News and opinions on situation in Iraq
14/11/04 Is Sistani the Judas of Iraq? by Yamin Zaqaria

    “The silence of a friend commonly amounts to treachery. His not daring to say anything in our behalf implies a tacit censure.”
    William Hazlitt 1778-1830)

There comes a time, when silence and inaction or merely providing lip services without any practical support becomes tantamount to treachery. The treachery began from the beginning of this conflict. With the passage of time and various critical events, it has grown with the silence of those who are in position of influence and responsibility. One such event was the gruesome revelations of Abu-Ghraib; the influential scholars (Ulemas) both Shia and Sunni across Iraq and the Islamic world remained relatively silent.

It is even more depressing when one considers that events like Abu-Ghraib were taking place under their noses, yet the scholars within the country remained ignorant until it was broadcasted by the foreign media. Is the old cliché “ignorance is bliss‰ a principle of Islamic legal jurisprudence? Unlikely, someone with rudimentary knowledge of Islamic texts can tell you that it is in fact quite the contrary. Seeking knowledge is mandatory in many cases and highly recommended.

The cause of such ignorance is the result of adhering to the principle of keeping religion from politics divorced, wittingly or unwittingly. However, one cannot plead ignorance for the recent events in Fallujah as it has been broadcasted well in advance, so why the silence of the scholars? In order to appreciate the magnitude of treason arising from this silence over Fallujah, let us have a cursory look at what the US has been deploying in that city, already restricted just to its embedded media. Like the notion of human rights manifested in Abu-Ghraib this is also a manifestation of the freedom of the press; US style!

Doctors and hospitals have been erased so that they cannot be a nuisance and provide independent account of the events inside the city as they did previously in April. The US artillery has fired white Phosphorus rounds [1] that create a screen of fire that cannot be extinguished with water. It is designed to burn through metal bunkers; imagine what it can do to human flesh. Not surprisingly one of the doctors that have managed to stay alive in Fallujah has already reported burned corpses and some completely melted.

The US has also used Napalm [2] once again in this war, another Œhorrible‚ weapon in the words of Pentagon that also sticks to your skin and melts it. If you are unlucky and managed to get attacked by such weapons you would beg Musab Al-Zarqawi to behead you to end the sufferings! Or you would plead for a suicide-bomber to come and Œrescue‚ you from the situation.

But that‚s ok, since the generals [2] in the Pentagon embrace these weapons as simply a military Œoption‚! Since, it is not in the hands of the Œterrorists‚ no need to make any noise about the moral dimension of this issue. The journalists writing for the newspapers and the TV reporters failed to spot such small details unless of course the events turn and the Œinsurgents‚ managed to obtain some of these weapons and put it to use. What would follow would be the big headlines “WMD used against US forces‰, and the UN would be brought in and lets pass a UN resolution to Nuke the entire country.

Then comes the icing on the cake, lots of cluster bombs have been dropped in Fallujah. This has been dropped in other Iraqi cities earlier, with the result having been lots of Iraqi kids blown to pieces and the lucky ones are crippled for life. Cluster bombs are considered an inhuman weapon an outlawed under the Geneva Convention. In Afghanistan, the US forces went one step further by dropping cluster bombs and food packages with almost identical shape and color. Like the intelligence failure over WMD, this technical Œmistake‚ was addressed after the event. If the Afghan parents got any compensation, rest assured it is nowhere near that of the Lockerbie or the 9/11 victims. The West does believe in human rights but some are considered more human than others!

Usage of such weapons is not a problem since the intended victims are Arabs ˆ Œsand niggers‚, considered to be less than human beings. Perhaps this is why the US had no regrets when it nuked the Orientals, much more preferred than their Anglo-Saxon cousins in Germany.

Further corroborating evidence could be provided by Bush‚s powerbase, the evangelical folks with their Bible. Some sort of biblical prophecy must exist for the elimination of the descendants of Ishmael, since Bush is almost divine, chosen and placed by god. All they are doing is putting the good lord‚s word into practice. Yet such religious fanaticism goes totally unnoticed.

I think Ku Klux Klan and some the like minded Christian zealots also considered something similar with regards to the blacks. This was reinforced by the Darwinian theory of evolution. Men evolved from the black apes all the way to the top where the upright white Europeans sat and the Anglo-Saxons are the elites of that group. A place that has been shared by the Zionist Jews who also have a similar philosophy of being God‚s chosen people, licensed to deal with the Gentiles anyway that benefit their interests.

In this context, keeping silence is not only treachery but the nadir of criminality. Whilst the Sunnis of Fallujah, Ramadi, Tikrit, Mosul and various other cities engaged in liberation the Shia community has been relatively silent. This can be attributed to the Shia scholars who are blindly followed for guidance by the Shia masses and regarded almost as infallible like the Pope. If the Shia Scholars proposes silence its followers will follow this point like sheeps.

Some of the Shia scholars argue on the grounds of theological reasons which state that political participation to be suspended until the arrival of the infallible Imam Mahdi. The problem is, under such circumstances, keeping silent is construed wittingly or unwittingly as participation as one is taking a position by default and hence making a statement of tacit approval. Being apolitical is like the notion of neutral. They are relative to a certain position. One can never be apolitical or neutral in the absolute sense.

Ayatollah Sistani is the most influential and the most senior Scholar with the largest following inside the Shia community in Iraq. His silence has meant very little support from the Shia community to fight the resistance or at least help the Sunnis to fight against the invaders. He is participating in the killing of women and children in Fallujah alongside the Americans by his conduct.

The Shia followers revere Sistani for his knowledge and piety, but what good is that knowledge when it is not being used to defend the blood of the Muslims. How does that piety stand with his tacit approval of the US forces killing the Muslims in Iraq? Even words of condemnations are inadequate. He needs to instruct his followers to rise up ˆ had they done so, the British forces for a start would have fled the country by now.

Imam Hussein was betrayed by the people who proclaimed their support, and it seems their descendents proclaiming to be the followers of Imam Hussein are once again engaged in betrayal. We witnessed the anti-US rhetoric coming from Iran for decades; should Iran not use their Grand Ayatollahs and bring Sistani into line and get the Shias to revolt openly? What about those from the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) participating in the actual battle with the US soldiers? These Shias should be declared as belligerent apostates to be treated as an open enemy.

What is even more infuriating that while claiming to be apolitical, Sistani is conserving his energy gearing up for election! A more cynical view would be that, his tacit approval of the US led onslaught is raising the Shia‚s strength at the expense of the Sunnis. This is not only promoting sectarianism but also contradicts the inherent Shia principles founded on Quran. Allowing foreign forces to kill your own people is clearly violating the Islamic texts unless of course if Sistani considers the Sunnis to be outside the fold of Islam, not part of his community. Otherwise, the actions of Ayatollah Sistani are no different to Judas.

This is a historic opportunity to show a united front, demolish this sectarian methods of operating, something that is being pushed incessantly by the invaders. It is clear the likes of Sistani holds the key to demonstrate this united front, as most of his followers are brain-dead, unable to release themselves from the coma of blind following despite the carnage and desecration of Mosques, women and even children. Our history will judge his silence to be the same as those who aided the previous crusaders but there is still some small window of opportunity for Sistani to alter the course of history.

Yamin Zakaria

London, UK

Copyright © 2004 By Yamin Zakaria.

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