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Not your typical MSM - a look at English language news reports from the Islamic world, where the Iraq Mosque bombing threatens to push the Danish cartoons from the headlines.
But the cartoons just won't budge.
Bihar minister for hanging of cartoonistSome question the timing of the blasts. From Pakistan, via the Iranian News Agency
Patna, Feb 22: Close on the heels of Uttar Pradesh minister Haji Mohammed Yaqoob announcing a Rs 51 crore reward for beheading Danish cartoonist for lampooning Prophet Mohammad, Bihar minister Monazir Hassan today demanded that the Centre put pressure on the Denmark government for hanging the man.
"Any insult to the Prophet will not be tolerated. The Danish cartoonist who lampooned the Prophet should be immediately hanged to death," Hassan, Building Construction minister in the Nitish Kumar government, said in a statement here.
Hassan, JD(U) MLA from Munger, hailed the chief minister for ordering a ban on a school text book 'Jeevan Nirman part V' for depicting a caricature of the Prophet as it hurt the sensibilities of Muslims.
Strongly condemning the lampooning of the Prophet, he said his party favoured respecting sentiments of believers of all religions.
Samarra shrine blast a bid to divert attention from blasphemous cartoonsProtests against the cartoons continue in Pakistan, and protests against the mosque bombing are just getting started:
A leading Shiite Muslim leader in Pakistan on Thursday condemned the attacks on the mausoleums of Hazrat Imam Ali Naqi and Imam Hasan Askari in Samarra (Iraq) as a ploy to divert the ummah's attention from the crisis over the blasphemous caricatures.
In a statement, faxed to IRNA's bureau here, the president of Millat-e-Jafria Pakistan, Allama Syed Sajid Ali Naqvi, said that the explosion in the shrine was carried out by the same people who supported the derogatory cartoons published in European newspapers.
"The strike is a continuation of the blasphemy on the holy family members of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and a ploy to divert the attention of the Muslim world from the imperialist forces' diabolical designs against Islam," the cleric maintained.
He expressed condolences to Ayatollah Ali Sistani over the tragedy which has sparked a 7-day mourning period in Pakistan.
The cleric cautioned that it was also part of the imperialist forces' conspiracy to trigger differences and tensions between Sunni and Shiite Muslims and get people of their choice to be inducted into the Iraqi government.
He called upon Muslims across the world to raise their protest against the Samarra blast as they did in the blasphemous cartoons, saying no religion could permit such attacks.
"There is a conflict between Islamists and infidels and Muslims should forge more unity in their ranks to combat the enemies," he contended.
Allama Naqvi urged Muslims, particularly Shiite Muslims, to stage rallies against the Samarra attack after their Friday prayers.
Groups of people took to the street in various localities, including Ancholi, Rizvia Society, Jaffar-i-Tayyar Society, Abbas Town and Purani Numaish, in the evening, and expressed anger over the blast at the shrine.President Bush is scheduled to visit India and Pakistan next month.
The protesters burnt tyres and shouted slogans.
In Iran, the nation's leaders attempt to tie the bombing to the cartoons - and the US:
A new plot to divide MuslimsIranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also makes the cartoon connection:
TEHRAN, Feb. 22 (MNA) -- The serious crime of the terrorists who bombed the holy shrines of the tenth and eleventh Shia Imams, Imam Hadi (AS) and Imam Hassan Askari (AS), on Wednesday in Iraq was an insult to the sanctities of all Muslims.
Undoubtedly, it is a new plot which first of all can be considered as the continuation of the disrespectful move of the European newspapers’ that published cartoons of the Prophet of Islam.
Secondly, the offensive act was meant to create division between Iraqi Shias and Sunnis and ignite a civil war, following the failure of the plans of the occupiers of the country.
This is a critical juncture for the vigilant Islamic world. Shias certainly know that such moves are not the work of their Sunni brothers but are directed by the hands of the enemies of Islam.
Meanwhile, the Sunni brothers should also be aware that the same terrorists who carried out the criminal act in Samarra yesterday will probably attack their holy sites in the future.
In a message on Wednesday, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution noted that any emotional act carried out due to ignorance about the real enemy of Islam, including any attack against sites that are respected by Sunnis, is “haram” (forbidden in Islam) and called on Muslims to foil the enemies’ plots through awareness.
Another issue that should also not be ignored is the fact that the occupier U.S. regime, which has turned Iraq’s security to insecurity with its 150,000 troops and military equipment, is the main element responsible for these criminal acts.
Supreme Leader expresses condolences over bombings of Iraqi Shia shrines
In his message, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei expressed his condolences to Shias and all brave and aware Muslims throughout the world over the bombings earlier in the day of the holy shrines of the tenth and eleventh Shia Imams, Imam Hadi (AS) and Imam Hassan Askari (AS), in Samarra, Iraq.
The Supreme Leader pronounced a week of mourning in Iran over the catastrophic incident.
Following are excerpts of his message:
“Evil and criminal hands created a great catastrophe today, committing yet another sin by attacking Islamic religious beliefs.
“The holy shrines of Imam Hadi (AS) and Imam Hassan Askari (AS) were insulted and destroyed, delivering a heavy blow to the Shias and all other Muslims who respect the household of the Prophet Muhammad (S). This criminal act, which was probably carried out by bigoted and ignorant mercenaries, had undoubtedly been planned by conspirators with wicked and diabolical intentions.
“This is a political crime and its roots have to be traced in the intelligence organizations of the Iraqi occupiers and the Zionists. The aggressive powers that perceive the political and social conditions in Iraq as contrary to their objectives devise ominous plans in their heads, some of which to intensify insecurity and create sectarian strife.
