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Shi'a Pundit

Devoted to the viewpoint of Islam of Muhammad SAW and Amir ul-Mumineen, Ali ibn Abi Talib SA, in the Shi'a Fatimi Ismaili Dawoodi Bohra tradition.

April 30, 2003

Bridges TV.

This is interesting news. A new muslim-oriented cable TV channel is being planned for launch in 2004, to be called "Bridges TV". From a press release fwded to me by a friend at CNN:

NEW YORK, NY, May 1, 2003-New York-based Bridges Network, Inc., announced today that it will launch Bridges TV, the first ever nationwide English-language Muslim television channel in North America. The expected launch date is summer 2004, depending on how quickly the network can gather the 10,000 paying members necessary to demonstrate public support. Bridges TV, which will be broadcast from Manhattan, will emphasize news stories, and talk shows, wholesome sitcoms, advice shows, children's programming and movies about Muslim life in America. Programming will mostly be created, since an English-language genre targeting American Muslims does not exist.
Bridges TV differentiates itself from such foreign language programming as Zee TV (Hindi), Prime TV (Urdu) and ART TV (Arabic), which are broadcast in foreign languages and focus on life experiences in foreign countries. These channels are popular among immigrant parents, but not with their U.S. born children. "Our channel is in English and about life in America. We want a Muslim child who grows up in America to be able to watch our channel and identify with the characters, or to be engaged by the dialogue of issues pertinent to him or her," said Amanat.

Amanat added that stories that shed light on the significant contributions of American Muslims to modern science, art and entertainment remain untold and will be a focus of Bridges TV programming. The network seeks to feature sitcoms that represent American Muslim family life. The Cosby Show, which portrayed a positive representation of African-American family life, is a model for such sitcom programming.

As the press kit from the website (DOC file) mentions, there clearly is a significant market. This is an intriguing and ambitious effort. In my silence of the media series, I made a case that Muslims should turn inwards rather than activekly try to engage the mainstream. I think that this new television channel will play a positive role in promoting Muslim-American life within muslim communities.

Of course, it's likely to be Sunni-centric - the "Mosques" link mentions that they plan to broadcast the tarawih prayer during Ramadan, and I somehow doubt that the lengthier Shi'a azaan (which explicitly reaffirms that Ali AS is the successor of Mohammed SAW) will get much airtime. Still, even if Shi'a such as myself are not really addressed, we will definitely share in the benefits of the rising tide of community awareness within and outside the muslims community in America and Canada.

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April 29, 2003

Holocaust remembered.

The english version of Ha'aretz has some important thoughts about how the Holocaust is usually remembered throughout the year - not as an occassion like yesterday (YOM HASHOAH) for solemn remembrance and honoring the fallen, but as political bludgeon, swung wildly by pro- and anti- alike. The piece noted the abuse of Holocaust imagery by fanatic muslims and other groups with political agendas, even including groups such as PETA. But it also presses the case in both directions:

The appropriation of the memory of the Holocaust is by no means the exclusive province of Israel's detractors.

On the morning of Holocaust Remembrance Day, 15 demonstrators from the outlawed Kach movement, an extreme right-wing, anti-Arab group founded by slain Rabbi Meir Kahane, staged a protest outside Yad Vashem, the national Holocaust memorial museum.

The demonstrators railed against the possibility that Israel's government could hold negotiations in the future with Palestinian Authority prime minister-designate Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), condemning an internationally sponsored peace initiative as a "Road Map to the Holocaust."

Interestingly, in the same issue, an opinion piece argues that it is indeed acceptable for Jews to invoke the Holocaust:

"Can humanity - not to mention the Jewish people - restrict itself merely to studying the most horrific event in its history, without trying to extrapolate from it some kind of lesson? If this were indeed the case, and we wouldn't dare to 'use' the Holocaust to draw conclusions and try to make the world a better place, it would be tantamount to desecrating the victims' memory and the survivors' suffering."

However, I find the argument by Emily Hauser to be definitive on the subject:

We take the easy way out when we conflate criticism of Israel's government with anti-Semitism. If all criticism of Israel comes from a place of baseless hatred (or, in the case of Jews who express it themselves, typical self-loathing) then we needn't consider it, hold it to the light and examine its contents. The accusation of anti Semitism thus consistently serves to paralyze thought within the Jewish community, as McCarthyism once did within American society.

