February 23, 2005
Translated by Gilbert Achcar
<>A member of the Association of Muslim Scholars [believed to be
the most popular group among Arab Sunnis in Iraq] has denied that
the contacts held by the American delegation wiith armed
groups involved the Association.>
He declared to Al-Hayat that the practice of equating the "armed
resistance" with the Sunnis is "a big mistake, and the contacts do not
take place with Sunni groups but with high leaders of the dissolved
He added that the Association is not concerned by these contacts,
because it is "a Sunni religious authority opposed to the occupation
through peaceful means, and even though it considers the resistance to
be a legitimate right of every Iraqi, it rejects terrorism and the
killing of innocents."
He revealed that the contacts engaged with the Association in
order to integrate it in the new government centered only around
the procedure of writing the constitution, and were held with
Iraqi political forces and with Ashraf Qadi, the representative of the
UN General Secretary, and not with the Bush administration.
He added that "these meetings will remain useless if the
Americans keep betraying their promises, like carrying on the military
operations and arrests."
"The US administration, which is the occupying force, should
have controlled the borders with the neighbouring countries
that allow the infiltration of terrorist groups, and made a
distinction [in their contacts] between the legitimate resistance
and terrorism, unless they are the first beneficiaries of the
instability of security conditions to guarantee that they will stay as
long as possible."