Al Sadr And Muslim Scholars Call For Imediate US Withdrawal

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The Gate Gourmet locked-out workers made lots of food and were in high spirits on the picket line
The Gate Gourmet locked-out workers made lots of food and were in high spirits on the picket line

ABD-AL HADI al-Darraji, a leader of the militant Al-Sadr trend in Iraq has revealed that Representatives of Al-Sadr trend and the Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS) held a meeting at Abu-Hanifah al-Nu’man Mosque in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, on Saturday.

They held the meeting to discuss the developments in the crisis caused by the attack on the shrine of Imam al-Hadi and Imam al-Askari in Samarra.

Shaykh Abd-al-Hadi al-Darraji, said that after the meeting the conferees issued a statement in which they condemned attacks on the shrines of the two imams and the ensuing attacks against several mosques in Iraqi cities, which they described as terrorist acts.

He said that the conferees blamed the US occupation for what is happening now and demanded it to withdraw immediately or to schedule its withdrawal from Iraq.

Al-Darraji said: ‘In the name of God, the most merciful, the most compassionate.

‘Praise be to God, upon the instructions of Al-Sayyid Moqtada, the leaders of the Al-Sadr trend today met with all Iraqi forces.

‘Today, we met with the brothers in the AMS at Abu-Hanifah al-Nu’man Mosque.

‘I wished that brother Ahmad Abd-al-Ghafur al-Samarra’i, head of the Sunni Waqf Office, could have attended the meeting.

‘Hopefully we will meet with him tomorrow. The important thing is that we came up with positive results at the meeting.

‘Please allow me to tell you about these results, so that the Iraqi people will realise the credibility of the religious forces, which are still eager to maintain the unity of all Muslims.

‘We issued the following joint statement:

– First, we condemned the criminal action which targeted the shrine of pious Imams Ali al-Hadi and Hasan al-Askari, peace be upon them, in Samarra.

– Second, we condemn all acts of sabotage which targeted the houses of God. “Who is more unjust than he who forbids that in places for the worship of Allah, Allah’s name should be celebrated? Whose zeal is in fact to ruin them?” (part of Koranic verse)

‘These acts destroyed libraries, including copies of the Koran and books. We also condemn the killing and terrorising of Muslims.

‘ – Third, we announce our condemnation of all terrorist acts and the holding of other Muslims in general and the people of Iraq in particular to be infidels.

‘ – Fourth, we condemn those who sought through the mass media to trigger sectarian sedition and exhort actions that would lead to civil war.

‘We will have the right to sue those who carry out such actions.

‘ – Fifth, we assert the sanctity of Iraqi blood and the houses of God, including mosques, husayniyat (Shi’ite mosques) and shrines of holy imams.

‘All mosques should be returned to their owners. It is impermissible to manage these mosques without the permission of their owners.

‘We demand that the government shoulder responsibility in this regard.

‘ – Sixth, we call for compensating all those who were harmed by the sedition.

‘ – Seventh, a fact-finding commission will be formed by the Martyr Al-Sayyid al-Sadr Office and the AMS to reveal and uproot the causes of sedition and to unveil the culprits and refer them to justice.

‘ – Eight, we announce our disavowal of the sabotage actions which targeted the holy places and blood of Muslims.

‘ – Ninth, we blame the occupation and its sectarianism and abominable terrorism and demand its withdrawal or scheduling of its withdrawal.

‘ – Tenth, we urge the Iraqi people to be united against those who lie in wait for beloved Iraq and its unity and Arab identity.

‘We assert the unity of Muslims and the fact that they constitute one nation, regardless of their affiliations, ethnicities or languages.

‘This was signed by the conferees today.’

Al-Darraji continued: ‘The first point we raised was the protection of the mosques of Muslims and holy shrines.

‘The Al-Sadr trend is ready to cooperate with the Sunni brothers to discuss these issues.

‘We also asked the government to protect these shrines. We are ready to reach any agreement with the Sunni Waqf Office or the brothers in the AMS and all Muslims in Iraq to help each other in defending the mosques.

‘If this document is implemented, in agreement with all national and religious forces, it will have a great role.

‘Tomorrow I will meet, along with other brothers in the Al-Sadr trend, with Shaykh Ahmad Abd-al-Ghafur al-Samarra’i.

‘We will discuss these issues. I believe that the crisis will be resolved and that things will not be complicated as the politicians think.’

Iyad al-Samarra’i, secretary-general of the Iraqi Islamic Party, said that the points, which deal with the security situation, are within the framework of the joint vision of the party and the Al-Sadr movement to resolve the current crisis.

Al-Samarra’i urged the government to expeditiously take the necessary steps to implement these points.

He added that the Iraqi people should abide by what was issued by their religious authorities who prohibited blood-shedding, and urged them not to be dragged into discord.