Empty Days

Friday, April 09, 2004



Iraq-n

Revealing comment from a pro-american Iraqi blogger (via Oldman1787) about slanted coverage on Al-Jazeera re kidnapping of 3 Japanese civilians:

I found it particularly interesting that while Al-Jazeera displayed most of the tape, it did not display the part where the masked men held knives to the neck of the wailing Japanese woman while screaming "Allahu Akbar!". What? too hard for Arab feelings?

Heh. We are editing, they are editing - the truth is somewhere in the middle.

Also via this post, long-expected news on uprising being called down for real:
The Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani issued a fatwa late Wednesday to "resolve the latest developments in Iraq in a peaceful manner" in order to prevent anarchy and bloodshed. "We condemn the behaviour of occupation forces in dealing with the current events, and we also condemn any trespass against public and private property, or any other conduct that may disrupt security and obstruct Iraqis from their jobs in serving the people". Sistani also called upon political parties to work together in an effective manner to put an end to the "tragedy".

Why did he wait so long before issuing this fatwa? Was it to gauge coalition and public reaction? Was it to prove that only he has the last word in clearing up the mess?

The fatwa comes after 5 days of violence and unrest in several Shi'ite cities in southern Iraq, and while it is true that traditionally a fatwa from a living Grand Ayatollah is binding to his followers, that does not however apply to Al-Sadr's supporters who point out the more radical Grand Ayatollah Kadhim Al-Ha'eri (Iraqi exile Shia cleric operating from Meshed, Iran) as their spiritual leader, despite Al-Sadr's clumsy announcement two days ago that he will follow whatever Sistani and the Hawza in Najaf chooses for him, which I think is more probably a cry for help from the elders in Najaf.
No doubt CPA and IGC weren't wasting time negotiating with al-Sadr only - or even primarily. Good work.





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