03 December 2021
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Rafidain TV- June 12, 2014

Association of Muslim Scholars issued an urgent letter to the Iraqi revolutionaries. The text, translated from the original Arabic is stated below:

Because of the great victories that God has bestowed upon you, and for the enormous defeats that enemies of the Iraqi people have suffered, including the destruction of their bases, which is a reminder of autumn leaves falling off trees, it is necessary to bring the following issues to your attention:

We seek triumph over the enemies and for the enemies’ plots to be shattered. God willing, we will have more victories in the coming days, and therefore we emphasize on the following: 

1) God has willed victory for you, which is a blessing we should be grateful for.

2) Your gains have received extensive coverage both inside and outside of Iraq, and naturally the enemy will use all its might to advance its conspiracies. They seek to defame the revolutionaries. 

3) The most immediate task at hand is the victory of the revolution. You must earn the people’s trust. Revolutionaries must be at the people’s service, because they want to remove the chains of injustice. You must strive for this goal, and you must make every effort to have each liberated city stand as a symbol and an example for others to follow.

4) You must realize that liberating people from the yoke of their oppressors will not be easy. But the main challenges will emerge after freedom has been attained. The revolutionaries in Mosul have in particular begun to provide basic daily services for the people so far. But we must take into consideration that Mosul is a great city, and therefore, it needs a separate local administration, something that bears great significance for the revolutionaries. In this respect, a local council of revolutionaries must be formed , which would be comprised of people from all sectors of society.

5) The revolutionaries must open their hearts to the people and genuinely understand the challenges they face, while focusing their efforts to resolve them.

6) Efforts must be made to meet people's needs as much as possible. The fate of tens of thousands of families depends on it.

7) The revolutionaries in Mosul, Salahuddin, and other liberated areas must take this issue into consideration.

8) Treatment of minorities must be based on our religious teachings. One must demonstrate an extremely positive image of the revolutionaries to the world, and all kinds of shameful acts must be avoided. This is necessary to protect minorities and their beliefs.

9) Regarding other countries, especially neighboring countries, pay attention to a very important issue. The hostage-taking of Turkish consulate members and others has created a dilemma. This act has not at all been in the interest of revolutionaries and their movement. Therefore, no one can be permitted to act against the people’s will. 

10) Under the current circumstances, the most important issue is to preserve the unity of all, and the devil must not be given the opportunity to pursue his plots. By the same token, no one must be allowed to take a strategic decision in this regard. The real revolutionaries are thirty million Iraqis, period. The Iraqi people began their peaceful demonstrations since February 25, 2011 in nearly 16 cities. A few months after that, however, Maliki responded by opening fire on them. Consequently, demonstrations and protests spread to 6 provinces, and the Iraqi people staged sit-ins for over a year to press for their legitimate demands. However, Maliki's responded with an iron fist and more bullets. He attacked the people using tanks and heavy weaponry, killing and injuring hundreds of people in the process. The Iraqi people had no other option but to defend themselves accordingly. This is a revolution that belongs to the people, and any particular faction or group that thinks it is in the position of leadership is delusional. The children of this revolution have decided to have a mutual understanding with all those who stand with them in their struggle against oppressors. At the same time, the revolutionaries will not allow anyone, regardless of who they are, to highjack their revolution, just as they will not allow anyone to sow the seeds of division among the revolutionaries, as it happened in Syria; a conspiracy that is not in the interest of anyone but the enemies of Iraq and the Iraqi people.

11) The clear slogan of the revolutionaries is what the Prophet Mohamed (Peace be upon Him) taught after conquering Mecca: mercy and forgiveness. And this is the path on which our revolutionary children walk. Forgiveness is the way into people’s hearts. Tyrants, however, must be tried in a court of law at the proper time. They will be handed over to a just tribunal, which would bear absolutely no resemblance to the sectarian and political trials run by Maliki. These legitimate tribunals will not be forums for legitimizing murder. Maliki's judiciary bears contradicts both the actions of the Prophet Mohammed as well as humanity or rationality. 

