Saturday, May 26, 2007

Moqtada Sadr's Back in Town!

We should be relieved, but without showing it!

Moqtada Sadr, resurfaced in Iraq for the first time in months at Friday prayers, and said his followers would co-operate with Sunnis against US occupation.

Iraq's vice-president, Tarek al-Hashemi, described Mr Sadr as the "number one... the most influential leader" and said he would welcome a new approach to Sunni-Shia relations.

Speaking in the city of Kufa, Sadr blamed foreign troops for Iraq's problems, and said Sunnis and Shias alike should oppose their continued presence in the country. In a characteristically fiery sermon in Kufa, Mr Sadr led the 6,000 worshippers in the mosque in chanting:
No, no for Satan. No, no for America. No, no for the occupation. No, no for Israel.

I say to our Sunni brothers in Iraq that we are brothers and the occupier divided us in order to weaken the Iraqi people.

In unity is strength, and in division weakness. We say to them, welcome at any time.

I am ready to cooperate with them at all levels. This is my hand I stretch out to them - in so doing, I seek only God's satisfaction.

We want a united and democratic Iraq that does not follow the occupation's agenda.

We signed with them a pledge charter which we hope will be the nucleus of future agreements with other brothers, whether Sunni, Kurdish or otherwise.
This thug, a demagogue in our eyes, is a demigod in the eyes of the Shiia. But he can't be less credible than our own demagogue-in-chief. He's a genuine Iraqi re-building block. Not the answer but part of the answer. Let's be sure we aren't the ones who kill this would-be golden goose!

10 Moderated Comments:

Blogger M.D. said...

Shorter Sadr:

"I'm a uniter, not a divider."

5/27/2007 07:17:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

2 perfect, M.D.

5/27/2007 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger Messenger said...

Gareth Porter is an historian and national security policy analyst. His latest book, "Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam", was published in June 2005. He says, Sadr's project for a Sunni-Shiite united front against both al Qaeda and U.S. occupation offers a potential basis for an eventual settlement of the sectarian civil war in Iraq as well as for U.S. withdrawal. Source

5/28/2007 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger Stella said...

War is repeated 36 times in Quran, peace is repeated 67 times. In the King James Bible, "war" is repeated 1,225 times and "peace" is repeated 356 times. KJB mentions "kill" 512 times, whereas the Quran uses the word only 29 times.

Sadr's words, ironically, parallel Abraham Lincon: "United we stand, divided we fall." His cooperation is at the heart of Islam. As I oft repeated, fanatacism breeds terrorism. As always, M.D. sums up my overwordiness eloquently and succinctly.

5/28/2007 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

You score some points here, Stella. But since I'm theologically challenged, could you oblige me by stating the comparable lengths of the Koran and the KJB?

5/29/2007 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger Stella said...

I guess it would depend on the physical size of the book. Sorry if that sounds flip, but it's a factor. If I focus on verses, maybe I can answer you better.

I found an online Qur'anversion in Arabic of 634 pages. Wiki: "The Qur'ān consists of 114 [or 116] suras, or chapters,... of different lengths, with a total of 6236 verses, or ayat (lit. "sign") (6348 counting all the basmalas...."

The KJV has 66 books, 1,189 chapters, and 774,776 words. [Caution: from the Christian Answers site.] There are three KJVs in use today, as well as many other editions. The problem with the KJV is that, in addition to the changes made during James I's reign, archaeologists found approximately 40 books [the Apocrypha] not included by Constantine or the Council of Nice. (The discovery of The Gospel of Judas fascinates me.)

Determining the length of either book is like cutting a Gordian knot: depends on which version. I seem to recall that scholars have indicated nine different people wrote the Old Testament. It's probably more. Both books' content evolved over ages with scribes recopying the text. So, we both know that there's no definitive answer as to authenticity of either text.

Probably more than you wanted to know... From an academic rather than religious perspective, how and why the texts were selected for inclusion is intriguing. I wish I had a more solid grounding in this area.

5/31/2007 08:50:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Peerless Stella! You never stop amazing me!

5/31/2007 11:29:00 PM  
Blogger Stella said...

Gawsh! Thanks. (~blush~) I'm intrigued by comparative religion faiths that borrowed their religious doctrine from other texts. The evolution of the Christian bible alone takes a lifetime of study.

Thanks much, vigilante. I'm a neophyte in this area. The Gospel of Judas is an interesting discovery.

The text begins by announcing that it is the "secret account of the revelation that Jesus spoke in conversation with Judas Iscariot during a week, three days before he celebrated Passover."

It goes on to describe Judas as Jesus' closest friend, someone who understands Christ's true message and is singled out for special status among Jesus' disciples.

In the key passage Jesus tells Judas, "'you will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me.'"

Kasser, the translation-project leader, offers an interpretation: "Jesus says it is necessary for someone to free him finally from his human body, and he prefers that this liberation be done by a friend rather than by an enemy.

"So he asks Judas, who is his friend, to sell him out, to betray him. It's treason to the general public, but between Jesus and Judas it's not treachery."

The newfound account challenges one of the most firmly rooted beliefs in Christian tradition.


Happy browsing around the National Geographic's Gospel of Judas site.

6/01/2007 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Renaissance Stella: I'm making a note never to get in a game of Scrabble or Trivial Pursuits with you. (Actually, I'm not sure there is a game I could safely play with you.)

6/01/2007 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Stella said...

I'm really poor at Scrabble, vigilante. And even worse with math.

=)

6/01/2007 07:47:00 PM  

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