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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.

March 18, 2003

Unrest in Karbala?.

This news report is via Free Republic, so I am still not sure if it is absolutely correct:

DAMASCUS, March 16 (KUNA) -- The Iraqi opposition Al-Wefaq movement said on Sunday that bloody confrontations have taken place in the city of Karbala between the so-called Saddam's commandos and demonstrators leaving scores killed and wounded.

A statement issued by the movement distributed here today said that a mass crowd shifted their ceremonial rally on the occasion of Ashoura day into a demonstration to express feelings of rebellion and objection of the bloody regime of Saddam in Baghdad, a matter that had led to bloody clashes between the two sides.

It said that hundreds of people have been detained.

The statement pointed out that this accident was also repeated in Khan Al-Rab'a area between Al-Najaf and Karbala as Saddam's commandos and the Baath party members have attacked the demonstrators that flocked to streets to commemorate the anniversary of Ashoura.

The statement urged people inside Iraq for self-restraint during these critical and serious circumstances and to await the zero hour for an all-out uprising in which the military, tribesmen and Iraqi people would take part for the sake of sparing the Iraqi regime the chance of dominating this sole area, while exploiting the state of division among all parties.

I have mixed feelings on this. It's important that democracy be achieved from within Iraq rather than impoosed at gunpoint - but mixing politics with the Ashura day itself is distasteful.

I will see if I can confirm these reports with members of my community there... there are always Bohra pilgrims in Karbala, from all over the world. We stand out, with the women in their colorful two-piece ridah and the men dressed in white saya and kurta, with topis on their heads.

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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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