is Shiite Islam!
out Iraqi enemy fighters in Najaf, U.S. forces took great care not
to damage Shi'a Muslim shrines such as the Imam Ali Mosque, even
when Iraqi fighters took refuge in the mosque and fired on Americans
Then later on
Friday, April 11 an angry mob of Shi'ites hacked to death with swords
and knives two Mullahs right inside the Imam Ali Mosque! One was
Haidar al-Refaei, the hereditary custodian of the mosque who was
despised as a Saddam collaborator. The other was Sheik Abdel Majid
al-Khoei, who had recently Returned from exile in Britain.
Mullah, Muqtadah al-Sadr, is suspected of being behind the killings.
Sadr is only a junior cleric in his 20s. But he is the son of Grand
Ayatollah, Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr who was killed by Saddam's regime
in 1999 and is revered by many Shi'ites as a martyr. Sadr has ordered
Najaf's most senior Mullah, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, to leave
Najaf because he is not an Arab (he is from Mashhad, Iran). Sistani
had issued a fatwa that urged his followers not to interfere with
Sadr was vehemently
opposed to the American invasion of Iraq and has close ties with
the Islamic Republic of Iran. IR had created an Iraqi Hezbollah-like
organization, the Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution in Iraq
(SCIRI), headed by Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim. SCIRI has
several thousand fighters (the al-Badr Corps) in Iran trained and
armed by the Pasdaran. SCIRI fighters and agents have started infiltrating
Iraqi Shi'ite cities and SCIRI demands that the US leave Iraq immediately.
Hakim's brother, the military leader of the al-Badr Brigades, has
already re-entered Iraq and been seen with large Crowds of supporters
in Kut, Amarah and Najaf.
Sadr has sent
Mullahs to Baghdad to take control of the slum of 2 million Shi'ites
there. The slum has been renamed from Saddam City to Al Sadr City
after his father. Sadr opened an office in Al Sadr City on Friday
and installed several Mullahs to run Baghdad's hospitals, supplying
them with financing to act as social service centers. Mullahs loyal
to Sadr have also formed armed militias to patrol Shiite neigborhoods
and shoot with impunity any people they deem threats.
When U.S. forces
first occupied Baghdad large crowds of Shi'ites cheered, danced,
waved and threw flowers as marines advanced through Saddam City
and into the center of Saddam's seat of power. Shi'ites enthusiastically
smashed Saddam statues and children handed flowers to U.S. marines.