The noisy demonstration that greeted Iraqi Prime Minister Noori al-Maliki on his visit to Sadr City last week was more than just a protest. It meant that the leader of a Shia-dominated government was being rejected by an angry and influential group of Shias.
Maliki's heavily guarded convoy was pelted with stones and with shoes -- a grave insult in Iraq. And this happened in a Shia area.
About 60 percent of the 25 million population of Iraq is Shia, and Shia leaders now dominate government. The government faces increasingly more aggressive opposition from Sunni groups who feel persecuted.
Sunnis, an estimated five million, were the dominant group earlier under the regime of Saddam Hussein. The rest of the Iraqi population is Kurdish in the north. Kurds include both Shias and Sunnis, but stand apart ethnically as Kurds.
Iraq is now a deeply divided Muslim world. Sectarian clashes between Shia and Sunni groups have been growing by the day. Shias are a Muslim group who believe - unlike the Sunnis -- that Prophet Muhammad designated his nephew Imam Ali to lead the Islamic community after his death. That old schism is now deepening.
The above is from Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily's "Shias Too Lose Faith in Iraqi Govt" (IPS). Ben noted that and last night Ruth noted Marjorie Cohn would be a guest on WBAI's Law and Disorder today. And Marcia notes this from CODEPINK:
Take Action Today!
Join thousands across the country in a National Call in Day to hold Congress accountable to the Mandate for Peace: Tel. 202-224-3121 Congressional Switchboard
Call your Representative and Senators and tell them: "The voters issued a Mandate for Peace! That means, bring the troops home now!" Members of Congress return to Washington on Monday, December 4. Let's greet them with a flood of phone calls, because, as incredible as it may seem, many still don't get that the troops need to come home from Iraq. Since the elections, the carnage in Iraq has only gotten worse. Our 140,000 troops in Iraq are unable to stop the ever deepening spiral of violence. In the last week we have witnessed the bloodiest attacks since the U.S. invasion almost 4 years ago. Yet congress and the administration sit and wait... for the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group report, for the Pentagon study group report, the White House study group -- for anything they can hide behind. On November 7, the people gave Congress a mandate for peace. Congress has the power to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq -- they control the purse strings and can stop this war -- and if it fails to do so, we will hold them responsible for the continued violence in Iraq.
Call your Representative and both Senators tell them: "I insist that Congress act immediately to bring all U.S. troops home from Iraq NOW! The Congress has the power end this occupation. Use your power or you will be held responsible for the continuation of this war."
Call the Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121, or call your Representative and Senators in their district offices. You can find out who your Representative and Senators are and also look up their district office phone numbers here.
Please make 3 phone calls: to your Representative and to each of your Senators.Background: The United States has now been engaged in Iraq for longer than our engagement in WWII. Violence in Iraq has again spiked to ever-higher levels. It is impossible to say how many Iraqis have died during the war and occupation, but Johns Hopkins University estimates 650,000. We know that over 2,890 U.S. troops have died, over 21,000 have been maimed or wounded and over 9,500 have deserted. The Constitution gives the Congress the power to end this war through the power of the purse. Sen. Robert Byrd has described this as "the fulcrum of the people's leverage...to shackle the hands of an overreaching chief executive." Congress must use this leverage to bring occupation of Iraq to an end. For more information about the Mandate for Peace campaign, a joint effort of dozens of peace and community groups, click here.
Working together we will end to the US occupation in Iraq and bring our troops home.Please call TODAY!Andrea, Anedra, Dana, Farida, Gael, Gayle, Jodie, Laura, Liz, Medea, Nancy, Patricia, Rae, Samantha, and Sonia
P.S. Keep up the pressure. On January 27, 2007, we will converge from all around the country for a massive march on Washington, D.C. Make your travel plans now to join CODEPINK and thousands of others to demand that the new Congress take immediate action to end the occupation. If you're flying to Washington, be sure to support our movement by booking your flight through CODEPINK.
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law and disorder