Egyptian Salafist triumph after the Egyptian people gave Salifist

candidates about 25% of votes in the first round of legislative

elections. In nearby Iraq, the ruling Shiites are more than a little

concerned about the rise of this Sunni group in nearby Syria.



Al-Arab Al-Yawm, Jordan

Influential Iraqi Shiite Leaders Warn of Likely Iraq-Syria War


"The Council has evidence that in order to stem the rising Shiite tide in Iraq and Lebanon, Saudi Arabia is backing extremists. Some are Salafists who want to topple the Bashar al-Assad regime and take power by riding Syria's Salafi momentum."


Translated By Nick Dagher


December 2, 2011


Jordan - Al-Arab al-Yawm - Original Article (Arabic)

Officials of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, under the leadership of Ammar Al Hakim, have accused the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of backing the arrival of Salafists to power in Syria. They warned of war between Iraq and any such newcomers in the neighboring country. Supreme Council officials told Al Arab Al Yaum that the Council has evidence that in order to stem the rising Shiite tide in Iraq and Lebanon, Saudi Arabia is backing extremists. Some are Salafists who want to topple the Bashar al-Assad regime and take power by riding Syria's Salafi momentum.


[Editor's Note: According to Wikipedia, Salafism, a word sometimes used as a synonym for Wahhabism, is a branch of Sunni Islam. … Salafism has become associated with literalist and puritanical approaches to Islamic theology. In the West the term Salafi has become particularly associated with Muslims who espouse violent jihad against civilians as a legitimate expression of Islam.]


The official, who spoke on condition of annonymity, said that if Salafists took power anywhere in the region, it would lead to a confrontation that would be very difficult to control.




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For his part, Hameed Al Maala, a member of the National Assembly and a Supreme Islamic Council party member, denied that this is the opinion of the Council. He said that this is just the view of a number of party leaders. The official spokesman of the Supreme Council told Al Arab Al Yaum that the organization views the rapid changes taking place in Arab countries with some concern, since such changes may, "shake the region with dire consequences," as he put it. He added, for example, that as a result of the growth of armed extremist groups, the rapid change experienced in Iraq had brought horrific results, many of which continue to inflict pain and suffering on Iraqis.    



Al Maala underscored that although the Supreme Islamic Council is proud of being a part of Shiite Islam, it will judge the post-totalitarian Arab governments now taking shape in the Arab world based on their application of democracy and whether they establish federal government guarantees for the wellbeing of all, regardless of religious or sectarian affiliation. Al Maala said that the Council also expects these governments to improve public services and encourage the economic growth to which the sons of the Arab peoples aspire.


Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad speaks to Barbara Walters of ABC.

[Click here or click photo to watch on ABC news]


Al Maala also explained that the position of the Supreme Islamic Council is to support the Iraqi government, since the party is responsible for shaping Baghdad's position on regional change and plays a strong role in drawing up the nation's foreign policy. He said that all political blocs should stand in support of the government’s position. According to Al Maala, Iraq has enough problems of its own that it doesn't need to intervene in the problems of others. And as the nation is going through a sensitive period with the withdrawal of U.S. forces, Iraqis must make the difficult transition to managing their own affairs and to bringing the Iraqi ship into safe harbor. 



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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US Dec. 8, 11:59pm]


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