Sunnis and Shiites Live in Peace in Basra
The following is a Haider Ajina translation of a headline and article, which appeared in Iraq’s Almuatin on November 28th:
“Iraq’s Basra has not been affected by occurrences in Sadr City, Sunnis live with their Shiites brethren in peace”
Sheik Khalid Almulah, Imam and speaker at Alaabanchi (Sunni) Mosque in Basra, said that what happened in Sadr City lately did not affect Basra. He urged the rebuilding of the Al-Askariah shrines in Samara. He added, “We live here in the coddle of our Shiite brethren, and there are no large reactions to what happened in Baghdad. Shiites & Sunnis must quickly rebuild the Askariah shrine in Samara. This will rebut the strife the terrorists are using to divide and create sectarian fighting. Alqaida wants its attack on Al-Askariah shrine to build conflict between Iraqis. Thus it is our responsibility, Sunni & Shiite, to put out this fire by rebuilding the Shrines to protect our unity.” He then commented about Muqtada Al Sadr’s request of Sheik Hareth Althari (Head of the Sunni “Muslim Scholars”) to declare it a sin to kill Shiites and to announce that the “Muslim Scholars” have no affiliation with Alqaida and denounce Alqaida.”
He added, “To all of those who are attacking the political and religious process in Iraq. You must first examine yourselves. Are you with Iraq, are you with peace, are you defending Iraq and are you against the spilling of blood? Or are you with the terrorist or the “Takfirien” (religious extremists)?… We must issue decrees against terrorism and I hope the “Muslim Scholars” will respond to Sadr’s request.”
Haider Ajina comments:
Basra has, for some time now, been focusing on its growth and infrastructure improvement. Because it is relatively peaceful and stable. Not only in Basra do Sunnis & Shiites live peacefully together but in most if not all the southern provinces.
Of course, Sunnis are a minority in the south and that could be pat of the reason. I remember translating a piece after the bombing of the Al-Askariah Shrine in Samara, when Shiites stood guard at Sunni Mosques so the Mosques did not get attacked in retaliation. This is very similar to the Iraq I grew up in, in the 60’s and 70’s.
The Baathists (most if not all of whom are Sunni in Iraq) have ruled Iraq with violence during Saddam. They are trying to destabilize Iraq by attacking Shiites. Sadr city attack, Al-Askariah shrine attack, evicting Shiites from Sunni neighborhoods, planting car bombs in Baghdad and surrounding areas, planting bombs in Najaf and other areas with much civilian traffic etc… These constant attacks and retaliation to these attacks and the inability of the security forces to protect all its citizens has brought about the growth of the militias. Iran & Syria are supporting these militias to keep Iraq destabilized.
Iraq is far from being hopeless. Over 70% of the provinces live in relative peace and are busy with building and infrastructure improvement, commerce booming and healthcare improving. They are living with a provincial government they elected and rule of law, which protects them.
A Sunni Imam in Basra is calling on Shiite leader (Muqtada Al Sadr in this case) to look at himself as well as the head of the Muslim Scholars (Harith Altahri) to also look at himself, and ask the question, are they for Iraq or are they for terrorism and ‘Islamic extremism’? This is a bold and courageous question, which many Iraqis in leadership and security forces need to ask themselves.
Over the last 3 weeks, I have lost an Uncle and two Cousins in two separate violent incidences in Baghdad. A home-style invasion killed my Uncle and my cousin who live near the airport ( they were asked to leave the neighborhood because they are Shiites even though my Uncles wife is Sunni) and two weeks before that, a cousin was kidnapped and killed near Fallujah. Their deaths and the deaths of other Iraqis and Americans will not be in vain, when we stabilize central Iraq and defeat the terrorist fueling the revenge killings in central Iraq.
Thank you, Haider and God Bless your family in Iraq.
Jules Crittenden asks then, “If Basra is mostly peaceful, then what’s the civil war talk all about?”
Prairie Pundit sees that the media, however, is doing a rerun on its August story about a Marine intelligence report on enemy activity in the Anbar province.
Related… Is Hezbollah training the Mahdi Army?
Reports indicate that Moktada al-Sadr may be sending his troops to Lebanon and Iran to train.
Hat Tip Rocky