Monday, May 24, 2010
On thursday last week he led the prayers at the shrine courtyard which was packed and people had to line up on the streets to pray. The Sadrists saw this and were incensed. A scholar from a rival 'clan' was attracting too much attention on their doorstep (Moqtada's office is only several yards away from the door of the shrine) and they were not going to stay quiet.
They let it go the first day but the next day when the elderly Mohammed Taqi al-Hakim approached the shrine with his modest security detail (I have bumped into him several times in Najaf and I see one, and sometimes two, armed men following several paces behind him) the Sadrists in typical mob fashion blocked his access to the shrine and ordered him to go away.
Next a message was sent to the office of Sistani, which is also very close to the shrine. The words left no one in doubt of just how angry the Sadrists were. "If he comes again we will shed blood [that will flood] up to the knees".
Mohammed Ridha al-Sistani, the Grand Ayatollah's son, and most probably on the orders of Sistani himself, told Mohammed Taqi al-Hakim to stop praying at the shrine to avert a potential catastrophe.
The Sadrist mob effectively vetoed the highest office in the Shia clerical heirachy and forced Sistani to cave in under their pressure. Many moderate scholars in Najaf are furious that Sistani has appeased the Sadrists in such an open way and rightly argue the Sadrists will just get bolder and bolder until they claim the entire city when it will be too late to do anything about it.
Moqtada has just slapped the marja'iya in Najaf and from what it seems, the marja'iya has turned the other cheek.
Friday, May 07, 2010
Abadi: Indeed there are points of dis-agreement but there are many other points of agreement e.g. keeping Baathists out, fighting terrorists, providing services to people, improving the standard of living, supporting victims of saddam, rebuilding cities and villages destroyed by Saddam.
Me: Dr no one is going to say they don't want to improve standards of living and services or fight terrorism, the problem is this coalition does not agree on the very basics of government. Moqtada still wants to fight the occupiers and Hakim is still dreaming of his southern state. I can't understand how this coalition is going to agree on legislation in parliament when everyone wants something else and they can't even agree on a PM. There is no united political ideology but simply a united sectarian background. Proof of this is the choice of Ayatollah Sistani as the final arbiter.
In five years aside from an improvement in security we have not really moved forward. It's back to 'muhasasa', back to 2005 and back to putting personal interests ahead of the country. I just hope innocent Iraqi people do not continue to die because they are ultimately always going to the victims. I wish you could succeed but I don't think that is going to happen.
Abadi: Its never going to be easy. However Hakim and majlis stopped calling for southern federartion since they lost local election last year and for Sadris the occupation is going to end in next year and all agree we are going in the right direction on this. We are trying hard to place the interests of the country above those of the parties or persons. However this is a continous struggle since Allah created man.
Me: I don't doubt for a moment there are many who are trying to move the country forward but what I am worried about is the criminals in Iraq who have been given political power and legitimacy. Whatever happens next, I pray the Da'wa Party does not hand over power to these criminals who we all know have Iraqi blood on their hands. I would rather see the Ba'athists in power because at least they don't represent the madhab of Ahul Bayt.
Abadi: Thats inherent part of democracy where people choose and it depends on awareness of people.
Me: That's true of course Dr there is no debate on that count, but in a real democracy murderers are sent to prison or executed, regardless of patronage. Iraq is still at least 20 years behind in that sense. The murderers of your colleague Ammar al-Saffar are now aspiring to control a security ministry, the murderers of my father enjoy protection in their clerical robes, and more importantly the murderers of thousands of innocent Iraqis enjoy popular support. The Ba'athists are not the only criminals in our ranks, nor are they the only danger to Iraq.
Me: Thank you, I just hope the deaths of hundreds of thousands of other Iraqis will not be in vain. Real justice can never be shown in this life so long as there are politicians who put their careers ahead of justice, especially those in the INA. But God works in mysterious ways. The mighty Saddam himself was hanged, so there will be a time for everyone, even Moqtada. I cannot interact with the INA officials the way I do with you, so if you could forward them this article I would greatly appreciate it. http://kitabat.com/i67733.htm
Abadi: Powerful article, would you please forward the original english article, thanks.
Me: Thank you, this is the original.http://eyeraki.blogspot.co
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
Tuesday, May 04, 2010
Sunday, May 02, 2010
At 20:32 Moqtada makes an astonishing admission. Bin Jidu asks him about the hostility and gulf that exists between him and Maliki and part of the reply is "I told the former Prime Minister... Dr Ibrahim al-Ja'afari, I told him you can win the Sadr Movement with just a little [in return] and they will be under your banner - and it was."
I had always suspected Ibrahim al-Ja'fari shook hands with the devil when he managed to get the votes of the Sadr Movement to defeat his challenger Abdul Mehdi in the contest for the Prime Ministerial seat in 2005 but this is the first time I have heard Moqtada explicitly admit that his movement was 'under the banner' of Ibrahim al-Jafari. Only time will tell what exactly it was Ja'fari offered Moqtada in return for his friendship. What ever the agreement was, clearly it was something that Maliki did not want to honour.