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Monday, February 27, 2006

Al-Sadr calls for Iraqi unity

Against the occupation, of course. Juan Cole has the details. Excerpts:
Sadr said before a big crowd of his supporters in the southern Gulf port, "I call for a united, peaceful demonstration in the capital, Baghdad, which you will organize at a specific time, involving Shiites, Sunnis and others, in which you will demand the withdrawal of the Occupying forces, and call for mutual love among you."
Muqtada also called for holding "joint Friday communal prayers with both Sunnis and Shiites in the mosques," affirming that "there are no Sunni or Shiite mosques; you are a single people." He added, "We want the Occupation forces out, even if on their own timetable, in an objective fashion, as they say." He said, "Our Iraq is passing through a big crisis, insofar as enemies are entering among brethren, and spreading turmoil among you."

Muqtada wondered aloud, "Do you want to give aid to the enemy? Do you want to render the Occupier victorious? Do you wish to make Satan triumphant, or do you wish to help the Truth?" He added, "If you burn down mosques, are you helping falsehood or the truth? Do you wish to help falsehood?" He shouted, "No, no to falsehood!"

Al-Sadr said, "Do not forget the plotting of the Occupation, for if we forget its plots, it will kill us all without exception." He went on, "Sometimes they curse the Messenger of God [Muhammad] and defame him [with their cartoons], and sometimes they blow up our Imams. This series of attacks is not the first and it will not be the last. The attacks will continue. Beware, and be responsible. Religion is your responsibility, mosques are your responsibility, the Muslim people is your responsibility, so do not attack the secure houses of God. Love one another and be brethren of one another so that our Iraq will be secure and stable and independent. We want the expulsion of the Occupier and not the American ambassador."
Okay, I don't know what that last sentence means.

Cole adds that "Many Muslims are convinced that the caricatures of the Prophet and the attack on the Askariyah Shrine in Samarra were both US plots against Islam."