"Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid" - Ronald Reagan

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The Myths of Islam and Civil War in Iraq

Abbas Kadhim brings up some good points in Al-Ahram Weekly not only about the myth of potential war in Iraq but also about Islams and Muslims in general.

Regarding Iraq, he states,

Iraq and the Iraqis passed the latest test very successfully. Aside from the few whose emotions overruled their better judgement, impressive levels of restraint and awareness were manifest in the conduct of leaders and the masses alike. Important and sacred as it is, the Askari shrine is less sacred than innocent human life that is, unlike shrines and monuments, irreplaceable.

He compares what is happening in Iraq to Islam in general by stating,

What is happening in Iraq is a mirror image of the state of affairs in the Muslim world at large. Committees must be formed to end the sectarian strife and provide for true mutual recognition and acceptance. No legacy can be greater than being credited for setting the stage for such an accomplishment.

Muslims cannot be on good terms with the world if they are not at peace with one another. The rightful outrage of Muslims against cartoons defaming the Prophet Mohamed may seem hypocritical when combined with indifference vis-à-vis the desecration of Islamic symbols and the ongoing fratricide from one end of the Muslim world to the other. If they take their own blood and symbols lightly, they may claim no moral ground for objecting to others doing the same.

More Good News for Al Qaeda-Not

In more good news for Al Qaeda, large rallies in France occurred this weekend over the torture and eventual murder of Halimi, whose only crime was being Jewish. Given the riots in France last Christmas and the recent Muslim reaction over the cartoons of Mohammad, it is appearent even the French are waking up to what Islamist have in store for their country.

Not only in France, but in Afghanistan too, people are rising up against Islamists. Afghanistanis did not support them when it came to war because they saw firsthand what Al Qaeda offered which is the main reason the US was able to conquer that country in a few weeks while the Soviets could not for over ten years. They are not supporting Al Qaeda now either which is why they are holed up in caves along the Pakistani and Afghanistani border.

Iraqis are rising up against Al Qaeda especially in light of the recent bombing of the Askariya Mosque in Samarra. A feeble attempt to destroy oil production is Saudi Arabia was a disgrace for a movement that was able to fell the Twin Towers just a few short years ago.

Al Qaeda four fronts are crumbling. It definitely does not enjoy support on its second front, America nor has it been able to attack this country since 11 September 2001. Its third front, Europe, is now turning against it as noted above, not only in France, but also in Germany, Denmark, and other part of Europe. Its fourth front, Asia, has never been able to gain ground despite attempts in Indonesia. It is losing support on its homefront, the Middle East, especially as Europe is coming online with more troops in Afghanistan.

2006 is going to be a good year for democracy and freedom and a bad year for Al Qaeda and Islamists as more and more people and nations come online with the global war against terror. We are just now seeing popular protests against Al Qaeda, not only in western countries, which is to be expected, but also among their Muslim brothers.

Al Qaeda's Big Mistake

All Things Conservative has some interesting comments on news from Iraq. Instead of sparking a civil war, the bombing of the Askariya Mosque in Samarra is leading to unity among Iraqi Shi'ite and Sunni populations. Protestors, with both Shia and Sunni representation, are expressing outrage at the bombing and are blaming the foreign fighters of Al Qaeda.

From an Iraqi newspaper, the headline was, "Iraqis demonstrate calling for Shiite & Sunni unity" with the text being, “Many Iraqi cities witnessed large demonstrations after Friday prayers (yesterday). These demonstrations were calling for national unity, not being pulled into civil war after attacks on Sunni mosques as retaliation to the bombing of the samara Shiite shrine."

Since mid 2003, Iraq has been a country that has seen the evils of Al Qaeda firsthand. A little over six months ago, Iraqi insurgents begin to split with Al Qaeda in Iraq and recently have started to actively fight against the extreme foreign insurgents. The major cause of the split was Al Qaeda in Iraq's indiscriminate attacks on fellow Muslims. Another reason for the split is Sunnis are seeing how the rest of the country is advancing while they are living in squalor. In fact, their very actions are what is causing the country not to be more prosperous and are preventing them from sharing in the wealth of democracy. The Marines' success in Anbar last year also demonstrated that Al Qaeda in Iraq is not the potent force many Sunnis believed would bring them back to power. Iraqi insurgents helping Al Qaeda in Iraq have attempted to gain legitimacy over the last three years though attacks, but now see this as a failed proposition.

Hence, Iraqi Sunnis demonstrated in December 2005 they wanted to be part of the new democracy in Iraq much to the chagrin of Al Zarqawi, who believes democracy is evil. At this point, Zarqawi begin attacking his base, namely Iraqi Sunnis further alienating his one time base of support. Al Qaeda in Iraq has now attacked a revered mosque in an attempt to win over support.

Maybe it is just me, but I don't see how this attack could be the integrated plan of a cohesive group that believes it is on the verge of successfully overthrowing American forces or the "evil" democracy that is now part of Iraq. It sounds more like a last ditched effort to gain legitimacy through a spectacular event in the hope of inciting a civil war that would bring Shi'ite outrage against Sunnis in the hope of causing Iraqi Sunnis to come back under the fold of Al Qaeda in Iraq for protection.

But Iraqis, who know firsthand the evil and horrors of war, now seem fed up about being pawns in this game. Shi'ites for their part are not playing into the hands of Al Zarqawi. Instead of inciting a sectarian civil war, Al Zarqawi may have incited secular unity. Sure, the last couple of days have seen sectarian battles to "even the score" against what is undoubtedly Al Qaeda in Iraq sympathisers.

But if the headlines from Iraqi newspapers are correct, the mosque bombing may very well be the incalculable destructive act that brings all Iraqis together against the foreign insurgents. The coming days in Iraq will show whether this is close the the final nail in the coffin of Al Qaeda in Iraq or whether Iraqi Sunnis will succumb to fear and follow the evil foreign Islamists who have continued to suppress their freedoms.

With the horrors of war that Iraqis have seen in the last few years at the hands of Al Qaeda, I find it hard to believe that Iraqis can be forced through fear into further submission or collaboration with Al Qaeda in Iraq. This is why we are seeing headlines and protests showing Iraqi unity against Al Qaeda in Iraq instead of the hoped for sectarian civil war.

As the center of gravity for Al Qaeda's battle against the west (read democracy or freedom), if Al Qaeda in Iraq falls so will Al Qaeda in general and other extreme Islamic groups. While Iraq may very well be a training ground for future insurgents, the act of bombing a historic, revered mosque shows Al Qaeda in Iraq's desperation.

If not already lost, their evil cause has been unmasked for all Muslims to see. It would not be surprising to see Bin Laden (if still alive) or Al Zarhawi in a video soon condemning the action. But that too would be another nail in their coffin.