March 30, 2004

Majority Rule?


IRAQI ISLAMISM WATCH: From CNN last Friday: Iraqi cleric calls 9/11 'miracle from God'

Al-Sadr railed against the United States' occupation of Iraq.

"I seek the spread of freedom and democracy in the way that satisfies God," he said. "They have planned and paved the ways for a long time, but it is God who is the real planner -- and the proof of this is the fall of the American twin towers."

He then referred to the September 11 attacks as "a miracle from God."

"As we say, 'The rain starts with a drop,' " he said. [Emphasis added]

From yesterday's Washington Post: Shiites Organize to Block U.S. Plan.

Sheik Sahib Abdullah Warwar Qureishi is a wakil, or religious representative. He is one of about 200 in Baghdad who answer to Sistani, many of them providing the organizational power behind the campaign's momentum. [...]

Some of the youngest of the sheik's followers pleaded for more direct action. "The shortest distance between two points is a straight line," said Jawad Rumi, 33. "The shortest distance from Earth to Heaven is jihad." [...]

Jassim Jazairi, a 35-year-old cleric in a black turban, runs the branch of the Murtada Foundation on Baghdad's Palestine Street, one of two in the capital.[...]

"Even now, when we hold forums and we talk about [Sistani's] reservations, the people almost respond with violence," Jazairi said. "They're emotional, and they're ready to act."

Jazairi predicted that protests would come next, to force amendments to the constitution. He insisted they would stay nonviolent -- "peaceful resistance," as he put it. To him, they were another step in the politicization of the Shiite community, led by the clergy. [Emphasis added]

On the possibility that an Islamist government might be formed in Iraq, The Ayn Rand Institute's David Holcberg recently commented at Capitalism Magazine:

The United States should demand that the new Iraqi constitution include an explicit separation of state and Islam. The threat posed by a new regime in which Islamic fundamentalism has political power is unacceptable. It makes no sense to have gone to war to overthrow a secular tyranny only to replace it with a religious one that is potentially far more dangerous to America. But to make such a demand would require the current administration to identify Islamic fundamentalism as our ideological enemy and to recognize that the separation of state and religion is a crucial requirement of freedom not only in Iraq, but here in America as well.

On the former point, at least one administration official seems to have moved in the right direction. Daniel Pipes recently noted this exchange at the 9/11 commission: Who Is the Enemy in the War on Terror?.

JAMIE S. GORELICK, commission member: And would you agree that our principal adversary right now is Islamic extremists and jihadists?

COLIN L. POWELL, U.S. secretary of state: I would say that they are the source of most of the terrorist threats that we are facing.

Pipes recalls that just after 9/11, Powel insisted that the attacks "should not be seen as something done by Arabs or Islamics; it is something that was done by terrorists."

Posted by Forkum at March 30, 2004 06:54 AM