims were among the dead.
Ashoura marks the martyrdom of Hussein, son of the Imam Ali and grandson of the Prophet Mohammed. More than 1,400 years ago, Hussein and a band of some 70 supporters were surrounded by thousands of Ummayad soldiers who promptly massacred the entourage, killing Hussein and his entire family. Hussein was killed because he sought to return to the values that first cemented the Islamic community - a measure that threatened the corruption and political power of the new rulers of the expanding empire. One can imagine how sacred a day Ashoura is.
Hundreds of thousands of Shiites from around the world gathered at Hussein's tomb in Karbala this year, for the first time in 25 years (Saddam Hussein banned the religious processions and ceremonies in 1979 when he became president of Iraq). Arab and regional news broadcasts showed thousands of pilgrims donning black gowns, flagellating themselves with chains, beating their chests and using swords to beat at their foreheads - all to mark the tragic martyrdom of Hussein and also to call on the culpability of the Muslim community for allowing the massacre of Hussein and his family.
And yet, blood was shed again in the most horrific of ways on this day, more than 1,400 years later.
Yesterday, leading Sunni clerics joined their Shiite brethren and called on all Iraqis to consider themselves "Husseiniya," the living embodiment of the struggle and sacrifices the Imam Hussein faced.
A day later, the leading Sunni religious establishment in Iraq called on the Iraqi resistance to immediately halt all attacks on Iraqis and Iraqi institutions.
"Jews and Americans are behind this," shouted someone from the Kadhimiya mosque. A U.S. troop contingent deployed to the area came under attack from enraged Shiite crowds.
Foreign journalists were also attacked in central Baghdad, according to reports from independent sources.
Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, the leading Shiite cleric, joined Harith Al-Thari, chairman of the Sunni Cleric Council, in blaming U.S. forces for "dragging their feet" in securing Iraq's borders. Both blamed foreign insurgents, with some officials throwing al-Qaeda's name into the fore.
According to Jawad Al Naboulsi, a Sunni Iraqi businessman in Beirut, Lebanon, today's attacks are by forces desperately trying to engineer a civil war. "They know Islamic Iraq is coming, but they fear Shiites and Sunnis uniting as one fist," he said. "We are Arabs; we are Iraqis; this is our land; this is our religion. Today, we are all Shiite," he added.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair seems to agree that there are concentrated efforts to tear Iraq apart: "The purpose...is to try and set the different religious communities in Iraq against each other, to destroy the progress in Iraq, to cause the maximum amount of dissent, division and hatred," Blair said at a press conference in London today.
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. Firas Al-Atraqchi encourages your comments at [email protected].
Topics: Conflicts And War, Husayn Ibn Ali, Iraq, Saddam Hussein
In a recent car-bombing in Basra, a man suspected of involvement got out of the vehicle shortly before the blast and was caught by passers-by who stabbed him to death. The Shiites would appear to be taking matters in their own hands. May Allah have mercy on us all.
TO UNDERTAKE A COLLECTIVE PUBLIC FAST AS A PROTEST AGAINST THE PERPETRATORS OF BLIND VIOLENCE. DO PEOPLE NOT REALIZE THAT ALL THIS KILLING AND TERRORISM IN THE NAME OF ISLAM IS GIVING ISLAM A VERY, VERY BAD NAME. WHEN MUSLIMS DO NOT PROTEST THE TERRORISTS ARE MAKING TERRORISTS OF ALL MUSLIMS. ISLAM IS GETTING A HORRIFIC NAME AND NOBODY HAS THE GUTS TO DEMAND THAT OSAMA BIN LADEN AND THE OTHER UGLY SELF-APPOINTED MESSENGERS OF ALLAH IMMEDIATELY PUT A STOP TO THEIR CRAZY VIOLENCE. THEY HAVE NOT BEEN APPOINTED BY THE UMMAH TO DO THIS DIRTY WORK.
ALREADY THERE IS A SAYING THAT ALL MUSLIMS ARE NOT TERRORISTS BUT ALL TERRORISTS ARE MUSLIMS.
