Who Benefits from Shia-Sunni strife in Iraq?
The most important question to ask regarding the bombings of the Golden Mosque in Samarra on February 22nd is: Who benefits?
Prior to asking this question, let us note the timing of the bombing. The last few weeks in Iraq have been a PR disaster for the occupiers.
First, the negative publicity of the video of British soldiers beating and abusing young Iraqis has generated a backlash for British occupation forces they've yet to face in Iraq.
Indicative of this, Abdul Jabbar Waheed, the head of the Misan provincial council in southern Iraq, announced his councils' decision to lift the immunity British forces have enjoyed, so that the soldiers who beat the young Iraqis can be tried in Iraqi courts. Former U.S. proconsul Paul Bremer had issued an order granting all occupation soldiers and western contractors immunity to Iraqi law when he was head of the CPA...but this province has now decided to lift that so the British soldiers can be investigated and tried under Iraqi law.
This deeply meaningful event, if replicated around Iraq, will generate a huge rift between the occupiers and local governments. A rift which, of course, the puppet government in Baghdad will be unable to mend.
The other huge event which drew Iraqis into greater solidarity with one another was more photos and video aired depicting atrocities within Abu Ghraib at the hands of U.S. occupation forces.
The inherent desecration of Islam and shaming of the Iraqi people shown in these images enrages all Iraqis.
In a recent press conference, the aforementioned Waheed urged the Brits to allow members of the provincial committee to visit a local jail to check on detainees; perhaps Waheed is alarmed as to what their condition may be after seeing more photos and videos from Abu Ghraib.
Waheed also warned British forces that if they didn't comply with the demands of the council, all British political, security and reconstruction initiatives will be boycotted.
Basra province has already taken similar steps, and similar machinations are occurring in Kerbala.
Basra and Misan provinces, for example, refused to raise the cost of petrol when the puppet government in Baghdad, following orders from the IMF, decided to recently raise the cost of Iraqi petrol at the pumps several times last December.
The horrific attack which destroyed much of the Golden Mosque generated sectarian outrage which led to attacks on over 50 Sunni mosques. Many Sunni mosques in Baghdad were shot, burnt, or taken over. Three Imams were killed, along with scores of others in widespread violence.
This is what was shown by western corporate media.
As quickly as these horrible events began, they were called to an end and replaced by acts of solidarity between Sunni and Shia across Iraq.
This, however, was not shown by western corporate media.
The Sunnis where the first to go to demonstrations of solidarity with Shia in Samarra, as well as to condemn the mosque bombings. Demonstrations of solidarity between Sunni and Shia went off over all of Iraq: in Basra, Diwaniyah, Nasiriyah, Kut, and Salah al-Din.
Thousands of Shia marched shouting anti-American slogans through Sadr City, the huge Shia slum area of Baghdad, which is home to nearly half the population of the capital city. Meanwhile, in the primarily Shia city of Kut, south of Baghdad, thousands marched while shouting slogans against America and Israel and burning U.S. and Israeli flags.
Baghdad had huge demonstrations of solidarity, following announcements by several Shia religious leaders not to attack Sunni mosques.
Attacks stopped after these announcements, coupled with those from Sadr, which I'll discuss shortly.
Shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, shortly after the Golden Mosque was attacked, called for "easing things down and not attacking any Sunni mosques and shrines," as Sunni religious authorities called for a truce and invited everyone to block the way of those trying to generate a sectarian war.
Sistani's office issued this statement: "We call upon believers to express their protest ... through peaceful means. The extent of their sorrow and shock should not drag them into taking actions that serve the enemies who have been working to lead Iraq into sectarian strife."
Shiite religious authority Ayatollah Hussein Ismail al-Sadr warned of the emergence of a sectarian strife "that terrorists want to ignite between the Iraqis" by the bombings and said, "The Iraqi Shiite authority strenuously denied that Sunnis could have done this work."
He also said, "Of course it is not Sunnis who did this work; it is the terrorists who are the enemies of the Shiites and Sunni, Muslims and non Muslims. They are the enemies of all religions; terrorism does not have a religion."