To invoke the Holocaust, and cries of anti-semitism or blood libel, is to carry a heavy responsibility. It is to equate victimhood with the victims of Hitler. Those who use these terms are appropriating the most powerful imagery in recent human history - and usually for petty end.

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April 21, 2003

freedom of religion.

Iraq is a Shi'a country in the same way that America is a Christian country - by simple majority, The Shi'a and the Kurds have been on the receiving end of most of the oppression of Saddam's regime, but their loyalty to Iraq has always been firm. In fact, Shi'a fought valiantly during the Iran-Iraq war - Orwell may have only focused on the negative side of this truth of human nature, but nationalism can also be a force for good - love of your homeland is enough to motivate you to fight alongside your domestic enemies, even in support of your domestic tyrant, in the face of an external threat. Nationalism is perpindicular to religion and teh intersection is a complex place - and Iraq as a whole finds itself at that intersection now.

If Iraq does indeed acheve democracy, and an Islamist government is elected, what then? Will there be a Turkish-style loophole in the constitution explicitly forbidding religious parties from taking control? If our new Iraq refuses to host American troops, will that earn Iraq the epithet "Perfidious" ?

There are instructive questions to be asked from the affair with Turkey, and what that means for the relationship of America with Iraq in the years to come. These are worth keeping in mind as Gen Garner arrives today in Iraq to assume provisional control.

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a matter of trust.

Liberation is not the same as liberty. After all, the Taliban liberated Kabul from the depradations of the Northern Alliance - which itself liberated Kabul from the Soviets. It is one thing to be free of Saddam, but another to determine your own destiny without interference.

There are lessons that it is clear the Bush Administration will not learn from history - one of the most important being, that self-interest is human nature. Why do Iraqis still distrust the Coalition? Why is it that there is so much anger at the Americans even as the statues of Saddam fell? Because we, the Americans, are seen as untrustworthy, because we will not admit publicly that the fall of Saddam was in our interest.

When President Bush goes on television and lectures the world about how the desire for freedom is a universal human trait, the oppressed peoples of the postcolonial Middle East can only laugh bitterly. Whose hand funded the sources of their oppression? Which flags flew over the piles of money and power and tanks that kept them from achieving that universal desire? The same flags that fly over Umm Qasr and Basra and that were (briefly) draped over Saddam's statue in the main square. Colonized peoples have a long memory, whereas Americans have virtually none.

The British, in one sense, were more upfront about it. In India, they did not pretend that the East India Company and the Indian Railways and the countless other massive infrastructure and economic investments were for the good of the Indian people. It was for teh ruling class. Any side benefit to the people (and there was much benefit) was simply a silver lining. The civil society of Britain did its utmost to ensure that planning for the needs of the subjects was taking into account, but there was never any pretension that the EMpire was for the good of India.

Iraq is not India. America is not Britain. But the face of empire is the same, to people in that part of the world where there have been nothing but empires, one after the other, unending. Iraq has seen them all. America may not be after Iraq's oil or gold or even after its vast consumer market potential or the contracts to Bechtel for rebuilding infrastrcture we destroyed. But America does indeed gain these things, as well as strategic prominence in the middle east to a degree never seen before. Bush will not admit to this, but doing so might be the first step to achieving a true measure of trust.

unless of course, Bush doesn't need the trust of the Iraqi people. In which case, the motives for this war will be clear after all.

Note: Joshua Marshall points to the proposed Iraq-Israel pipeline as another example. He notes:

This captures what's at the heart of my deepest misgivings about this whole endeavor we're now embarked upon: fatal overreach on the part of American policy-makers. It's an overreach with multiple causes, none of which will lead to anything good.
What sort of government in the Arab world, born of what is at best the iffy origin of an American invasion, would kick things off by establishing warm relations with Israel and opening a pipeline to sell Iraqi oil to the Israelis? The answer, I'd imagine, is one that won't last a second longer than American troops are on the ground.
It's already clear that our credibility and Arab perceptions of our motives are extremely poor. To make this democratization project work, we will really have to be, as the old-timers say, purer than Caesar's wife. If we treat Iraq simultaneously as a democratization project and as grab-bag to fill out our geopolitical wish list, then we're heading for disaster.

