Key Documents

Report From the Arab Press

Collated by A.

July 9, 2004

Eye-witness report on Baghdad battle

An eyewitness report on the Hayfa steet battle last wednesday in the center of the capital, posted on the Alkader website, said that the number of Iraqi resisters was only five and that they managed to control a large area between the al-Shuhada and Sinak bridges for four and a half hours. The witness, who lives in a court building overlooking that street, said he watched the battle and saw many American and Iraqi soldiers hit by resisters who were initially reacting to an attempt by a US-Iraqi armored patrol to raid houses in the area, searching for resistance fighters.

Religious leaders criticize new government and martial law

Iraqi Moslem religious leaders lashed out at Ayyad Allawi's government and at his new martial law. In a Friday sermon delivered on his behalf at the holy city of Najaf by Sheikh Jabir al-Khafagi, young religious leader Moqtada al-Sadr attacked Prime minister Ayad Allawi, branding him a surrogate of the west. He added, "I would like to inform all, especially those forced by the occupier as rulers of Iraqis, that any offense to an honest Iraqi resister, whether Sunni or Shiite, Moslem or non-Moslem, will be an offense to the Hawza (the highest religious authority for Shiite Moslems) and to all divine and international laws."

Al-Sadr criticized Allawi for thanking America and warned him that he would face the destiny of God enemies. He welcomed the joint statement by Syrian and Iranian leaders that called for withdrawal of occupation forces. "I agree with them, because the presence of these forces means instability, not only in Iraq, but also in the whole world. And I call on all other leaders to follow suit.

In a mosque in Baghdad, Al-Sadr aide, A. Darraji said the transfer of authority is superficial. "American military patrols are still going through Iraqi towns and neighborhoods--which means that occupation is still there and that sovereignty is no more than ink on paper," added Sheikh Darraji. He explained that occupation forces control the wealth of Iraq and have advisers in every Iraqi ministry. Referring to the new martial law, Darraji said this law will be used by occupation forces as a pretext to crack down on honest resistance fighters. He continued, "Security does not require martial law, but a timetable for occupation forces to pull out of Iraq."

Sheikh A. Samarraei, member of the Association of Moslem Scholars( Ulama), said what Iraqis are suffering now is the result of Zionist designs. "In Falluja, a whole poor family were exterminated by American bombing on the pretext that its house was a hideout of terrorists. The house was a few hundred meters away from an American check-point that could have easily verified their claim about the house. After such recurrent claims and attacks on innocent people, it was the responsibility of the government to tell Americans: 'stop fooling us, and do not expose us to Iraqis' ridicule. Either sovereignty or we all resign'."

Sheikh M.Sumeidaie, in another Friday sermon, said martial law is against democracy. How can it be called a National Safety law while it incorporates the death penalty and curfews and does not deal with violations and houses raids by occupation forces. He added, "We want a safety law, and a prime minister who goes outdoors and speaks on behalf of the people, suffers what the people are suffering, listens to the people, wait for the word of the people, and weep when a house of one citizen is attacked."

Complied by Stephen Soldz

Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis
1581 Beacon St.
Brookline, MA 02446

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