He warned against touching any Sunni Mosque, saying, "our Sunni brothers' mosques must be protected and we must all stand against terrorism and sabotage." He added: 'The two shrines are located in the Samarra region, which [is] predominantly Sunni. They have been protecting, using and guarding the mosques for years, it is not them but terrorism that targeted the mosques..."
He ruled out the possibility of a civil war while telling a reporter, "I don't believe there will a civil or religious war in Iraq; thank God that our Sunni and Shiite references are urging everyone to not respond to these terrorist and sabotage acts. We are aware of their attempts as are our people; Sistani had issued many statements [regarding this issue] just as we did."
The other, and more prominent Sadr, Muqtada Al-Sadr, who has already lead two uprisings against occupation forces, held Takfiris [those who regard other Muslims as infidels], Ba'thists, and especially the foreign occupation responsible for the bombing attack on the Golden Mosque in Samarra.
Sadr, who suspended his visit to Lebanon and cancelled his meeting with the president there, promptly returned to Iraq in order to call on the Iraqi parliament to vote on the request for the departure of the occupation forces from Iraq.
"It was not the Sunnis who attacked the shrine of Imam Al-Hadi, God's peace be upon him, but rather the occupation [forces] and Ba'athists...God damn them. We should not attack Sunni mosques. I ordered Al-Mahdi Army to protect the Shi'i and Sunni shrines."
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, urged Iraqi Shia not to seek revenge against Sunni Muslims, saying there were definite plots "to force the Shia to attack the mosques and other properties respected by the Sunni. Any measure to contribute to that direction is helping the enemies of Islam and is forbidden by sharia.""
Instead, he blamed the intelligence services of the U.S. and Israel for being behind the bombs at the Golden Mosque.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair stated that those who committed the attack on the Golden Mosque "have only one motive: to create a violent sedition between the Sunnis and the Shiites in order to derail the Iraqi rising democracy from its path."
Well said Mr. Blair, particularly when we keep in mind the fact that less than a year ago in Basra, two undercover British SAS soldiers were detained by Iraqi security forces whilst traveling in a car full of bombs and remote detonators.
Jailed and accused by Muqtada al-Sadr and others of attempting to generate sectarian conflict by planting bombs in mosques, they were broken out of the Iraqi jail by the British military before they could be tried.
Dahr Jamail is one of the few independent US journalists who has spent considerable time in Iraq. His dispatches are recognized as an important media resource and he is now writing for the Inter Press Service, The Asia Times and many other outlets. His reports have also been published with The Nation, The Sunday Herald, Islam Online, the Guardian and the Independent to name just a few. Dahr's dispatches and hard news stories have been translated into French, Polish, German, Dutch, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, Chinese, Arabic and Turkish. On radio as well as television, Dahr reports for Democracy Now!, the BBC, and numerous other stations around the globe.
Topics: Baghdad, Conflicts And War, Iraq
I think the efforts of Canada in Afghanistan are noble, but also naive and doomed to failure. If the Western community succeeds it will be a miracle, which will be hard for me to accept since I'm an atheist!
About Khomeini you say first that he said commendable things, but then you say you wouldn't follow them, sorry but I don't follow. Anyway we agree he was a hypocrite!
I also agree with you if I tried to free Iran of Sharia law I would be dead, and probably beaten and tortured just like the Canadian journalist! I see that you didn't disagree with me that Iran is a facist state, and which if you like it or not is also a Muslim country!
Some Sunnis and Shias are moving to the Kurdish part of Iraq due to the security and peace, which just proves that the average Iraqi wants peace and security and it is the terrorits who are destroying Iraq.
What do you know about Imam Khomeini? What I quoted from him was generous. What you quoted from Nitzsche was spurious. I could say this, there were several things Imam Khomeini said that were commendable. Unfortunately there were too many discrepancies between what he preached and what he practiced. One reason among a carload of other grievances he produced that I wouldn't follow his teaching,but nontheless I'd quote that which he meant as good and is good.
My friend, do not put your words into my mouth, they stink! Are you flossing? I didn't say Iran was a great place to live. If you followed me saying anything of a place being great that was Canada. I wouldn't exchange Canada for any country. Whether high or low, Canada is my home, all I love and care for most is here in the great city of Toronto!