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April 10, 2003


Iraq is liberated. How can any thinking person not feel joy for Iraqis as they tore down the iron symbols of their oppression and slapped it with sandals to demonstrate their utter contempt?

thisi s history, and must be celebrated by all. Those of us who oppose war must not begrudge this victory.

Be happy for Iraq today. There is much to fear for the world tomorrow. This silver lining has a dark cloud indeed, but at least the lining is silver. Maybe even gold.

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reconnecting salam pax.

If this proposal works, there will be no doubt many people willing to fund a donation to pay for domain name! Come back soon, brother.

(good discussion of Iraq's internet at Slashdot)

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April 9, 2003

karbala watch: saddam donkey.

From the Washington post:

Army officers hope that the relative ease with which Najaf and Karbala fell bodes well for their efforts to gain support from Shiite majority throughout Iraq. A gathering of senior Army officers on Highway 9 in the city late this afternoon drew an upbeat crowd of more than 100, who alternated expressions of appreciation with petitions for help. Among the shouts from the crowd:

"Thank you very much, Mr. Boss."

"We love you United States."

"Saddam donkey."

"Night and day, no water."

"Hospital. No electricity, no food, no medicine."

"Very happy. I love you George Bush."

This is refreshing and expected. But what happens next?

And I still havent heard anything about the maniacs barricaded inside the tombs of Husain AS and Abbas AS in Karbala and in the tomb of Ali AS in Najaf.

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April 5, 2003

freedom of religion.

The British have restored the azaan, which had been forbidden by the Ba'ath Party regime. This article from the BBC details how else life is slowly re-adapting to it's traditional channels now that the heavy hand of the Ba'ath has been lifted:

The townspeople, whose mosque was destroyed years ago, prayed in the privacy of their own homes. But instead of their worship being a secret and dangerous thing, it was freely performed with new joy. The 1st Battalion Royal Irish secured a public address system for the Imam and men from their attached Royal, Electrical and Mechanical Engineers installed it on Thursday night in time for Friday prayers.
The return of the call to prayer is perhaps the most significant sign yet that the shanty communities inhabiting the wealthy oilfields of southern Iraq are recovering their equilibrium under occupation by the British Army. Another is the re-opening of the barber's shop where many officers from the 1st Battalion Royal Irish Regiment are paying 250 dinars (10p) for a trim, which is finished with a cut-throat razor.
The primary and secondary schools with 40 and 20 pupils apiece, have also opened their doors. They are flying the Iraqi flag as a symbol of national identity but all pro-Saddam slogans have been painted out by local townspeople and Baath propaganda stripped from the classrooms. ... A new football pitch, volleyball court and schoolyard are to be built for the children by the 1st Royal Irish.

Although none of the food shops has reopened - the traders are trapped in the southern city of Basra - nomadic tomato and onion sellers have returned to the marketplace and flatbreads are being baked.
"We can't play god and enforce our own societal values on people, we need to enable them."

There is a deep and ancient culture that articles like this and elsewhere in the British press have and will continue to explore. But what disturbs me is that this is ultimately counter to the American view, which equates democracy with culture. The most outspoken propenent of this is Steven Den Beste, who argues that Arab/Islamic culture is diseased and sees the barbie doll as a neccessary symbol of liberty. I see these reports and I wonder if the same people joyously celebrating the azaan will have to contend with their children refusing to attend friday prayer, because they woudl rather go the new dance club.

permalink | posted by Shi'a Pundit

velvet glove, iron fist.

Though I'm American by birth, I am ethnically Indian - my parents immigrated to Chicago from Bombay/Pune during the 1970's. I have therefiore always had a window into the psyche of the generation who grew up under the rule of the British Raj (my grandparents) and those who were born around the time of independence (my parents). From their stories, the picture that emerges of British rule is that of a sometimes cruel, sometimes benevolent, always condescending hand - the stereotypical velvet glove, fist of iron. Even the most partisan defenders of India's independence will admit without hesitation that the British did connect with their subjects in a way that perhaps we Americans simply cannot fathom - and that deeper current is why lawn clubs, tea time, and a thousand other facets of English society still remain and will forever remain entrcnched in the Indian middle and upper classes. My visits to Pune (a booming city that plays Forth Worth to Mumbai's Dallas) have always been punctuated by agonizing visits to the Pune Club, where my well-meaning relatives drag us to experience the horror of rattan chairs and manicured, unused lawns and sipping tea and Gold Spots while chatting about the weather. Thank god for Channel Z.

