Friday, February 24, 2006

In the name of Islam

Until now, Iraq’s neighbours have pretended the turmoil on their doorstep was none of their concern, while giving covert and deadly support to some of the extremists leading the insurgency. Now all can see where such irresponsible meddling leads: to polarisation, desecration and the brink of civil war. The reaction has been as depressing as it is familiar. Most of the Arab world, so angrily denunciatory of the insult perceived in the Danish cartoons, has remained silent.

They are silent because this is a proxy war now. This is the war between Saudi Arabian Sunni Wahabism and Iranian Shia Islamic Revolution for who will control the Muslim world, the new Caliphate. Seeing that AQ was defeated in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Iranians realized they had an opportunity to step into a strange power void. With nukes and a large army, they see themselves as the de facto power in the region. While they consistantly denounce "Zionism" and American "hegemony" in the region, it is exactly that power that they are trying to reach.

No one should be more aware of this danger than Saudi Arabia, a country still struggling with a terrorist challenge inspired by the same religious fanaticism that drives al-Qaeda and the Samarra bombers. The Saudis have a long and shameful record in the treatment of their own Shia minority; and there are still elements within the powerful Sunni clerical establishment that would welcome a continuing crackdown on “heretics”. [snip]

Iraq’s resilience is being tested as never before. It is, however, ominous that religious leaders have begun moving into the trenches with mutual denunciations. The terrorists want a religious war; it is up to Iraq’s spiritual leaders, with the necessary support from the country’s neighbours, to thwart such a dire outcome.

In the name of Islam - Comment - Times Online

Of course, the Pakistani Times indicates that it's a plot by the occupying forces:

So now we can see who has benefited from the sectarian violence in Iraq: Al Qaeda and its surrogates, Shias, Sunnis or the occupying forces? It would be far fetched to say that the perpetrators of sectarian violence in Iraq are agents of the occupying forces. But the fact is they are helping the occupation.

One may have heard about

The “El Salvador Option” for Iraq (, a plan allegedly by Pentagon, talked of targeted killing of ‘insurgents’ using people from rival groups such as Shias and Kurds to the dirty job. But who knows if such operations actually targeted insurgents. And who knows if the recruits were only from among Shias and Kurds. (An analysis of the ‘option’ is available on a rightwing American organisation’s website:

The cycle of violence, which started with attacks against the occupying forces, has turned into sectarian violence. This shift of target has definitely benefited the occupying forces that now appear to be the accepted arbiter of power in the formation of new government.

In the last elections in Iraq, the Shias had won a dominant majority of seats in the Iraqi parliament. Sunnis feared that they would be marginalised politically and economically. But this paled into insignificance compared to the occupying forces’ fear that Shias could form a truly ‘sovereign’ regime.

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