Report From the Arab Press

Collated by A.

June 12, 2004

Mosques preach resistance

Sheikh Hafidh al-Saedi, in a Friday sermon to thousands of worshipers at al-Hikma mosque in Sadr city a part of Baghdad with a Shiite majority, called on foreign countries not to send troops to Iraq because they would be confronted by Iraqis as part of the occupation forces. Iraqpatrol.com quoted him as saying that the newly-installed government should think of the future. "Occupation will end sooner or later, so how would this government face the people if it does not take the interests of Iraq into consideration now?" he asked adding, "How come Bush himself admitted that what is happening now in Iraq is resistance, whereas Allawi's government considered them "terrorists", and how come European and other nations were asking for granting Iraq a veto over American forces' moves while this government, refused?"

Sheikh Hafidh explained that the Allawi government is illegal because it was installed by the occupation. He added that what's even more striking is that some of its members boasted of being linked to 15 foreign intelligence services. "It's wrong to say that American occupation is better than the former regime. America is still killing our children, cutting electrical power for 12 hours a day while it was 4 hours a day before, and failing to improve rapidly deteriorating health conditions" he said.

Sheikh Dr.Ahmad al-Samarei, member of the Association of Moslem Scholars(Ulama), in a Friday sermon at Abu-Hanifa Mosque, dismissed the new government and its head as being created by America and stated will never be free from American control. He called on all former Iraqi military personnel to "take up arms in the battlefield to defend the homeland".


Press under occupation 'chaotic'
Premier party's paper sells 500 copies

The al-Quds al-Arabi daily of London reviewed the situation of the Iraqi press under occupation, pointing out that now there are more than 150 papers, most of which are lacking in professionalism and readership. It quoted Dr. Ja'far Sadiq, Asst.Dean of the College of Information as saying that the situation of the Iraqi press under occupation is very chaotic. "The vast majority of papers are characterized by total disregard for the journalistic profession and of ethical standards, so much so that Iraqi readers ignore most of them," he said. Abu Yas, owner of a distribution agency said: "Most papers are financed by political parties but find very few -- mostly party members -- to buy them." No more than 5 out of 150 of those papers are accepted by Iraqis, whereas the vast majority have a very low circulation. For instance, al-Nahdha, published by the Party led by Adnan Pachachi (former member of Interim Governing Council, and top contender to become President), sells no more than 750 copies," said Abu Yas, the distributor. He added, "while al-Basaer published by the Association of Moslem Scholars(Ulama) is widely distributed, some newspapers such as Baghdad, published by the Accord Party (led by Mr. Allawi, the new Prime Minister) sells no more than 500 copies."


Chalabi's militia 'implicated' in Falluja attack

Al-Quds alArabi said seven members of Ahmad Chalabi's militia were captured in Falluja by resistance fighters after they, as part of a 12-man group, attacked the Center of Iraqi Military force in the town, killing 12 people. It added that these culprits are now being interrogated. Chalabi's militia had taken part in the American large-scale offensive on the town of Falluja, last April.


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