Takfir wa Tawhid

"KARBALA, Iraq – Suicide bombers targeted Shiite pilgrims in the south and police recruits in central Iraq Thursday, killing almost 100 people in a stepped-up line of attacks. Thursday’s bombings came a day after insurgents killed 53 people, including 32 killed by a suicide attacker at a Shiite funeral east of Baqouba.  The blast near the Imam Hussein shrine in central Karbala, 50 miles south of Baghdad, killed at least 49 people and injured 52, said Karbala police Col. Razaq al-Taie.  The site was a scene of chaos with men ferrying the wounded in push carts and pools of blood on the ground. The bomber appeared to have set off the explosion only about 30 yards from the shrine in a busy shopping area.  In Ramadi, police and hospital officials said at least 50 people were killed and 40 injured in a suicide attack on a line of police recruits."  Samir N. Yacoub

100 today so far.  This begins to sound like an answer to the question I posed yesterday as to whether or not the insurgents ans their supporters were going to accept a negotiated but subordinate role in the government being created by the Shia and Kurd winners of last month’s election.  I hear people saying things like, "Well, they will just have to GET OVER IT and learn to live with minority status.."  Sorry, but they have another option and that is to continue to wage a terrorist war against us and the Iraqi government in the belief/hope that eventually something will change in the situation and a-the country will break up and they achieve independence in the Sunni Arab heartland north and west of Baghdad or b- they can dominate the same area with lines of communication running out of the region into Sunni run countries.  In either case they will, by now, believe that eventually we will leave and that our departure will "level the playing field."   If the United States leaves a smallish (less than 100K) force in garrisons in country and increases the number and intensity of TACAIR strikes in support of government forces this will have only a moderate effect on the scenario described above because 1-Our garrisons will become more and more occupied with securing themselves and the embassy and 2- TACAIR in the hands of the Iraqi forces will be a double edged sword, protecting those forces and at the same time adding to the recruiting efforts of the insurgents.


"Karbala’s governor, Aqeel al-Khazraji, blamed "takfiris and Saddamists" for the Karbala attack. The takfiri ideology is followed by extremist Sunni Muslims bent on killing anyone considered to be an infidel, even fellow Muslims who disagree with their doctrine. Al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is a takfiri. His group has often targeted Shiites."  Samir N. Yacoub

I do not know Samir N. Yacoub, but from his name he might be a Christian Arab.  If he is a South Asian then he is probably Muslim.  I mention that because it is interesting the way he throws the word "takfir" around.  This word means something like "heathenizer" or "calling others heathen."   The governor of Karbala is undoubtedly a Shia.  I have a question for my learned friends – Do the "takfiris" call themselves that or is this term applied to them by their enemies?  I would have thought that they would call themselves something like "Muwahidun." (monotheists)

Pat Lang


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6 Responses to Takfir wa Tawhid

  1. searp says:

    Eventually, these attacks will precipitate a non-specific response from the Shia. What we have seen so far is likely to be small beer.
    Remind me again why we are there?

  2. Okay, I may be wrong. But my gut tells me that it is time for the Shi’ites to do some ethnic cleansing of their own. Move the Sunnis out of Iraq. They have dominated Iraq for too long, and the Shi’ites should not stand for any more of it. Let the Saudis deal with them, or the Syrians or Egyptians.
    As it is now, this is leading to Iranian intervention, requested by the Iraqis. It is within their rights as a sovereign nation, but the US will do all in our power to keep it from happening, and may incite a full scale war involving quite a few countries in the region.
    Can we accept a world in which Iran annexes most of Iraq and cedes Kurdistan to independence? What would be so wrong with this solution, especially if it provides peace and security to Israel?

  3. ali says:

    “Can we accept a world in which Iran annexes most of Iraq and cedes Kurdistan to independence?”
    Iraq fragmenting is looking likely. The question isn’t will it stick in our gorge but how would the rest of the Sunni Arabs react? If their brethren were being ejected from Iraq by an Iran that could soon menace them I suspect rather badly.
    The worst of three dire post invasion scenarios proposed by the CSIS (I think) two years ago was a Sunni V Shi’a war across the entire region. That could be a cataclysm of the same order as WWI.
    This is a region of vital economic interest to the entire world and if oil production is threatened we’ll all have to go back and secure the wells.
    For some of the people who chose this theater of war its always 1938. Some equally foolish people think this is 1972 all over again and a painful extraction is all that has to be endured. Another 1914 must be avoided at all costs.

  4. angela says:

    Wow Jerome!
    Didn’t we go in claiming to represent a higher civilization that was disgusted by what they did to the Kurds and Shiites?
    Now the blowhards increasingly make proposals like this. I read in the comments sections of blogs the needs to kill millions.
    This same people defend idiotic propaganda programs that persuade no one, yet blast out comments designed to convince the world that many of us are willing to engage in genocide against Islam.

  5. john says:

    The three state solution that jerome alludes to has appeared in the Arabic press on occasion. They maintain it (eliminating Iraq’s potential threat to Israel) was and is the driving force behind the neocons’ plans for Iraq since the late 1970s. McDermott’s speech in the House on 22 September 2005 cites one example of this line of thought.
    Who knows what ran through the minds of the neocons? At any event, civil war will be time consuming and costly for us. Ethnic cleansing is an ugly concept to introduce into the situation. However, all three groups will encourage the others to leave what each considers to be its area (a long-standing tradition in the Middle East). The Ottomans ruled the region relatively successfully through their recognition of the reality of three distinct communities as reflected in the Mosul (Kurds), Baghdad (Sunni), and Basra (Shii) administrative districts. The threat at that time for the Ottomans was Persia. Sound familiar?
    Amazing what happens when a tyrant leaves power–Tito for example. Iraq should have been predictable considering our recent Bosnia experience.

  6. Whoa, Angela, I’m not proposing killing even tens of people. The ethnic cleansing I’m talking about could just as easily be called gentrification, but I wasn’t talking about converting slums…

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