Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Palestinians Unpopular

Nothing new. Palestinians are unpopular where ever they live. The Lebanese didn't like them. The Jordanians didn't like them. And now it appears that some Iraqis don't like them.

Palestinians living in Iraq have been warned that they will be killed by Shia militias unless they leave the country immediately.

Iraqi police say the immigrants, who are mostly Sunni Muslims, are the target of a backlash by hardline Shias, including members of the Mehdi Army led by the Shia preacher Moqtada al-Sadr.

More than 600 Palestinians are believed to have died at the hands of Shia militias since the war began in 2003, including at least 300 from the Baladiat area of Baghdad. Many were tortured with electric drills before they died.

Now the Shia militias are stepping up their campaign to drive out Iraq's 20,000 remaining Palestinians – half the estimated 40,000 living in the country at the start of the war, all of whom were welcomed by Saddam Hussein and provided with housing, money and free education.

Hundreds of Iraqis were forced to leave their homes to make way for the migrants, many of whom joined the ruling Ba'ath party.

Sheik Mahmoud El Hassani, a spokesman for the Mehdi Army, said the Palestinians had brought their suffering on themselves. He said Shias believed they were in league with Sunni extremists and al-Qaeda.
It appears that this is a part of a general Sunni - Shia war brewing in the Middle East.
DUBAI: An influential cleric of Saudi Arabia’s hardline Sunni school of Islam has denounced Shia Muslims as “infidels” in a new religious edict that comes amid rising sectarian tension in the region. “The rejectionists (Shias) in their entirety are the worst of the Islamic nation’s sects. They bear all the characteristics of infidels,” Sheikh Abdel-Rahman al-Barrak said in the fatwa, or ruling, distributed on Islamist websites. “They are in truth polytheist infidels, though they hide this,” the fatwa said, citing theological differences 14 centuries after the death of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), such as reverence of shrines which followers of Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi school consider abhorrent. Concern is growing in Saudi Arabia over Shia-Sunni violence in Iraq which has taken the northern neighbour to the brink of civil war. Sunni-Shia tensions are also high in Lebanon, where Shias are leading efforts to bring down a Sunni-led cabinet. “The Sunni and Shias schools of Islam are opposites that can never agree, there can be no coming together,” the fatwa said. Barrak, an independent scholar, has come to be regarded by many as the highest authority for Wahhabi Muslims.
It seems like our little adventure in Iraq has opened the fault lines of the Middle East. Jeeze, if this keeps up we could have a religious war on our hands.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

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