These second-hand experiences with the legacy of British colonialism (which was far more benevolent than French colonialism in Africa, it must be admitted) shape my reaction to reports from Basra about the British troops interacting with the Iraqi populace. A few days ago, a group of Brits had their bobbies handed to them on the soccer field:

The British soldiers suffered defeat on the dusty streets of Umm Khayyal, when they took on the local football team. A thousand spectators came from all ends of the town to watch the match, with the players wearing full strip, boots and squad numbers. The home side was rallied to a 9-3 victory by throngs of screaming men and children, who marked out the boundaries of the pitch.
"We turned up to play and there was no one around, just a few kids messing about," he said. "Then suddenly, out of nowhere, came this kitted-up football team together with a referee and two linesmen. The boys thought they must be the Iraqi international side or something. In truth, they thrashed us."
Amid a dusty old market square, 11 of 42 Commando's K Company's finest struggled to gain supremacy in stiflingly hot conditions. There were no jumpers for goalposts here - even the referee had a whistle and cards in his pocket, two linesmen proudly carried flags. Hundreds of children chanted, some sporting the red shirts of Manchester United or Arsenal, carrying playing card pictures of David Beckham and David Seaman.

This is quintesential British behavior - closer to Europe in its style than to America. A Washington Post story delves into more detail, explaining how the British experience with colonialism has shaped their attitudes:

"First, we have football matches, then we have tea parties, and then somehow our soldiers go out and meet the local ladies," said Philip Wilkinson, a retired British army colonel who teaches at the Center for Defense Studies at King's College. "It's amazing how quickly they do that. You can't go into a single military base back in Britain and not meet wives who have been brought back from the countries we've served in."

From the beginning of the war, British soldiers in Iraq have appeared more willing to run risks when it comes to civilians. The first British soldier to die from enemy fire, Sgt. Steven Roberts, 33, was shot last week after he stepped down from his armored vehicle in Zubair to tend to an agitated group of civilians.

Still, last Tuesday, Lt. Col. Mike Riddell-Webster of the Black Watch regiment traded his helmet for a tam-o'-shanter, ditched his sunglasses and took his men to patrol the streets of Zubair on foot. It was, reported the Daily Telegraph, "a quintessentially British moment."

"You can't win hearts and minds from the back of an armored vehicle," Goldsworthy said. "You've got to get down, take off your helmet and deal with people on their own level."

Contrast this with the American troops - and keep in mind that the reason for the difference is because America has experience with wars of liberation and conquest, but not of imperialism and colonialism (until now) :

British analysts contend U.S. forces have much to learn. Some British officers disparagingly refer to Americans as "Ninja Turtles" because they are covered in body armor, helmets and Ray-Bans. "There's a warrior-wimp syndrome in the U.S. Army," Wilkinson said. "The Americans treat civil affairs [relations with local civilians] as a specialization, and you have specialized civil affairs battalions to do the touchy-feely stuff. Your warriors stay as warriors and perceive themselves as warriors.

"We don't have those kind of resources. Every single soldier has to become an agent of the civil affairs program. . . . We teach our young officers and soldiers all of this touchy-feely stuff right from the beginning."
U.S. officials tend to treat the British viewpoint skeptically. "They like to think of themselves as Athens to our Rome," one official said. "The idea is that they bring quality and character to a rougher-hewn America. It's not quite a myth, more like an ideal."

But some American military leaders have acknowledged that in some areas the British have an edge. Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a BBC program last Sunday that British operations around Basra were "absolutely magnificent."

"I can assure you that U.S. forces have leaned heavily on our British counterparts, who have a lot of experience in this area," he said.

Britons who have served alongside American forces say U.S. troops tend to stay in fortified bases, surrounded by high walls of barbed wire, holding local populations at bay. "With the United States, force protection is all about body armor, helmets and moving at speed in closed armored vehicles," said Garth Whitty, a retired 25-year veteran officer who also works at the services institute. "With us, it's more about engaging with the local population to get them on-side and minimize hostility and casualties."

