In an apparent bid to divide Shiites and Sunnis on the eve of Sunday’s parliamentary election, guerrillas on Saturday morning set off a bomb only 900 feet from the shrine of Imam Ali (which has the sort of place in the hearts of Shiite Muslims that the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome has for Catholics).
Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, leader of the Sadr Movement within the National Iraqi Alliance, issued a fatwa or religious legal ruling on Friday insisting that believers must vote in Sunday’s election and terming going to vote “political resistance,” which produces success when a group is united, and ordering his adherents to unite. The WSJ says that the Sadrists are using very canny electoral techniques in a quest to ensure they win as many seats as possible in Sunday’s election.
If the Sadrists succeed in rallying the Shiite masses to vote as an act of defiance toward the US military presence and the complaisance of the al-Maliki government, it could change the political landcape.
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