What Iran really is cannot be said in a blunt sentence like yours:"Iran is a facist country or some people would call Islamofacist." Islamophascist is an oxymoron, like you would say a "beligerent pacifist". Any regime pleases some and grieves others. Pro-Khomeini Iran pleased the prostitutes,the charlatans,the thieves,the imoral and the decadent. Nowadays Iran displeases those people. Although having a hard line political agenda Iran still pleases more people than Persia. And what is most important,Iran is a Muslim country. Shariah is not for you to judge. You are not an Iranian subject living under that constitution. If you were you could attempt to attack the validity of any of its practices with incriminating evidence from the Quran. I don't think you would live it through,but you'll be definitely a martyr.
The article stretches the limit of 'responsible journalism' and its suggested conclusion is pure fantasy.
How does 'Divide and Rule' equal 'Inclusive Democracy'?
To the inane conspiracy theorists & 'nodding green heads to the right,' I say "Slobodan Milosevic - he was poisoned by the West."
'Erm, Ah, erm'.
Peace for the troubled mind.
Your call to brotherhood rings hollow to me, with what I have read, seen, been told, and discussed with Muslims. I know you will say that it is because I only get the Western viewpoint. But that is not true, and reading pro-Islam sites/books/news/propaganda have been confirmation to me on my beliefs.
You talk about me expanding my brotherhood, how outrageous. In Islam, for me to be your brother I would have to be a Muslim, because it is written in the Koran that Muslims can't have non-Muslim friends! For me however, I don't make a distinction based on religion, sex, sexual orientation, race, or politic viewpoint. The only distinction I make is that my friend doesn't want to blow me up!
Just for fun you talk about having mixed sunni-shia in your family. In my extended family I have 7 different nationalities, and we all have a great time, and we don't worry about "imitating" each other, as is forbidden in the Koran. Actually we take great joy in learning and benefiting from each others cultural background.
Whoever blames the West for Shia-Sunni conflict, is sticking their head in the sand.
Yes you are right Iran is a great place to live. I talked to an Iranian woman who has left Iran, and I don't think she would agree with you. Iran is a facist country or some people would call Islamofacist. I think there are a lot of people who were happy when change came to Iran, who now find out that it is worst with even less liberties. But the Iron fist keeps the people down, and if you try you are put in your place by the brutal Sharia law and the goons of the gov't.
1/13/2006 - Religious Social - Article Ref:
By: Abdul Malik Mujahid
Read this article and put the responsability where it lies. To blame the West for Shia-Sunni strife is the thinking of losers, and people who want to manipulate it for something that it is not. This strife has been going on much much longer then the existance of Western intereaction with the Middle East.
My Islamic make-up accommodates both Suni and Shia. I belong to the most recent trend in the Islamic school of thought: which follows all that is common in the five schools: Hanafi,Sha'afi,Malaki,Hanbali and Ethna-'asharah. That which differs is optional. I understand that there are extremistic views in some trends in both Suni and Shia. However, those followers are in minority and they could not pose the threat presented by the Western media. I have friends, both Suni and Shia . I felt no rancour from the side of the Shia, nor rebuffal from the side of the Salafi. This is an indication to me that down under deep beneath the skin we are brothers and we can live in peace and prosper. Hatred is propagated by the hate-mongers and in my experience there are no greater hate-masters than the Zionists! Just listen to the Israeli media or ask an innocent question in the streets of Israel about Muslims and especially about Arabs. What you will hear will make your hair stand up and your skin run with goosebumps! I think the Nazi Germans referred to the Jews similarly as the Israelis refer to the Arabs. There is the birth place of HATE: Eretz Israel! Thus the godly task of the Israelis would be to kill the mechanism of hate that harbours in their hearts! They are the protected by USA & UK, the onus is on them to extend their hand to a people they have decimated,killed and humiliated for over 60 years! War needs hate to function. Stop the hate in any form, be that defamation of prophets,dehumanization of Arabs or Islamophobia.
The invasion and subsequent occupation continue to cost Americans dearly in terms of loss of life, increasing demands on military personnel, lost economic opportunities, resistance to foreign trade, soaring fuel prices, diminished ease of travel and so forth. So by that did Americans have nothing to do with the present state of affairs in Iraq?
