(Sobhy Mujahid & Essam Talima / Islam Online) – 2004-04-12 08:41:02
CAIRO, April 9 (IslamOnline.net) – The US occupation forces should halt their “brutal genocide” against Iraqis and international community has to intervene for stopping this aggression that does not exempt even mosques or sanctities, 67 world Muslim scholars said in a statement.
“Muslim scholars condemn the brutal massacres perpetrated against children and women, and the aggression against mosques and sanctities … in which heavy weapons and missiles are being used,” the scholars said in a statement obtained by IslamOnline.net Thursday, April 8.
The signatories comprised prominent scholar Sheikh Yussef al-Qaradawi, Muslim Brotherhood spiritual guide Mohammed Mehdi Akef, Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah movement leader Hassan Nasrallah as well as Syrian and Lebanese Muslim scholars.
Others are Sudanese Islamic opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi, Yemeni tribal chief and al-Islah party leader Abdullah al-Ahmar and prominent Islamic figures from other North African Arab states, Turkey, Pakistan, Iran, Malaysia and other Muslim countries.
Hundreds Killed; Thousands Wounded
“Hundreds of innocent martyrs and thousands wounded,” they lamented, calling on Arab and Muslim countries to use all sorts of pressures to “stop this.”
“They should apply economic and political pressure to bring an end to the American crime, and the international community should intervene to rein in US forces,” read the statement.
The scholars also called on the international community for intervention.
“The United Nations, the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Conference should play a role to get the Iraqis out of this crisis,” read the statement.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan stopped short of condemning the US bombardment of the densely-populated western town of Fallujah by F16 fighter jets over the past few days, saying Thursday that Iraqis should rather pursue sovereignty with patience and dialogue. “Ending occupation would prove a natural and radical solution to the crisis,” read the statement.
The statement signatories called on the Governing Council members to “threaten to walk out of the council or suspend their membership in it, at least until the aggressive operations against Iraqis are halted … lest they be considered partners in the crime”.
Governing Council member and leader of the Iraqi Islamic Party Mohsen Abdul Hamid, who said Thursday that he would reconsider his participation in the body if the US-led did not stop “spilling the blood” of Iraqis, was among the 67 signatories.
Declaring their “solidarity with the Iraqi Islamic and national resistance against the American occupation of Iraq,” the Islamic figures applauded Iraqis for closing ranks in a bid to “thwart the plot aimed at triggering a sectarian civil war.”
The “genocide” unfolding in Iraq betrays “blind hatred of Muslims,” the statement said.
More than 300 local inhabitants were killed in a five-day-old offensive by US occupation forces on Fallujah – now sealed off by American soldiers with corpses littering the streets after the only hospital was taken over.
US civil administrator in Iraq Paul Bremer Friday, April 9, declared a suspension of the military offensive on Fallujah.
A few minutes later, F16s were seen shelling the city, much to the consternation of ordinary Iraqis hoping for an end to a one-year occupation.
Attacks on Mosques Called ‘Terrorism’
Joining the wave of condemnation, the Islamic Research Center of Al-Azhar – the world’s largest Sunni authority – condemned the US air attacks on mosques, calling such actions “terrorist”.
The US army admitted that a Cobra helicopter fighter slammed a Hell Fire missile and a laser-guided precision bomb into Abdulaziz Al-Samarai mosque in Fallujah Wednesday, killing up to 40 people inside.
“This is a brazen terrorist attack clearly against human rights principles,” the center said in a statement obtained by IOL.
The statement said shelling mosques put the United States on equal footing with Israeli forces in occupied Palestinian territories.
“Attacking mosques and carrying out aggressions on civilians stoke up sentiments of hate and anger against this unjustified aggression.”
Abdel-Moeti Bayyoumi, a member of the council, took the blame to the US administration. “The administration groups a gang of hardliners, so their respect for mosques is unexpected,” Bayyoumi told IOL.
“They do not pay attention to human beings, international legitimacy laws, human rights or the sanctity of mosques.”
Mohamed Ibrahim Al-Fayyoumi, another member, called the attacks on the Fallujah mosque as “carrying old vestiges of the crusades meant to crush the Islamic world and Islam itself”.
Bob Kerrey, a member of a bipartisan commission investigating the 9/11 attacks, told US National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice Thursday that the American administration should reconsider what “a Christian American army” was doing “in a Muslim country.
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