“The holy shrines in Samarra will once again rise with even greater magnificence than before through the efforts of those who respect the holy Imams, but this criminal act has left a dark stain on the foreheads of the enemies of Islam and Muslims which will not be wiped off for a long time.
Leading Lebanese Shia cleric Seyyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah accused the United States of deliberately stoking communal tensions in Iraq in a bid to maintain its "occupation".
"The American occupation is trying to keep its grip on Iraq by benefiting from these crimes that she encourages directly or indirectly," Fadlallah said.
Iraqi Shia radical leader Moqtada Sadr, who had been in Beirut on a visit when news of the bombing broke, rushed back to Baghdad, cutting short a regional tour. Sadr has thousands of militiamen under his command in Shia areas of central and southern Iraq.
President denounces attacking Sunni mosques as work of enemiesIranian "Students" take to the streets in "spontaneous" demonstrations:
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday denounced attacking Sunni mosques in Iraq under the excuse of bombing holy shrine of Imam Hadi (AS) as identical to desecration of the Islamic sanctities.
"Enemies of Islam and the Muslim nations think that they could cause tension between the Shia and Sunni Muslims by attacking the holy places through which they could deal a blow to both the Shia and Sunni Muslims. You are blindly wrong and the world public opinion knows that bombing holy shrine of Imam Hadi (AS) and attacking Sunni mosques are being perpetrated by you, yourselves," President Ahmadinejad said.
Mashad University Students Protest Blast At Iraq ShrineExpect larger demonstrations tomorrow.
Some 400 students from different universities in Mashad, Iran's second holiest city, held a protest demonstration Wednesday evening in front of the UN representative office in the city condemning the desecration of the shrine of two of Shiite Islam's Imams (AS) in Samarra.
The protestors shouted slogans such as `Down with the USA', `Down with Israel,' `Down with Britain', `God is great', etc.
The students burned a Danish flag and condemned the tragedy in Samarra as well as the blasphemous cartoons on Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
Police cordoned streets leading to the UN office in the city.
Iran, Syria senior officials condemn Samarra blastIn conclusion, we turn to Jordan, for the "moderate" response:
Visiting Iranian First Vice-President Parviz Davoudi and Syrian Prime Minister Muhammad Naji al-Utri condemned the tragic explosion which damaged the holy shrines of Imam Hadi (AS) and Imam Hassan Asgari (AS) in Samarra, Iraq.
Davoudi, who is in Damscus to attend the Iran-Syria High Committee meeting, said: "Regretably, we heard that the dirty hands of the enemies have again committed a crime and violated Islamic sanctities."
The Iranian first vice-president, accompanying the Syrian prime minister at a meeting of Iranian and Syrian businessmen, said: "As the Supreme Leader has said in his message, this is a political crime which can be traced to the occupiers and Zionist regime as well as its intelligence organizations."
"This horrible crime encourages us to cooperate more closely with our Syrian brothers to neutralize the ominous plots of Islam's enemies," Davoudi added.
Al-Utri likewise condemned the inhuman crime, saying "Zionist hands and the occupiers' conspiracy are visible in this crime." He asked the Iraqi nation to maintain their national unity and vigilance in order to neutalize conspiracies.
"Independent and United"
Grand Ayatollah Ali Al Sistani's call for calm in Iraq after unknown vandals blew up the golden dome of Al Askari shrine in Samarra, one of Shiite Islam's holiest shrines, is brave, sensible and timely. Sunni imams have also been presciently quick to call for sectarian peace.
Unfortunately, it may be too little, too late. Iraq appears to be heading irreparably towards a full-scale civil war along sectarian lines. A civil war in Iraq will be the worst possible outcome of what was already a disaster in the country.
The American-led occupation, started on false justifications and continued with spurious hindsight, was a failure from the start, regardless of the military superiority with which it was fought. It is likely to end in absolute tragedy. The struggle to resist that occupation is the right of all Iraqis. But the apparent tactic of doing so, by targeting your own people, by sowing so many seeds of hatred that with or without foreign occupation troops Iraq is doomed to bloody conflict for the foreseeable future, is abhorrent and counterproductive.
All right-thinking Iraqis, Arabs and Muslims, whether Sunni or Shiite, understand that to create a schism between Muslims at a time of such general regional turmoil is dangerous not just to this community or that, but to the Muslim community as a whole. It beggars belief that those most vocal in claiming that Islam is under attack from the rest of the world, should also, often, be very active in targeting fellow Muslims.
The breakup of Iraq will serve no one. The unavoidable turmoil and the creation of three new states in the region would cause by far outweighs any potential benefits Iran might see for itself with an independent Shiite state or Israel might imagine because of the destruction of a once-powerful Arab state.
A Kurdish state in the north will be resisted by Turkey and to lesser degrees by Syria and Iran. A poor, resourceless Sunni state in the west will pose major problems to Jordan and Saudi Arabia, while Shiite independence will cause havoc for Saudi Arabia, the Gulf region in general, not to mention the rest of the world, concerned as it is with the uninterrupted flow of oil.
In short, everyone will lose.
Only in the context of a unified Iraq does greater independence for the various communities there make sense, but that can only happen if the various communities agree to form a common front. If a common front, in opposition to foreign occupation, can be formed, there may still be hope. But time is running out.
SO where is the uproar and protest on the Muslim street? Where are the mobs? So it's okay for Muslims to DESTROY a revered shrine, but it's not okay for westerners who don't follow Islam to print a political satire. Got it....Posted by armynurseboy at February 24, 2006 06:12 PM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(2) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)