These are actually attitudes that are well-familiar to American police forces in major cities - but from a military standpoint, there is still much to learn. Given the route by which we arrived at war, the barrier to winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqi public will be much higher. The British experience will help, but it will only take a single application of the heavy hand to erase all the gains in trust that the British have painstakingly been building in Basra.

(the Washington Post article has also been posted to UNMEDIA list. The list archives are publicly available for browsing and searching)

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April 2, 2003

Karbala watch: contained.

My compassionate friends at Winds of Change have brought this report to my attention:

U.S. forces have encircled the Shi'ite Muslim holy city of Kerbala, securing all major exit routes in the face of only light Iraqi opposition, and are now advancing further north.

Commanders of the U.S. 3rd Infantry had expected a day-long battle to seize the perimeter of the city, just 70 miles southwest of Baghdad. But in the end the operation was completed within three hours.

Rather than tackle Iraqi fighters who might be positioned further inside Kerbala U.S. forces were instead continuing their drive on the Iraqi capital, military sources said.
Prior to the attack, U.S. officers had said a full Iraqi brigade of around 6,000 men, including tanks and artillery, were believed to have taken up position around Kerbala.

Many of those men might have retreated inside the city but the U.S. military said they did not want to engage in street-to-street fighting at this stage.

Instead, the plan was to secure a bridgehead to the east over the nearby Euphrates river which will be need to move infantry and armor up toward Baghdad. Different U.S. units are also pushing northwards on the eastern side of the river.

This is mixed news. It is good that there won't be street-fighting, which would be dangerous to the Shi'a in Karbala and potentially damage the shrines (especially the great tombs of Imam Husain AS and Moulana Abbas Alamdar AS). But at the same time it leaves the Iraqi military entrenched within the city (and probably the tombs as well). I fear for the saffety of Shi'a there, especially those in my community who might remain (though I have heard unconfirmed reports that all Bohras left Karbala some weeks ago before the fighting began).

UPDATE: a very upbeat report from an embed: Cheers at last for US invaders :

Hundreds of curious civilians, many of them smiling and waving, lined the narrow, dusty streets while soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division pressed to within 500 metres of the gilded dome of the tomb of Ali, a site venerated by Shiite Muslims as the grave of the prophet Muhammed's son-in-law.

As Major-General David Petraeus, commander of the 101st, drove in an armed convoy up a rocky escarpment into Najaf, he was urged on by clapping Iraqis who gestured impatiently for the Americans to press deeper into the city centre. Najaf, with a population of about 500,000 people, is 160 kilometres south of Baghdad.

An army loudspeaker truck broadcast messages in Arabic, urging residents not to interfere with the military operation and blaming fedayeen fighters loyal to Saddam Hussein for the intense fighting of the past week.

US flags flapped from the antennae on two special forces utilities as infantrymen shambled north block by block, cautiously securing intersections and peering through doorways.

Young men in kaftans stood smoking or chatting while boys rode in two-wheeled carts drawn by donkeys.

Four women in black peered over the wall of a second-storey terrace. A bearded man clutching his prayer beads peevishly scattered a group of youths who had pressed too close to an army Humvee armed with a .50-calibre machine-gun.
Najaf is considered important because it virtually straddles the army's supply line stretching from Kuwait to Baghdad's southern approaches. Military planners have been baffled by the indifferent reception given to the troops by Iraq's often-oppressed Shiite majority, and Tuesday's welcome, if hardly tumultuous, was considered heartening. After intense artillery, tank and air bombardment of suspected fedayeen strongholds on Sunday, the attack reached a climax on Tuesday morning when US Air Force planes dropped three 2000-pound bombs on three buildings - two just north of Ali's tomb and the other just south - believed to be resistance strongholds. "It looked like sunrise," a US liaison officer said.

No casualties from the 101st were reported on Tuesday. Iraqi civilian casualties in Najaf remained uncertain, although Colonel Ben Hodges, commander of the 1st Brigade, said: "It would be almost unfathomable that nobody was injured.

"We've hit them hard the last two days, wherever they're firing at us - from homes, from schools. But the one place I've absolutely told them they cannot fire is into the mosque [at the Ali tomb].

"I believe they were shocked that we would shoot that close and hit that hard. But look, the gold dome is still standing."

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Coalition enters Najaf.

