Bahrain Diplomat Wounded In Baghdad

Bahrain Diplomat Wounded in Baghdad
Bombing Near Iran Embassy

The Bahraini charge d’affaires in Baghdad was shot in the hand while he was on his way to work Tuesday morning. He was taken to Yarmouk Hospital. This was likely an assassination attempt by guerrillas. Guerrillas also set off a bomb that targeted a US convoy but missed, near the Iranian embassy. They kidnapped the chief Egyptian diplomat in Iraq this past weekend, but have yet to present any demands.

Reuters rounds up guerrilla actions on Monday. These come as the US military and Iraqi troops launched a sweep of houses near Baghdad airport, a notoriously insecure area where many guerrillas are presumed to be based.

Mosul: Guerrillas assassinated Jarjees Mohammad Amin, a Kurdish official of the Kurdistan Democratic Party.

Falluja: Guerrillas in a car bomb tried to hit an Iraqi army convoy, but missed, killing 2 civilians and wounding 7.

Baghdad: Guerrillas used a remote control to detonate a car bomb near a US patrol in the south of Baghdad, killing 2 civilians and wounding another.

Juruf al-Sakhir: Guerrillas wearing police uniforms abducted three persons in this town lying about one hour’s drive south of the capital.

Stirling Newberry knowledgeably discusses the similarities between the problems faced by the Soviet Union in Afghanistan and those facing the United States in Iraq.

Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari will visit Iran. One item of discussion is a proposed oil pipeline from Basra to Iran. Iran would refine Iraqi petroleum.

Al-Hayat: Adnan Dulaimi, head of the Sunni Endowments Board, called on Sunni Arabs to come out to vote in the next Iraqi elections and to participate in the referendum on the Iraqi constitution. He said it was the only way to combat an “ethnic movement” or “shu`ubiyyah” that threatened the Arab and Islamic character of Iraq. The word he used, ‘shu`ubiyyah’, refers to medieval controversies about the resurgence of a Persianizing tendency among some scholars and communities after the Arab Muslim conquest of Iraq and Iran in the seventh century. In this context, it implies that the Iraqi Shiites are actually Persians (not true) and in the US I think it would be termed a form of racism. It is a rhetoric that was used in Baath times.

The Daily Telegraph reports, via US military officers, several clashes in Western Iraq between Iraqi tribesmen and jihadi infiltrators around Qaim, especially at Husaibah. It should be noted that there were often severe tensions between Afghans and Arab volunteers in Afghanistan, and instances of Afghans quietly killing troublesome Arabs. But tribal societies are marked by ongoing internal feuds as well as an ability to suddenly patch up differences and unite against outsiders. It remains to be seen whether the Husaibah fighting is a long-term trend or a temporary and localized situation.

“The Islamic Army in Iraq” and “Jaish al-Mujahidin,” two guerrilla organizations thought to be staffed largely by ex-Baathists, have appointed Ibrahim Yusuf al-Shamari to be their political spokseman, according to a communique released on the internet. Shamari said on al-Jazeerah that his groups would not accept any initiative that did not stem officially from the US Congress and which did not involve a strict timetable or was indecisive.

From Sistani.org: Sources in the United Iraqi Alliance, the ruling coalition in parliament, have revealed that Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani has rejected the establishment of a federation in southern Iraq on the model of Kurdistan. The sources said that Sistani informed a delegation representing the parliament, which visited his residence in Najaf recently, of the necessity to safeguard the unity of Iraq and to work earnestly to increase national unity so as to guarantee the interests of the Iraqi people. Earlier, a number of parliamentarians had called for the establishment of a confederation in the south, to be called “Sumer,” which would comprise the provinces of Basra, Amara and Nasiriyah, in accordance with a provision in the interim constitution.

Radical Muslim fundamentalists in places like Karachi and Kabul have long terrorized modern Muslim women by throwing acid at them for not covering up. This form of gender terrorism has now appeared in American Iraq. One of the outcomes of the US destruction of the secular Baath Party has been the rise to power of Muslim revivalists, especially in the provinces, many of them militant or thuggish.

Syrian security forces clashed Monday with Iraqi militants hiding out near Damascus, some of them said to have been bodyguards for Saddam Hussein, according to Hassan Fattah of the New York Times.

A Tunisian court sentenced Mohamed Bajouya to 20 years in jail and gave five other members of a terror ring between 5 and 10 years for helping round up militants to go fight US troops in Iraq.

Al-Zaman: King Abdullah II of Jordan addressed a conference of Muslim thinkers and notables in Amman on Monday, condemning extremism among some Muslims for giving foreigners a pretext to intervene in Muslim affairs. He also condemned “takfir,” the pronouncement by some Muslims that others are not really Muslims.

In the context, this statement referred to the tendency of Salafi and other revivalist Sunni groups to declare Shiites not really Muslims. But it also served to criticize the tradition of Sayyid Qutb, the Muslim Brotherhood thinker who declared the Egyptian government “pharaonic” and staffed by “non-Muslims” such as then President Gamal Abdel Nasser (who would certainly have considered himself a Muslim).

Al-Zaman says that at this conference a new fatwa or ruling by Grand Ayatollah Sistani would be unveiled concerning brotherhood among Muslims.