Sunnis Gunned Down at Mosque: Specter of Sectarian Warfare Raised
Al-Hayat: “Not even a week has passed since the Shiite and Sunni clerics issued a call for self-control and refraining from targeting mosques. But unknown assailants opened fire on Wednesday on worshippers issuing from a Sunni mosque, killing four of them. The ‘Board of (Sunni) Muslim Clerics’ [led by Shaikh Abd al-Salam al-Kubaisi] asked the highest Shiite clerics to condemn the incident, and considered it to be ‘in the context of instigating sectarian warfare.’”
Al-Kubaisi said, “Four persons, including a child, were killed by gunfire as they were leaving the mosque after they had performed the dawn prayers on Tuesday.” The gunfire issued from a passing car.
The mosque lies in the al-Washash quarter in the center of Baghdad, which has a Shiite majority. The Board of Muslim Clerics suggested that “a foreign power” was encouraging sectarian warfare, a reference to Iran. They added, “The Sunnis in Iraq know the dangers and will never be drawn into one.”
Sunnis mounted an enormous funeral procession Wednesday morning through the streets of Baghdad for the victims.
On Friday, Dec. 19, Sunni and Shiite mosque clerics had requested their congregations to show self-restraint, in the wake of attacks on Sunni and Shiite mosques that broke out in some quarters of Baghdad after the Dec. 13 capture of Saddam Hussein. [These mosque attacks in Baghdad last week were not reported by the Western press, with the possible exception of a clash at Azamiyah.] –