Monday, November 22, 2004

Faidh Mohamed Amin al-Faidhi was killed in Bagdad today. This was the Sunni Muslim cleric who, only three weeks ago, said,
"... his clerical group would use "mosques, the media and professional associations" to proclaim a civil disobedience campaign and a boycott of the January elections ... In the case of an incursion in Fallujah, there will be a call to boycott elections. In case of an incursion, more deterrent steps will be taken."
and, in regard to ex-patriot voting and boycotting elections, less than three weeks ago observed,
"This will further complicate matters because the Iraqi people will be suspicious of any process that doesn't happen before their own eyes ... If it's already hard to control the process inside (the country), then how will it be controlled abroad?''
and two weeks ago, explaining in his capacity as Secretary General of the Association of Muslim Scholars their fatwa with respect to the looming pacification of Fallujah, said,
“Those who kill Iraqis are not Iraqis,” cautioned Sheik Mohammed Bashar al Faidhi on behalf of the association. “You made a terrible mistake in Najaf. Be careful not to repeat this experience because the occupier will leave one day, but the people will stay.”
Yet Marim Fam of AP had this perspective in writing about his death,
Gunmen on Monday assassinated a member of an influential Sunni clerics' group that has called for a boycott of national elections, just a day after Iraqi officials announced the balloting would be held Jan. 30 in spite of rising violence in Iraq.

Sheik Faidh Mohamed Amin al-Faidhi, a member of the Association of Muslim Scholars, was shot by gunmen at his home in northern Mosul — a sign of the continuing violence that wracks the country.

The slaying could further alienate Iraq's Sunni Arab minority ahead of the election. The association is already calling for a boycott of the vote, and if many Sunni heed its call, the legitimacy of the election could be deeply undermined.
According to Miriam, the Sunni's were just worried about hanging chads, absentee ballots, motor voter registration methods and, maybe, indelible ink. And now this. For Miriam what's important is it's a sign of the continuing violence. In her article it was just about Faidhi's peaceable protest of elections. Since it has already called for an election boycott, if the Sunni heed AMS's call they might resort to calling Alawi names like "Saddam without a moustache"? Now that would be an escalation.

Oh wait, they already did. Well, thanks for the perspective, Miriam.

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