Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Scenes from the Religion of Peace and Love in Iraq

In the soon-to-be Islamic Republic of Iraq, which at least 1800 US soldiers will have died to create, a stampede broke out at a religious procession of Shias. In the panic that followed, more than 600 people – mostly women, children and the elderly – were crushed. The death toll is expected to rise. The BBC account of this tragedy notes that the stampede was not the only violence to mar the procession:

Earlier, mortar rounds had been fired into the crowd, killing at least seven people.

About 36 others were injured when four mortar rounds landed close to the Kadhimiya mosque.

A Sunni group said it carried out the mortar attacks, according to a statement posted on a website frequently used by groups linked to al-Qaeda.

"The mujahedeen of the Jaysh al-Taifa al-Mansoura (Army of the Victorious Sect) fired mortars and Katyusha rockets at the bastion of the infidels and apostates ... to punish the genocides committed against Sunnis," it said.

There were also reports that some worshippers had been poisoned.

The mujahedeen’s statement is ironic, considering that the Sunnis have engaged in thirty years of brutal, murderous repression of the Shias, a reign marked by numerous massacres that have left Iraq pockmarked by mass graves filled with Shia skeletons.

Nevertheless, at such times it is necessary to remind oneself of President Bush’s incessantly repeated (after each new atrocity) declaration that Islam is a religion of peace and love. Repeat it to yourselves until you believe it (ignoring the news, and reality in general, will greatly help).


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