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October 7, 2005
Haider Ajina's News From IraqBy Mrs Greyhawk
Haider Ajina, an American of Iraqi heritage, writes from California:
The following is a headline and article in the October 6 edition of the Iraqi Arab newspaper "Al-Mendhar".
Ayatollah Hussein Al Sadr (Iraqi Shiite Reference): Politicization of Religion diminishes its Sacredness
He condemned the presence of armed militias (such as Mehdi Army etc....) in Iraq "as they weaken the role of the state and terminate the existence of law."
Al Sadr confirmed the existence of Iranian interference in Iraqi affairs. He said, "At present, the Iraqi arena is open for everyone, including Iran and many foreign parties that seek for establishing their existence in Iraq, mainly because of the open borders, and the available state of freedom. I believe that several neighboring countries have presence in Iraq. The terrorists that arrive from Arab countries represent the presence of these countries in Iraq."
Ayatollah Hussein Al Sadr refused to respond to a question on whether the extremist Shiite clergyman, Muqtada Al Sadr (son of Mohamed Sadeq Al Sadr) is the heir of the Sadri Trend and whether his supporters are followers of this trend, or not?
Ayatollah Hussein Al Sadr confirmed that he is against the presence of armed militias in Iraq. He said, "We certainly are against the presence of militias in the country. On the contrary, we are in favor of the existence of a strong state that stresses the significance of the law."
The Shiite reference denied the occurrence of a civil war in Iraq. He said, "Whoever bets on the civil war actually desires that a civil war takes place in Iraq, while the reality is contrary to that. I am witnessing the Iraqi reality with all its forms and variations. I believe that there are no indications for a civil war, or the like. We have held continuous meetings with our sons and dear ones of Shiaas, Sunnis, Kurds, Turkmen, Christians, Sabaens, and Yezidis. They all stress the unity on Iraq and its safety, and that Iraq should remain united. Nevertheless, there have always been extremists in the community, who attempt to ignite sectarian, racial and religious sedition. We can get over such sedition with the efforts of the honest people in Iraq. A few days ago, I had meetings with many Sunni clan chiefs. I called for a covenant of honor among Iraqi clans that prescribes that no clan attacks another and no members of a certain clan attack members of another clan. We are seeking for expanding such covenant to include the other Shiite clans."
Ayatollah Al Sadr stressed the importance of the role of clergymen of all sects in standing against terrorism in Iraq. He said, "Religious references and scholars have a great effect in the Iraqi community, as religion is a deep-rooted issue in the community. A reference or clergyman, regardless of his religion or sect, should have a great effect and establish a sound cultural structure, in addition to standing against all devious trends that desire to distort Islam and the divine messages. Clergymen should direct humans to respect humanity, first of all. The Quran says, 'We have honored human beings' and 'if anyone slew a person, unless it be for murder or spreading mischief in the land, it would be as if he slew the whole people. And if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.' This means that human beings have been honored and their murder is prohibited, regardless of their religion, race, or sect. This honor has been granted on behalf of Allah to Man for his humanity, first of all."
Al Sadr has called for activating a Fatwa (religious opinion), which was issued on behalf of a Sunni clergyman. Al Sadr said, "More than a year ago, we have called for issuing a Fatwa that prohibits terrorism and murder. We have issued a Fatwa that was signed by me, in addition to a top Sunni scholar (Professor Sheikh Abdel Qader Al Ani) and a top Christian priest. This Fatwa should have been activated but the circumstances have hindered its execution. We are currently working on launching an organization for humanitarian dialogue for supporting brotherhood, love, and peace among Iraqi constituents, with all their religions, sects and races. We are holding many meetings in this regard with clan chiefs, and Sunni and Shiite scholars."
This type of separation of religion and politics is a strong school of thought amongst Iraqi Shiites. A very large majority of Iraqi Shiites understand and believe in separating religion from politics. Iranian & Lebanese (Hisbullah) Shiites however have a strong belief that religion should shape & control politics. We hear very little about Muslim leaders who have the courage to condemn terrorism and the killing of humans. While a number of them do voice their condemnation the media gives them little attention. Those who misrepresent and distort Islam get much more media attention.