A dear friend asked me what right I have to issue lanat upon Saddam and the fedayeen. My answer was not that Saddam is a tyrant, or that the fedayeen are fighting unfairly, or any other such irrelevant issue - these are material concerns of war and politics, and I don't care to judge. Were I defending my home or a holy place, what tactics wold I adopt? Barring a trial by fire, I have no way of knowing the strength of my character in such a scenario. God willing I never will.

But the reason for my lanat is simple. The desecration and disrespect of Ali AS for pure political gain :

Iraqis fired on U.S.-led troops from inside the Ali Mosque in Najaf, an important Shi'ite Muslim shrine, on Wednesday but the Americans did not return fire, an official at U.S. war headquarters said.

In the history of Islam, Ali AS has been a beacon of truth, and there have been many who have sought to either muffle its brilliance or turn it towards their own ends. And invoke Islam to justify their naked greed. I can think of three in particular. Lanat upon them as well.

But Ali AS cannot be vanquished. It has always been clear who respects Najaf and Karbala, and who does not[1]. I do trust our forces to take the city, and preserve the shrine.

And Najaf will be secure, inshallah:

US Commander Says US Troops Enter Najaf

U.S. Troops Attack Fedayeen in Najaf

Frontline Report: US Forces Enter Key Iraqi City of Najaf

Army seizes part of Najaf

US claim victory in battle of Najaf

and, most importantly, Najaf folk welcome US troops :

HUNDREDS of civilians welcomed US troops who reached the Shi'ite Muslim holy city of Najaf in central Iraq with "cheers and waves", a military commander involved in the operation said.

The commander of the 101st Airborne Division's Aviation Brigade, Colonel Greg Gass, said Najaf was becoming "more and more secure" to US forces after more than three days of combat for control of the strategically important city.
"The big thing was the reaction from the civilian populace," Gass said. "We had civilians welcoming the soldiers yesterday, clapping and waving and cheering them."

I am still waiting for confirmation that not only have troops entered Najaf, but they have secured teh Tomb of Ali complex without damage from the vermin, who foolishly believe that they will gain sanctuary.

AP file photo - Iraqi Muslims make their way to the holy mosque of Imam Ali in Najaf in 2001. I have photos of the Tomb of Ali from my own family's visit back when I was in 7th grade, and more recently my in-laws traveled to Karbala and Najaf last year. The photo does not do the tomb justice.
[1] This article erroneously states, "For many Shia Muslims, these visits are more important than the pilgrimage to Mecca." This is blatantly false. No Shi'a believes the shrines of Najaf and Karbala to be more holy than Mecca. But neither can the love for these sites (and the grief) be overstated. If this be a contradiction, let it be so.

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April 1, 2003

too close.

There aren't words to describe the mix of emotions that I am experiencing with these new reports of fighting in Najaf.

Continuous ground fire and airstrikes battered suspected military targets barely a half-mile from one of the holiest sites for Shiite Muslims, the tomb of Ali, son-in-law of the prophet Muhammad. Within the city, according to Army intelligence estimates, there are 1,400 to 2,100 Iraqi fighters, made up of Saddam's Fedayeen and Al Quds militias.

Army Special Forces teams operating around Najaf said today that Fedayeen militiamen are converting the Tomb of Ali into a central stronghold, firing rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and automatic weapons from the narrow alleys and neighborhoods around the shrine, which is also adjacent to a market. "It's a rabbit warren," one commander said.

Lanat upon Saddam and his fedayeen. I do recognise, gratefully, that the Coalition forces are doing their utmost to prevent desecration and damage. Still, my heart catches in my throat to read:

Today, five GBU-12 bombs dropped shortly after 3 p.m. (7 a.m. EST) by U.S. Navy F/A-18s ripped through a tree line below the steep slope on which the besieged city sits, obscuring the tomb's gilded mosque dome with billowing black smoke.

I am choking with concern. Can anyone who is not Shi'a truly understand what value these places hold? Is there an analogy that I can invoke to express what I feel? I don't know, words fail me.

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Nahj-ul Balagha

About Shi'a Pundit

Shi'a Pundit was launched in 2002 during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. The blog focuses on issues pertaining to Shi'a Islam in the west and in the Islamic world. The author is a member of the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community. Bohras adhere to the Shi'a Fatimi tradition of Islam, headed by the 52nd Dai al-Mutlaq, Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (TUS).

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