12) The goal that now lies before the revolutionaries is reaching Baghdad and this is their right. The regime in Baghdad is an exporter of tyranny and crime against the people. This is the regime's sole conduct, which has put no other option in front of the revolutionaries but to try to end the tyranny. In this regard, we warn against certain calls about going towards Najaf and Karbala. Such calls are unacceptable and irresponsible, regardless of the identity of people who issue them. They will lead to nowhere but the defeat of the revolution and its diversion from its real goal of helping the innocent towards causing division among an otherwise united people. Everyone knows that the majority of the Iraqi people in the south reject Maliki and his gang, and that like the rest of the people in Iraq, they too are suffering from immeasurable poverty, extreme tyranny and the trampling of their honor and rights by the dominant parties and criminal militias. We advise all the revolutionaries to shun actions with sectarian origins. This is exactly what the well-known large and small governments who are carrying out their destructive agenda against Iraq and the entire region want. 

We are all children of one united country and we all endeavor to end tyranny against all Iraqis without eulogizing a particular religion or sect over others. We seek the victory of all religions and the triumph of good over evil. Yet we do not see any differences between particular individuals or religions because we all share this land and equally determine its future. 

These were our urgent considerations and we hope that you accept them from your brothers. These were considerations that come from previous experiences and will help you to achieve your goals. When it comes to our collective interests, we will continue to communicate with you until the great victory. 

May God protect and help you and bring disgrace to your enemies. 

Secretariat of Iraq’s Association of Muslim Scholars

Published in News
Monday, 16 June 2014 00:00

Iraq's Revolution

By Struan Stevenson 

The current uprising in Iraq has come as no surprise to those of us who have watched the deteriorating situation over the past 18 months. Residents of six Sunni provinces of Iraq staged sit-ins in December 2012 to protest against widespread repression and executions by the government of Nouri-al-Maliki. The Shiite Prime Minister completely reneged on all of his commitments and agreements after assuming the US-brokered Premiership in 2010, thus fuelling sectarian strife by purging and marginalizing Sunnis and Kurds. The peaceful protests in Sunni provinces and in parts of Baghdad were confronted by suppression and lethal attacks by the Iraqi military under direct orders from Maliki. If the early warnings were not enough for the West, they were enough for people and tribes in these provinces, especially al-Anbar, who have been forced to defend themselves.

Many of Iraq's wounds are self-inflicted, resulting from failed political leadership. The World Bank lists Iraq as having one of the worst qualities of governance in the world. 'Transparency International' lists Iraq as one of the world's most corrupt countries. It has a dreadful human rights record and now is in third place after only China and neighbouring Iran in the number of people it executes. In spite of vast oil revenues, per capita income is only $1,000 per year, making it one of the world's poorest countries.
Nouri al-Maliki has focused all of his efforts on remaining in power, steadily becoming more authoritarian and repressive and implementing sectarian policies that led directly to ethnic polarisation. By tightly controlling the military and security forces from his own office, he has ensured that the very forces that could have guaranteed stability and an end to conflict have contributed to the exact opposite.

He has used those forces, with direct assistance from the fascist Iranian regime, repeatedly to attack, kidnap and murder the innocent and defenceless minorities in some of Iraq's major provinces. The predictable result has been a violent reaction by these citizens, notably the Sunnis and the alienation and growing disillusion of the Kurds. Maliki's genocidal campaign against the Sunni population of al-Anbar province has raged on for many months, inevitably sucking in spillover elements from the Syrian civil war, including factions of Al Qaeda and ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq & Greater Syria), who have capitalized on the fear and loathing of Maliki by the Sunni population.

Neither is it surprising that the popular uprising of the Sunnis followed immediately after the Iraqi elections, which were held on 30th April. It is widely believed that the results of the election are a sham. Few people accept that Maliki's 'State of Law' Party could have won 92 seats - three more than last time - following years of violence, venal corruption, repression and economic failure. There is also considerable skepticism about the alleged 62% turnout at the elections. With vicious shelling and barrel bomb attacks on schools, hospitals and civilian targets in Fallujah and Ramadi and more than 4,000 deaths so far this year in Iraq, many political leaders think that such a large voter turnout was a fiction.

Political leaders in Iraq have also expressed their dismay at widespread vote rigging during the elections. Ayad Allawi, leader of al Iraqiya, claimed that two million ballot papers were missing, raising deep suspicions that major electoral fraud took place. News that all Iraqi police and army personnel were issued with two ballot papers each, one in their camps and the other sent to their homes, compounded fears that the election was rigged.

