Sadr Mediates Sunni-Shiite Dispute
Al-Sharq al-Awsat/ DPA: Young Shiite nationalist leader Muqtada al-Sadr said Monday that the attempts of his aides to mediate between the Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars and the Shiite Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq’s Badr paramilitary had achieved advances.
Deutsche Press Agentur reported that Sadr told them in Najaf, “Our delegation detected a desire on the part of both parties to make an opening and to ensure the triumph of the language of dialogue, rather than that of bigotry and prejudice. I can say that the delegation took the process to the next level.” He added, “We called on all to put the welfare of Iraq and of the Muslims above every other consideration, and to strengthen the ties of mercy and love, since the present phase requires all to cease and desist for the sake of a united Iraq.”
Hareth al-Dhari of the Association of Muslim Scholars had accused the Badr Corps of kidnapping and killing Sunni clerics and worshippers. A delegation of Sadrists led by Shaikh Hadi al-Daraji met separately with the AMS and with Badr. A joint committee has allegedly been formed as a result to attempt to resolve the dispute.
The Badr Corps has threatened to take Hareth al-Dhari to court for libel.
Meanwhile, BBC world monitoring for May 22 translates:
“Al-Bayyinah carries on the front page a 70-word exclusive report citing reliable sources at the Al-Sadr trend affirming that the leaders of the trend have vowed to confront terrorism. The sources added that the trend has adopted a new policy in this regard after “diagnosing the real enemy of the Iraqi people.”
The prospect of faction fights between the Mahdi Army of Sadr and the jihadis around Zarqawi is not actually a pleasant one to contemplate. But it is probably where Iraq is headed if the guerrilla war continues.
Other tidbits from BBC World Monitoring for May 22:
“Al-Bayyinah carries on the front page a 220-word exclusive report citing sources close to the Iraqi government as saying that the positive impact of the Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Karazi’s recent visit to Iraq will be reflected not only on the bilateral relations between Iraq and Iran, but also on the security situation in the region. The sources added that Karazi will carry a request letter to Syria to stop terrorist infiltration into the country.” . . .
“Al-Furat publishes on page 2 a 100-word report citing eyewitnesses as saying that the Iraqi Army raided five mosques and arrested 150 worshippers during the Friday prayer sermons in Al-Shujayriyah district near the city of Al-Suwayrah on 20 May.” . . .
Al-Dustur publishes on the front page a 600-word editorial by Chief Editor Basim al-Shaykh commenting on the closure of the Iraqi newspaper Al-Yawm al-Akhar and the arrest of its chief editor by the authorities. The writer criticizes the “oppressive” measures taken against a “prominent journalist,” urging the Iraqi judiciary to consider the current critical stage and act accordingly and to abandon “personal interests.”
An Iraqi newspaper was just closed down? Why didn’t we hear about it in the English language press?