Hopefully one can see how reliance on inaccurate assertions and exaggerated reports - or whatever else you wish to call such things - has increasingly disadvantaged those who invaded Iraq in the first place. So why would any such behavior be perceived as some sort of formula for success? Who benefits from having made false claims during effective appeals for public action or more to the point for action on the part of a republic? More often than not it seems to be someone other than those who made such claims.
Personally I'm thinking the long-term victors in Iraq will be the kind who value honesty. And who practice patience. But then of course who really knows for certain what the future holds for any of us wherever we are?
Concerning your second comment, the conflict between Muslims is so well documented, why do you even try to argue the point. I find it great that your family has intermariage between Shias and Sunnis, I think that gives great hope to the future. I wish you and your family well by the way. Of course if you listen to the #2 guy in Al-Quada he doesn't think Shias are even Muslim. Also it is also well known fact that Saudi's don't consider non Saudi Muslims as equals.
I did read Salahdeen's comments and in fact I read everyone comment before I write a word. This is my habit. I do this so that I don't have to repeat what others have already said. Better than that I don't need to read Salahdin's comments because what he says is a known fact and there is no need to have it repeated. besides I am just trying to correct misconceptions and for knowledge I see the facts and learn my lessons from the Quran. It has answered all my questions.
My advise to you is to read very carefully what I said again. If you still don't understand it then read what Najjar & Ahmed Asghar said know very well that Iraqi society is a tribal society and not a sectarian society i.e Northern Ireland.
To Zinedine, for every action there is a reaction. Try to figure that riddle. ;-). A hint read the comment of Salahdin.
To the editors, does comment Ref: 36140 comply with your rules, just wondering. Sounds a little violent to me.
Najjar means carpenter and you have indeed used your skills and your saw & intellectually ...
Thomas never stick to the issues discussed in articles, he goes on & on to play the devil advocate all the time. You know well that most Muslims don't hate the west or white peoples. The majority of us Muslims hate Western govs not the masses. We hate their international policies towards Muslims and we simply want them to mind their damned business. A 5 year old will understand this if you two D.Thomas find & TGraff find it too hard to understand. Go vote or protest and ask your criminal liberators to stop invading Muslim lands. Tell them to stay in your...countries.
There are various issues that are occuring around the world but if we look at it from the islamic perspective than the finger should be pointed towards no other than, well, us. God says that he does not change the condition of people unless they change whats within themselves. If they persist, than God will replace them with a better nation who prospers and upholds Gods word and cultivates the earth, not increase and spread fitnah or take part in killing people (or the Noble Prophets (pbuh) words 'Harj'). The condition of todays Muslim world revolves around being nice to oneself yet being harsh towards others, but the orginal great Muslims had the theory of being good and nice towards others yet being harsh towards oneself. Hope this opinion helps.
Intelligent and aware person like you must be too reasonable and too proud not to post any other comment on this web site until we obtain your extraordinary evidence to your extraordinary claims. I am certain that you believe that this is fair enough? I am counting on your honor.
By the way, I am confident that you will always use the same screen name "D. Thomas" on this web site. But then again, I am an equal opportunity debater, and this challenge is for any one else who shares your reasoning.
I am waiting, please do not delay and do not disappear for too long. My shortcoming is impatience with intellectuals like you.
There was no doubt about this and other violence on muslims are done directly/indirectly by non-belivers to turn the attention off, to stay long & have perm.military bases, to further divide the muslims,muslim countries including into 3 parts-sunnis, Shiites, Kurdish states(as INDIA).
We need an United/International ISLAMIC Organisation/Nation & MEDIA to monitor the non-belivers as they monitor us thru UN & NATO.
We can solve our issues too thru the same Islamic Commission consisting of IMAMS of Aqsa, Kaaba ,Medina & great people in all fields.
They do not want the muslim countries to progress/prosper in any field & want us to depend totally on them. They have global plans only against muslim-countries, resources, economy, islamic scholars & institutions and so on.
But the GOD/ALLAH is a GREAT planner and HAS great Universal plans for everybody and HIS UNIVERSE.
Keep the two fighting or causing a civil war and
rest is history. The old British policy - divide and conquer. US benfits from Oil and Israeli
from giving up the land it's wants and needs to home the Jews.