Mosul Bombing Leaves Legacy of Sectarian Bitterness
Al-Hayat: On the security front, 16 Iraqis were killed on Sunday, along with 3 US troops, in separate attacks to the north and south of Baghdad.
The Shiite cleric Ayatollah Ahmad al-Hasani al-Baghdadi, head of the Fatwa Office of Baghdad, accused US ambassador John Negroponte of being involved in the Mosul funeral bombing behind the scenes, with the intent of breaking up Iraq for the benefit of foreigners. He warned that unseen forces were setting up Iraqi Sunnis to be the fall guys.
The Association of Muslim Scholars and the Iraqi Islamic Party, both fundamentalist Sunni groups, condemned the bombing of a Shiite funeral last week as the work of a foreign hand. Credit for the bombing was claimed by a previously unknown group, “Army of the Companions of the Prophet”, a title that points to Sunni anti-Shiite feelings. (Radical Sunnis uphold the claims to succession to the Prophet of his “Companions”– Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman– over those of the Prophet’s lineage, which is honored by Shiites). The Army of the Companions said that it had targeted Rafida, a Sunni hard line term for Shiites, who reject (rafada) the first three caliphs.
BBC World Monitoring notes: ‘ Dar al-Salam on 10 March publishes on the front page a 130-word report on the reaction of the Iraqi Islamic Party to the confessions that are being broadcast by Al-Iraqiyah television channel, in which a number of terrorists claimed that they were members of the party. The report cites Muhsin Abd-al-Hamid, chairman of the Iraqi Islamic Party, strongly denying his party’s involvement in any acts of violence against the Iraqi Army, police, or people. Abd-al-Hamid urged the government to eliminate those who infiltrated the security agencies to settle “sectarian accounts.” ‘
The Association of Muslim Scholars condemned the US for raiding the home of its secretary-general, Hareth Suleiman al-Dhari, for a second time in a week on Sunday.
A reader points out that the interim Constitution requires a warrant for a house search, and wonders if the US military applied to an Iraqi judge for such a warrant in the case of al-Dhari.
A sense of being under siege is palpable in the Iraqi Islamic Party of Muhsin Abdul Hamid.
BBC Monitoring notes:
‘Dar al-Salam on 10 March publishes on page 2 a 100-word report stating that the US “occupation” forces and Iraqi police raided the Iraqi Islamic Party’s headquarters in Al-Iskandariyah District and arrested two party members. No dates were given. Dar al-Salam on 10 March publishes on page 2 a 150-word report stating that the US “occupation” forces killed Hamid Ali Husayn Rumayid, member of the Iraqi Islamic Party, in Al-Durah District in Baghdad. No dates were given. Dar al-Salam on 10 March publishes on page 2 a 70-word report stating that the US forces arrested Mahdi Salih Abd-al-Aziz, member of the Iraqi Islamic Party, and his four sons in Anah District. No dates were given. Dar al-Salam on 10 March publishes on page 2 a 100-word report stating that unidentified gunmen killed Salih Sulayman al-Janabi, member of the Iraqi Islamic Party. No dates were given. Dar al-Salam on 10 March publishes on page 2 a 240-word report on the escalation of sectarianism and hostility against the Sunni people in the Al-Mada’in District in southern Baghdad. ‘