Shiite Issues in the News
Thousands of Shiites gathered in Najaf to mourn the 1999 assassination of Ayatollah Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr and other Shiite figures martyred by Saddam. The ayatollah’s followers tend to be puritanical and anti-American, but this gathering appears to have been peaceful and relatively devoid of politics. The ayatollah’s son, Muqtada al-Sadr, 30, preached on the event on Saturday but did not attend on Sunday because of security concerns. (Sadiq al-Sadr was actually killed in February, but the commemoration appears to be according to the Muslim lunar calendar, which slips back 11 days each year on the solar calendar).
Borzou Daragahi explores the possibility that the capture of Saddam Hussein laid the groundwork for better diplomatic relations betwen Iran and Iraq. (TIA: I’m quoted).
The op-ed by my wife Shahin Cole and myself that appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday Dec. 28, entitled “Shiites are Emerging from Fear,” is available with registration at http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/sunday/?track=mainnav-sundayopinion