[Marxism] Iraq: Muslim scholars urge national reconciliation

ffeldman at verizon.net ffeldman at verizon.net
Fri Mar 18 11:08:05 MST 2005

AMS Calls for Iraqi National Reconciliation
Iraq is still suffering insecurity and chaos, a month and half after the controversial polls. (Reuters)

By Samir Haddad, IOL Correspondent

BAGHDAD, March 9, 2005 (IslamOnline.net) ? Iraq?s Association of Muslim Scholars has declared national reconciliation among all Iraqi powers is the only way out for the current Iraqi crisis, adding anti-occupation powers are gaining momentum day in day out.

?Parties that took part in the [January 30] elections are now convinced that the Iraqi crisis can?t be solved without reaching reconciliation that rules out no Iraqi sect or power,? AMS spokesman, Dr. Mothana Harith Al-Dari told a news conference Monday, March 7.

Following their failure to agree on forming the new government, these parties delegated representatives to hold talks with the anti-occupation powers in an effort to reach a common ground, Dari added.

?These powers are holding talks with the anti-occupation powers, chiefly the AMS, with the objective of cooperating and coordinating stances on reaching a common ground among all Iraqi powers.

?The parties that took part in the polls have no other option but reach out to anti-occupation powers, out of conviction that it is the only way to reach a satisfactory solution to the Iraqi crisis.?

Delegations from the Shiite Unified Iraqi Alliance (UIA) and the Kurdish Front were sent to the AMS, the highest Sunni authority in the war-torn country, for talks on taking part in the Iraqi political process.

?These powers were eager to get in touch with the AMS stance on taking part in the political process and writing the constitution.?

The January 30 election in Iraq left the Shiite United Iraqi Alliance (UIA) with 132 seats of the 275-member Transitional National Assembly.

The Kurdish ticket, grouping the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), came second with 71 seats and interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi?s list ranked third with a feeble 13.8% of votes, translated into 38 seats.

The majority of Sunnis did not cast ballot in the polls, citing lack of transparency and fair play under the US occupation.

The Association of Muslim Scholars, comprising a host of various Iraqi currents and national powers and figures, championed the call for election boycott.

The Islamic Party of Iraq, the main Sunni political party, had quit the election race also over aggravating insecurity.

On the Rise

AMS spokesman further stressed that the number of Iraqi anti-occupation powers has been on the rise.

?The AMS still observes a firm stance on refusing to take part in drafting the Iraqi constitution despite all attempts to change its stance, unless demands of the anti-occupation powers are met.?

On February 15, Iraqi groups that boycotted the controversial poll set a range of conditions to take part in the political process in the US-occupied country.

?A national reconciliation in Iraq and drafting a new constitution can?t be achieved unless a range of conditions are met, atop of which is setting an internationally-guaranteed timetable on the withdrawal of occupation forces from Iraq,? said a statement of the election-boycotting powers.

They further demanded to endorse the right of Iraqis to resist the US occupation forces in Iraq, cancel the ethnic share principle adopted for the political and legislative representation and respect of citizenship and equal rights for all Iraqis.

They further pressed for releasing all Iraqi detainees in the US-administrated jails, stopping crackdown operations and human rights violations as well as rebuilding the devastated Iraqi cities and compensating their inhabitants.

The statement was signed by a host of Iraqi groups, topped by the Association of Muslim Scholars, Sadr group, the Shiite Khaleseya current, the Nasserite Party, the Iraqi Communist Party, and the Kirkuk Arab group.

But the Iraqi Islamic Party did not attend the meeting.

Groundless Reports

Dari denied reports that the AMS welcomes picking up Jalal Talabani, the leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), to assume the post of Iraq?s president.

?These reports were groundless. Talks with the Kurdish Front centered on federalism (under which the Kurdish areas are granted self-rule) and the thorny issue of Kirkuk.?

Kirkuk and the surrounding province of the same name sits on huge oil reserves that will play a crucial role in Iraq's economic future.

Talks with the Kurdish officials also tackled the participation of the Kurdish Peshmerga troops with the US occupation forces in attacking the Iraqi cities of Fallujah and Najaf, the AMS spokesman stressed.

?During the meeting, the AMS has not given commitments to any Iraqi party. It is still committed to the conditions of the anti-occupation forces to take part in the political process.?

Revealing Stances

?The parties that took part in the polls have no other option but reach out to anti-occupation powers,? Al-Dari said.

During meetings with the parties, which participated in the elections, the AMS discussed their stances in supporting the US invasion of Iraq, Dari said.

?Among the officials with whom the AMS held talks was Ahmed Chalabi, the leader of the Iraqi National Congress.

"Chief among the points discussed with Chalabi was his assistance to the United States to invade Iraq and his stance on stamping out the Baath Party (the ruling party under Saddam Hussein), which mainly meant for uprooting all national Iraqi powers.

?AMS also rebuked Chalabi for his call to establish a self-rule Shiite area in southern Iraq, the call that poses major threats to Iraq's unity.?

In 2003, the US military flew Chalabi from exile into Iraq at the head of a militia dubbed the ?Free Iraqi Forces?.

But he lost favor in Washington after accusations from senior US officials of passing on classified US intelligence to Iran.

Stances of the AMS and other anti-occupation powers prompted some parties to launch campaigns against these powers with the aim of tarnishing their images, Dari stressed.

?AMS intends to sue Al-Bayena newspaper, the mouthpiece of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), after it published sarcastic articles mocking at AMS Secretary General Harith Al-Dari.?

AMS will also file a lawsuit against a newspaper, he did not name, which said that the AMS Secretary General was adopting an ideology of violence.

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