Posted by Mrs Greyhawk / October 7, 2005 12:09 AM | Permalink
Callimachus at Donklephant posts a quote and asks people who said it: Who Said This?“Religion plays the role of direction, enlightenment, and offering advice. It should not be dragged into the political process, as this diminishes its sacredness.... Read More
November 26, 2010
I think anyone who's ever pondered the "comment" option - once only available on blogs and bulletin boards, now ubiquitous on almost any web site - will appreciate this:
The so-called faculty of writing is not so much a faculty of writing as it is a faculty of thinking. When a man says, "I have an idea but I can't express it"; that man hasn't an idea but merely a vague feeling. If a man has a feeling of that kind, and will sit down for a half an hour and persistently try to put into writing what he feels, the probabilities are at least 90 percent that he will either be able to record it, or else realize that he has no idea at all. In either case, he will do himself a benefit.
That's wisdom from the past, captured for posterity at the US Naval Institute, shared via the web on the institute's 137th anniversary.
From their about page:
"The Naval Institute has three core activities," among them, History and Preservation:
The Naval Institute also has recently introduced Americans at War, a living history of Americans at war in their own words and from their own experiences. These 90-second vignettes convey powerful stories of inspiration, pride, and patriotism.
Take a look at the collection, and you'll see it's not limited to accounts from those who served on ships at sea, members of the other branches are well-represented.
I'm fortunate to have met USNI's Mary Ripley, she's responsible for the institute's oral history program (and she's the daughter of the late John Ripley, whose story is told here). She also deserves much credit for their blog. ("We're not the Navy nor any government agency. Blog and comment freely.") We met at a milblog conference - Mary knew (and I would come to realize) that milbloggers are the 21st-century version of exactly what the US Naval Institute is all about. Once that light bulb came on in my head, I mentioned a vague idea for a project to her - milblogs as the 21st century oral history that they are.
"Put that in writing," she said (of course - see first paragraph above!) - and here's part of the result.
Shortly after the first tent was pitched by the American military in Iraq a wire was connected to a computer therein, and the internet was available to a generation of Americans at war - many of whom had grown up online. From that point on, at any given moment, somewhere in Iraq a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine was at a keyboard sharing the events of his or her day with the folks back home. While most would simply fire off an email, others took advantage of the (then) relatively new online blogging platforms to post their thoughts and experiences for the entire world to see. The milblog was born - and from that moment to this stories detailing everything from the most mundane aspects of camp life to intense combat action (often described within hours of the event) have been available on the web...
And et cetera - but since you're reading this on a milblog, you probably knew that. And you know that milblogs aren't just blogs written by troops at war, that many friends, family members, and supporters likewise documented their story of America at war online in near-real time, as those stories developed.
The diversity in membership of that group is broad, the one thing we all have in common is the impulse to make sense of the seemingly senseless, and communicate the tale - for each of us that impulse was strong enough to overcome whatever barriers prevent the vast majority of people from doing the same. Everyone at some point has some vague idea they believe should be shared - we were the people who, from some combination of internal and external urging, found and spent those many half hours persistently trying to write it down.
But where will all that be in another 137 years? Or five or ten, for that matter. That's something I've asked myself since at least 2004 - when I wrote this:
Membership in the ghost battalion has grown in the years since, and an ever growing majority of those abandoned-but-still-standing sites are vanishing. Have you checked out Lt Smash's site lately? How about Sgt Hook's? If you're a long-time milblog reader you know the first widely-read milblog from Operation Iraq Freedom and the first widely-read milblog from Afghanistan are both gone from the web. If you're a relative newcomer to this world you may never even have heard of them - or the dozens upon dozens of others who carried forth the standard they set down.
If you have a vague notion that something should be done about that, (a notion I've heard expressed more than once...) then you and I and the good folks at the US Naval Institute are in agreement. Preserving the history documented by the milbloggers is just one of the goals of the milblog project, the once-vague idea that we're now making real.
And it's a big idea, if I say so myself - too big to explain in one simple blog post, so stand by for more. Likewise, it's too big a task to be accomplished by just one person. So if you're a milblogger (and exactly what is a milblogger? is a topic for much further discussion on its own) I'm asking for your help. All I'll really need is just a little bit (maybe just one or two of those half hours...) of your time, and your willingness to tell the tale.
We've already made history, it's time to save it.
(More to follow...)
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