Shrine Bombing: A new plot to divide Muslims
by : Tehran Times
Thursday February 23, 2006 - 06:48
TEHRAN - The serious crime of the terrorists who bombed the holy shrines of the tenth and eleventh Shia Imams, Imam Hadi (AS) and Imam Hassan Askari (AS), on Wednesday in Iraq was an insult to the sanctities of all Muslims.
Undoubtedly, it is a new plot which first of all can be considered as the continuation of the disrespectful move of the European newspapers’ that published cartoons of the Prophet of Islam.
Secondly, the offensive act was meant to create division between Iraqi Shias and Sunnis and ignite a civil war, following the failure of the plans of the occupiers of the country.
This is a critical juncture for the vigilant Islamic world. Shias certainly know that such moves are not the work of their Sunni brothers but are directed by the hands of the enemies of Islam.
Meanwhile, the Sunni brothers should also be aware that the same terrorists who carried out the criminal act in Samarra yesterday will probably attack their holy sites in the future.
In a message on Wednesday, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution noted that any emotional act carried out due to ignorance about the real enemy of Islam, including any attack against sites that are respected by Sunnis, is “haram” (forbidden in Islam) and called on Muslims to foil the enemies’ plots through awareness.
Another issue that should also not be ignored is the fact that the occupier U.S. regime, which has turned Iraq’s security to insecurity with its 150,000 troops and military equipment, is the main element responsible for these criminal acts.
Supreme Leader expresses condolences over bombings of Iraqi Shia shrines
In his message, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei expressed his condolences to Shias and all brave and aware Muslims throughout the world over the bombings earlier in the day of the holy shrines of the tenth and eleventh Shia Imams, Imam Hadi (AS) and Imam Hassan Askari (AS), in Samarra, Iraq.
The Supreme Leader pronounced a week of mourning in Iran over the catastrophic incident. Following are excerpts of his message:
“Evil and criminal hands created a great catastrophe today, committing yet another sin by attacking Islamic religious beliefs.
“The holy shrines of Imam Hadi (AS) and Imam Hassan Askari (AS) were insulted and destroyed, delivering a heavy blow to the Shias and all other Muslims who respect the household of the Prophet Muhammad (S). This criminal act, which was probably carried out by bigoted and ignorant mercenaries, had undoubtedly been planned by conspirators with wicked and diabolical intentions.
“This is a political crime and its roots have to be traced in the intelligence organizations of the Iraqi occupiers and the Zionists. The aggressive powers that perceive the political and social conditions in Iraq as contrary to their objectives devise ominous plans in their heads, some of which to intensify insecurity and create sectarian strife.
“The holy shrines in Samarra will once again rise with even greater magnificence than before through the efforts of those who respect the holy Imams, but this criminal act has left a dark stain on the foreheads of the enemies of Islam and Muslims which will not be wiped off for a long time.
“I hereby call on mourners in Iran, Iraq, and other parts of the world to seriously avoid any measure that would lead to animosity and aggression among Muslim brothers. “Undoubtedly hidden hands are at work to provoke Shias to attack mosques and sites respected by the Sunnis. Any kind of measure to this end is equivalent to supporting the objectives of the enemies of Islam and is haram.”
Ayatollah Sistani appeals for calm
Tens of thousands of people have staged protests across Iraq after the bomb attack heavily damaged one of the holiest sites in Shia Islam, BBC reported.
Dozens of Sunni mosques are reported to have been targeted and six Sunnis killed after the blasts.
Iraq’s top Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, has appealed for calm and called for a week of mourning.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said the country must work to avoid a civil war.
In a television broadcast, Mr. Talabani, a Sunni Kurd, accused the attackers of trying to sabotage attempts to form a coalition government.
"We must... work together against... the danger of civil war," he said.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack on the shrine, although Iraqi television said several people had been arrested in connection with the bombing.
Following the attack, thousands of demonstrators gathered near the shrine, waving Iraqi flags and calling for justice.
"We demand an investigation so that the criminals who did this will be punished.
"If the government fails to do so, then we will take up arms and chase the people behind this attack," one of the protesters, 28-year-old Mahmoud al-Samarie, was quoted by the Associated Press news agency as saying.
Western and Muslim leaders alike urged Iraqis to stand back from the precipice of civil war.
"We urge all Iraqis to show restraint in the wake of this tragedy and to pursue justice in accordance with the laws and constitution of Iraq. Violence can only contribute to what the terrorists sought to achieve by this act," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw condemned the bombing as an attempt to spark sectarian violence and sabotage efforts to form a broad-based governing coalition two months after general elections.
"This criminal and sacrilegious act follows a series of recent attacks on innocent Iraqis," Straw said in London.
"It is a blatant and despicable attempt by terrorists to try to ignite civil strife and disrupt the process of forming a new Iraqi government," Straw said. "All of us have to appreciate the scale of the anguish caused by the destruction of the golden dome of this most important and historic Shiite site."
France also denounced the bombing of the shrine where Shias believe their beloved 12th Imam, a messianic figure, disappeared in the 9th century CE.
"France steadfastly condemns the attack this morning in Iraq on the mausoleum of the Imams in Samarra," foreign ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei told reporters.
In Jordan, King Abdullah II warned that the destruction of the mosque "is aimed at sowing and fanning sectarian strife among the Iraqi people".
"What happened is an attempt to disrupt the efforts being made to enhance national unity... rebuild the nation and achieve a prosperous future for Iraq," the king said in a message to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, who is himself a Sunni but rules over a country with a large Shia community, warned the bombing was "meant to divide Muslims between Sunni and Shia with the goal of breaking Iraq’s unity and unity among Muslims."
Leading Lebanese Shia cleric Seyyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah accused the United States of deliberately stoking communal tensions in Iraq in a bid to maintain its "occupation".
"The American occupation is trying to keep its grip on Iraq by benefiting from these crimes that she encourages directly or indirectly," Fadlallah said.
Iraqi Shia radical leader Moqtada Sadr, who had been in Beirut on a visit when news of the bombing broke, rushed back to Baghdad, cutting short a regional tour. Sadr has thousands of militiamen under his command in Shia areas of central and southern Iraq.
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