Monday, June 27, 2011

Moqtada's war on Islam

Chelsea J. Carter (CNN) reports on Moqtada al-Sadr and an online "exchange between a follower and al-Sadr on his website" in which Moqtada cooed at his 'followers' (it was one person as I read the article) promising that, if called on by Moqtada, they will launch suicide missions against US military targets in Iraq. Carter quotes the misguided (misguided? we'll get to it) typing, "We intended to be martyred, if you intend to lift the freeze of Imam al-Mehdi Army to defend Islam, doctrine and Iraq. Our martyrdom will be restricted only on activities against the infidel occupier without harming the civilians or any public proprieties." And First Lady of Iraq Moqtada al-Sadr coos, "Thank you dears. . . May God preserve you and watch over you." Let's hope it was an exchange between Moqtada and Moqtada.

If not, it's past time for the press to start doing their job and noting that suicides aren't part of Muslim tradition or teaching. It's not. And maybe it's past time that the press stopped slobbering over Moqtada and started pointing out that a 'religious authority' preaching suicide in a faith that opposes suicide, is a 'religious figure' who has lost his way. Moqtada's insane ramblings do more to distort Islam than anything else. And it probably should be pointed out that he's more than willing to send his followers in on suicide missions but he won't send his own fat ass on one. In fact, most of his time these days is spent in Iran in order to ensure his safety.

As Dar Addustour reports the story, the online chat wasn't real. A letter was written and the letter was condensed to the 'comment' Moqtada allegedly replied to. As they report it, a group of young followers sought guidance. This is the guidance a religious leader gives? This should be decried. This should be condemned and called out. He is in a position of authority and he's going to mislead young followers. (If you read Arabic, check out Al Rafidayn's quote of his which appears to include a 'shout out' to an online outlet.) And is no one going to call out his remarks in light of the holy day this week? Apparently not.

Nizar Latif (The National) notes of Moqtada's mercenaries, "Some Shiites are already saying they want it back. 'The only thing that stopped the Shiites being killed in 2005 and 2006 was the Mahdi Army. It stopped Al Qaeda when no one else could,' said Wedat Sabri, a lawyer from the Amira district of Baghdad."

Al Mada reports that MP Hassan Sinead, who chairs Parliament's Security and Defense Committee, has been in talks with James Jeffrey, the US Ambassador to Iraq, and that Sinead's concern is not with the number of Iraqi forces but with their level of training.

Meanwhile there is apparently a contest for biggest suck-up in Baghdad. Al Mada reports that the Inspector General of the Interior Ministry has declared that the security ministries are not vacant. No, no one's claimed that they have no staff. The issue has been that they have no head. But IG Turaihi insists that Nouri al-Maliki is directly supervising the ministries. That would explain why they are so inept and why violence is on the rise. In the real world, Nouri refused to nominate a Minister of the Interior, a Minister of Defense and a Minister of National Security back in November and December when he was supposed to. It's all on Nouri no matter how many suck-ups try to rescue him.

Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Let Someone Else Be A Leader" went up yesterday. Today on Law and Disorder Radio (begins broadcasting at 9:00 am EST on WBAI and around the country throughout the week),attorneys and hosts Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights) speak with attorney Dan Gregor about the topic of mountaintop removal and with attorney Azadeh Shahshahhani about human rights in Tunisia. Also Michael Ratner and Heidi Boghosian read from the column that Michael Ratner and Margaret Ratner Kunstler have written (The Progressive) about the current war on protest and dissent in the US. Michael Ratner and Margaret Ratner Kunstler are the authors of the new book Hell No, Your Right To Dissent. In addition, don't miss the opening commentary -- especially the exploration of a war 'critic'. And we'll close with Muna Khan's "The Audacity of the Obama Administration" (IHC):

None of “us crazy Muslims” as so many of our beloved commentators enjoy pointing out are surprised by America’s alliance with Israel on a host of issues but the audacity of it still surprises. The US flotilla to Gaza is just another example of it.

Ironically the boat is called The Audacity of Hope, perhaps in an effort to pay homage to Barrack Obama’s career, and even remind him of his forgotten promises. The boat carries 50 citizens, many of them notable intellectuals and writers like Naomi Klein and Alice Walker.

The Audacity of Hope will join other vessels to form a Freedom Flotilla to take aid to Gaza.

The ship plans to depart from a Greek port except that Greek authorities are under a lot of pressure from Israel and the Obama administration to disallow it, and other vessels, from using its ports to head to Gaza. Israel is using economic incentives at a time when Greece’s economy is all but bust to place pressure on Athens.

That makes sense for Israel.

That the Obama administration is issuing warnings to its citizens against traveling to Gaza by any means “including sea” doesn't make sense to me.

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