*It is wrong to attempt to force women to veil and to force men to wear long beards and “Islamic” dress in Iraqi public places and universities, according to Shaikh Muhammad Baqir al-Nasiri of al-Nasiriya in Iraq. He gave an interview to az-Zaman. He dismissed the Islamist fashion police as mere ignoramuses, of a sort that exist in all times and places. He said that Iraq is in desperate need of investment in water, electricity and services. He said these facilities are daily being sabotaged by Baath agents. He urged the Coalition nations to honor their promises and to turn over Iraq to a constitutional government as soon as possible. He also expressed his hope that the Arab nations would send aid swiftly so as to improve the situation. With regard to the situation in Nasiriya, he said that a muncipal council had been formed and that the university had been reopened. Al-Nasiri has been holding talks with leaders of political parties in the city, including the Communists, and Pachachi’s National Accord, as well as others.
About the Author
Juan Cole is the founder and chief editor of Informed Comment and Richard P. Mitchell Professor of History at the University of Michigan. He is author of, among many other books, Muhammad: Prophet of Peace amid the Clash of Empires. Follow him at @jricole.