The tribes-people of al-Anbar, Nineveh and Salahuddin decided enough was enough! They rose up in anger and frustration against Maliki's military forces whose troops quickly threw down their weapons, tore off their uniforms and fled. In a panic, Maliki claimed that terrorists had taken over Iraq's second largest city Mosul, pleading with the US for military intervention. He even invited Iran to send additional aid to bolster their elite Revolutionary guards Corps (IRGC) and terrorist QUDS force who are already on the ground in Iraq.

For the mullahs in Tehran, the fall of Maliki and his replacement with a non-sectarian, fully democratic government in Baghdad would be anathema and the Iranian President Rouhani has already stated that he will intervene in Iraq to stop the terrorists.

There is no doubt that the disruption and mistakes made by the US and UK following the 2003 invasion have contributed to Iraq's current predicament and its years of failed governance. Constant interference and manipulation by Iran has exacerbated this situation and helped to divide the nation further. The US, UN and the EU must now face up to their responsibilities. Instead of helping Maliki, they should insist on his replacement by a non-sectarian Prime Minister who can lead a government of all the Iraqi people. Iraq's survival depends on the willingness of its leaders to turn away from a narrow focus on their own power, wealth, ethnicity and faction.

Published in Articles

(Reuters) - The violence in Iraq is part of a broader Sunni Arab revolt that could lead to a holy war in the country, and is not just a rampage by Islamist militants from an al Qaeda splinter group, fugitive vice president Tarek al-Hashemi told Reuters on Monday.
Militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant have routed Baghdad's army and seized the north of the country in the past week, threatening to dismember Iraq and unleash all-out sectarian war.
"What happened in my country ... is desperate people revolted. Simple as that. Arab Sunni communities over 11 years faced discrimination, injustice, corruption," Hashemi said, rejecting the suggestion that militants from ISIL, also known as ISIS, alone were responsible.
"We do have about 11 to 12 armed groups, and they are being reactivated now. And we do also have political parties involved, we have ex-army officers, we have tribes, we have independent people in fact," he said in an interview in Istanbul. Hashemi, a Sunni sentenced to death in 2012 after an Iraqi court convicted him of running death squads while vice president, something he denies, has long accused Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki of a witch-hunt against his Sunni opponents.
"We have many groups beside ISIS. I am not going to deny that ISIS are existing, that ISIS are not influential. No, they are influential, very strong, could be a vanguard even in the whole operation in Mosul and other provinces, but they are not representing the whole spectrum of the groups," Hashemi said.
He warned the situation could descend into a full-blown religious war and said Iraq's most senior Shi'ite Muslim cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, had fanned the flames when he called at Friday prayers for his followers to take up arms.
"If we leave things developing on the ground there will be a possibility for wide-scale sectarian warfare," said Hashemi, who divides his time between the Gulf Arab state of Qatar and Turkey.
"The fatwa of Grand Ayatollah Sistani just put more fuel on the fire. There will be a reaction from the Arab Sunni communities and at the end of the day we are expecting a holy war between Muslim people, Shi'a and Sunnis," he said.
"We have to stop that, we should try our best to stop the bloodshed. This is the responsibility of everybody and on top of them, the United Nations," he said, calling for Maliki to resign and for the international community to intervene.
Like Hashemi, critics of Maliki say he has gained undue control over the army, police and security services, using them freely against Sunni Muslim and other political foes, while allowing grave abuses in prisons and detention centres.
Maliki has said in the past that his fight is with al Qaeda, not with Sunni Muslims as a community. He lists an end to sectarianism and militias among his core principles.
Hashemi said Maliki's leadership and the international community's abandonment of Iraq had fuelled the extremists' rise. The last U.S. troops left Iraq in late 2011, nearly nine years after the invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein.
"We are not generating ISIS, we are not generating al Qaeda ... They just left things on the ground, and because of the injustice, they pushed our youngest sons to be more extreme," Hashemi said.
"We kept warning the international community but everybody kept his eyes blind to what’s going on in Iraq. And all of a sudden, 'why has this happened in Mosul, why this happened in Salahaddin?' You should blame yourself," he said.

Reporting by Nick Tattersall; Editing by Giles Elgood


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