SUFFICIENT PROOF THAT THE TERRORISTS ARE GIVING ISLAM A BAD NAME AND THE FAILURE TO SPEAK UP AGAINST THE TERRORISTS IS DESTROYING THE REPUTATION OF THE RELIGION. WHILE WESTERN SOCIETY, DESPITE SOME WEAKNESSES, IS SEEN AS THE
MODEL OF PROGRESS, PROSPERITY AND DECENCY,
ISLAMIC NATIONS ARE INCREASINGLY BEING SEEN AS
THE EPICENTERS OF CHAOS, VIOLENCE, POVERTY, ILLITERACY, HYPOCRITICAL SELF-RIGTEOUSNESS, LACK OF GOOD SENSE. IT WILL BE INTERESTING TO SEE IF ANY MUSLIM NATION EXTENDS CONDOLENCES TO THE PEOPLE OF SPAIN REGARDING THE TERRORIST BOMBING OF TRAINS KILLING MORE THAN 200 PEOPLE AND INJURING OVER 1,200. ALL CIVILIZED NATIONS HAVE EXTENDED THEIR CONDOLENCES BUT MUSLIM NATIONS WILL BE QUIET FOR FEAR THAT THEY MAY ANGER THE MAFIA ORGANIZATION CALLED AL QUAIDA. AND YET WHEN
FRANCE WANTS TO BAN THE VEIL, THERE WERE PROTESTS
AGAINST THIS IN MOST MUSLIM NATIONS. WHERE ARE OUR PRIORITIES AND OUR DECENCY?? HAVE THESE BEEN HIJACKED TOO BY THE TERRORISTS ALONG WITH THE RELIGION?? ITS TIME TO START THINKING RIGHT OR ISLAM IS HEADED THE WAY OF THE SOVIET UNION WHICH ONCE EXALTED ITSELF AS THE FASTEST GROWING IDEOLOGY ON EARTH.
It is time the Muslims of the world united under one platform, stopped hating each other due to race,color or creed. Sunnis and Shias must come together NOW and the Mullahs from both sects, if they really fear Allah should preach to end hatred and suspicion. Rich Muslim nations must help the poor ones, and eliminate our dependance on the Western countries.
Should my countrymen perhaps be concerning themselves with merely being helpful as Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani recommends? Yes I am well aware there is a Governing Council in Iraq "et cetera" but there is also such a thing as common sense.
Also I am not personally comfortable with supporting anyone who seems inclined to present the truth according to their own personal ambitions regardless of whose countrymen they may happen to be. And may your dreams be realized regardless of whomever you yourself may happen to be insha'Allah.
PS. For whatever it might be worth noting my concern for the welfare of the Kurdish people seems to be increasing almost every day. I am merely hoping to be "constructively honest" in sharing this particular observation with you. Also I apologize for any lack of resolve I may have recently shown in comments elsewhere at this site regarding the future of Iraqia (or whatever its people wish for their country to be called).
It's not to say, "let as put our differences aside" because that can only mean painting over the rust. Of coarse it's easier said than done, but tolerance, respect, and valuing our differences are some of the greatest qualities a Muslim should have, and when we do differ in something, we should have the Islamic Ethics. Which is to speak gently, not to put others down, and not to speak harshly to them. Alhamdullillah, Allah has sent as a great example for every affair of our lives... Mohammed (peace and blessings be upon him). May Allah make us of those who are truthful and adhere to our own words.
Dear brothers and sisters,
No matter what you are: sufi, salafi, shia, sunni, wahabi, etc. If you sincerely believe "there is no god but God(swt)", and that "Muhammad(saw) is His Messenger," then stop fighting and bickering over trivial matters...do we all want to lose the precious guidance that Allah has blessed us with? May Allah unite our hearts as one ummah, and not divide because sectarianism is haram in Islam. May Allah guide us ALL and work towards unity as is defined in His final Book and by His final Messenger(saw). Was-salamu 'alaykum wa rahmatullah.
As sunnis, we hold the grandson of the prophet Muhammed (PBUH), Hadrat Hussein (May Allah grant him peace), in the highest esteem.
I ask Allah Almighty, to grant you patience in this devastating moment. I ask Allah to unite all muslim in brotherhood.
I would like to let our "Shia" brothers and Sisters know that we emensly love Hussain(Alaihissalam) the grand son of the Prophet (sallalahu Alaihi Wassalam) and we also emensly love those who love them.
It is very abvious that the enemies of Islam and Muslims are desperate(Yahouds and Mushrikeen),hoping and banking on causing fitna among us Sunni/Shia but alhamduLillah the opposite is happening.
"And hold fast all together by the rope which Allah (streches out for you)and be not devided among yourselves; and remember with gratitude Allah's favor on you." Qran 3:103
Other events occured in Ashoura including the martyrdom of Husain (Allah grant him peace).
Nevertheless, I do believe that there are people who stand to gain from this, and it is the religious extremists who seek to take advantage of civil strife as they did in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the Arab people have yet to prove that they're strong enough to confront the criminals among them. So instead, some Arabs like Jawad Al Naboulsi have decided to play the race card and claim all of Iraq for Arabs only.
My only hope is that God will save the Iraqi Kurds from a new wave of Arab racism.