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Syria and al-Sadr’s revelations - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Iraqi “Shiite” leader Moqtada al-Sadr said in a letter addressed to “the beloved revolutionaries in Syria” that “you can be sure that I have complete faith in your cause”, but there is a “big difference” between what is happening in Syria and the “great revolutions in of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain and Yemen”!

This is not all, al-Sadr’s audacity even amounted to his call to the Syrians to keep al-Assad, because he “opposes the American and Israeli presence, and his positions are clear unlike those who have fallen before him, or who will fall soon”. Al-Sadr added in his “condemning” address to the Syrians that “some of your territory is still occupied”, and therefore the people must beware of Syria falling “into the abyss of terrorism and fragmentation, in the event of a power vacuum”. The Shiite leader told the Syrian revolutionaries that “we support your demonstrations to express your opinion, but there are legions of others who are in favor of the government remaining in power, and this calls for you as the people to engage in dialogue and refrain from clashes”!

If al-Sadr’s comments were not political and sectarian revelations par excellence, then what can we call them? This Shiite leader is said to have received the top scholarly rank from Iran, and he began to study al-fiqh [Shiite jurisprudence]. Yet he is supporting al-Assad the Baathist against his own people purely for sectarian motives, nothing else. Al-Sadr is the son of a Shiite family proud of their hostility to the Baath party, ever since the era of the Saddam Hussein regime. Today the al-Sadr family harnesses all its powers against half of the Iraqi population, i.e. the Sunnis, on the grounds that they are Baathists. Is there anything more extreme than this? This is discouraging and shameful of course, but the “silver lining”, or consolation for our region, and especially for its wise minds, is that the falsity of these sectarians has been unveiled, such as al-Sadr and Hassan Nasrallah, who in this respect do not differ at all from Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. They are all sectarian, merchants of blood and religion, far removed from knowledge and understanding, and covering themselves in Taqiyya [Shiite principle of concealing true intentions when under threat], whether they are Shiites or Sunnis.

Al-Sadr does not shy away from calling upon the Syrians to accept Bashar al-Assad, despite the fact that his regime, and before that the regime of his father, has killed thousands of Syrians, only God knows the true extent of the number. However, al-Sadr calls for dialogue between the Syrians and al-Assad, and reminds them that part of their territory is still occupied, when it would have been better if al-Sadr had asked the regime itself why this territory has remained occupied for decades without a single bullet being fired! We, as Arabs, have to wonder why al-Sadr and Hassan Nasrallah are defending al-Assad at the same time as he is being defended by the Israelis, most recently the political and security chief of staff in the Israeli Defense Ministry, Amos Gilad, and likewise the Russians, who are dealing in the failed wars of our region?

The Arabs, before anyone else, should ask themselves first, and then the Americans, a very serious question which is as follows: Is Iraq heading in the right direction? Is the hasty American withdrawal from there something logical, particularly as Iraq may clearly submit to a handful of sectarians who are merely puppets of Iran? We must ask ourselves this question, not to suppress the Shiites, but in order to avoid the evil of their terrorists and sectarians, and for our region to avoid another era of underdevelopment and war.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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