Monday, September 28, 2009

Which Is Better? Shiite, Sunni, or Muslim?

The two parts video below are from a debate between an Iraqi political analyst, Sabah Il Khuzaey and a Mohammed Al Qizwini, a religious scholar from Iran. It is part of a coverage of the anniversary of the death of Fatima Al Zahra, the daughter of the Prophet Mohammed, and the wife of Imam Ali.

The video begins with a question by Sabah Al Khuzay asking the Iranian Cleric's permission to ask questions about the Shiite faith. The latter declined and saying something like "pleae address all your questions to my office in Tehran (the voice is not that clear). The Iraqi man appealed "... Can I talk to you, please, from a Shiite to a Shiite"? The Iranian cleric answer came quickly and with confidence "I don't consider you as Shiite. I saw you on TV last night and you said that you are neither a Sunni or a Shiite, so I don't consider you as Shiite".

Sabah Al Khuzaey was not intimated by this answer, with eyes rolling, trying to focus to understand the voice on the other side due to its bad telephone communication, he asked back:
- Are you... are you Shiite or Sunni?
- I am Shiite (with more confidence and pride in the cleric voice)
- and I am Shiite too

Al Qizuiny replied calmly
- no! you are not Shiite...

But before the cleric finished his sentence Al Khuzay extended his hand to the camera as a gesture of questionning the last remark of the Iranian cleric and said:

"is it for you to decided?"... "are you in the right position to decide if I can be sunni or Shiite"?

The Iranian man replied with the same tone "yesterday you came on TV and said that you are neither Sunni or Shiite, you said that you are just a Muslim".

That reply was the trigger that marked the end of the Iraqi man's tolerance. The influence of provocation was clear, so he said "but (if I say that) do you think of it as blasphemy?"

"which one is better in your opinion? to be referred to as Sunni or Shiite? or is it better to be identified as Muslim who believe in no god but the one god and Mohammed is the prophet of God? Which one is better in your opinion?"

The Iranian cleric said " "Yes, anyone believe in that is a Muslim, but I still don't consider you Shiite, because non of what you said yesterday and today on TV is coming from a Shiite person"

At the question by Al Khuzay, it looks like the Iranian has dropped the line, but that did not prevent the Iraqi political analyst from having the urge to say his mind. He made emphasize on a number of facts, most importantly that the common Shiites in Iraq are different in their believes and mentality from their counterparts in Iran. That Iran with its interference and their fraud in writing history of Islam hundreds of years ago did ruin the beautiful principles and basics of this believes.

After that broadcast, Al Khuzay became the target of many who didn't agree with his opinion on Shiism and various internet sites and discussion forums either put him as the rightous Shiite, or the infidel Shiite - depending where to look.

One of the attempts to undermine Al Khuaey own theory of tolerance among different sects in Islam was from a Shiite who called him on phone, recorded his conversation, and uploaded it on YouTube as 7 to 8 parts, under the title "The Truth About Sabah Al Khzaey". The interviwer named himself Abu Ali. This Abu Ali is claiming in the info of his voice video that all what Al Khuzaey is doing by coming on TV and bash clerics from Iran like Al Qiuiny was only an attempt from the Iraqi to win the affection of the Wahabies", especially that he is only appearing on Al Mustakillah satellite TV and he sits with other Saudi religious figures on debate shows.

By the way, I am not a fan of Al Khuzaey, and the only reason is his compassion for Saddam as a former leader of Iraq and his praise for Saddam's achievements. Clear enough to say that his support for the ressistence is unconditional in fighting the US occupation. But which ressistence he is refering to? Interuptation does not need a lot to know which ressistence in question!

However, I like his concept of never to differentiate between one Shiite and a Sunni and his strong opposition to accepting such a concept as blasphemy?

I agree with him when say "it is the most shameful thing to call this man a Shiite or that man a Sunni".

He identify the current Iraqi Regime as "sectarian".

He also identify Shiites rituals as imported to Iraq, such rituals as slapping the face, hitting the head with an axe on the anniversary of the death of Imam Hussain, or saying bad things about the three Caliphates Abu Bakr, Omar and Othman..etc

From all what I have said about this man above, my conclusion is simple, Al Khuzaey is an example of how Iraqi people became divided, or is it that the comparison between now and then made many feel sorry for the days when Saddam used to rule the country, forgetting that one Saddam in power has been substituted with 10, carrying the same methods on every aspect and every way one can imagine.

Part One

Part Two

Sunday, September 27, 2009

More from Iraq’s Old Days

I don’t want to give the impression that I am pro-monarch person regarding the political system in Iraq because of the many occasions where I put pictures of that period on my blog.

I am not anti-monarch either

I am only trying to reflect different aspects of the history of this beautiful country and its beautiful people

Click on each image to get larger view

I will start with Al Khadmiyah, Baghdad, in 1919


For those wondering how the first king ruled Iraq after the country creation looked like, This King Faisal, in traditional customs


And below is another picture of the late king wearing western suit.


Below is a picture of the first leader of the Republic of Iraq.


King Faisal II, the last king of Iraq before it became a republic


Look carefully, for Baghdadis, look close, do you recognize the structure?

This is an aerial shot Abu Hanifa Mosque in Al Adhamiyah


According to the picture, this is Al Rasheed street in Baghdad, 1950, during some flood


When I saw the picture below, I started to think, these are red double decker buses for public transport, which was used in Iraq till the fall of former regime. The picture below is like bus schedule of the lines these buses was taken around Baghdad.

No difference from these I see in bus / tram stops here in the Netherlands

Ironic… no, sad, because Iraq in late 1950 used to be no difference from any civilized country around the world


This is a picture of a reception at the ministry of foreign affairs in Baghdad during monarch period.



Look at the way Iraqi Prime Minister, Noory Saeed bowing in front of the lady, the prestige in the way the head of the Iraqi government at that time is greeting a lady.

According to the source where I found the picture it is “Nuri Pasha Al Said. Probably in Pakistan. Ayoub Khan President of Pakistan in Background. Not sure if the lady is Mrs Ayoub Khan. Also to be seen in the photo, Burhan addin Bash'ayan and Fadhil Jamali”


King Feisal's 2nd birthday. According to the source: “I have tagged the children I recognise.
In this photo: Muna Al Farisi, Salwan Baban, Anisa Sadoun, Aysar Sulaiman, Lamis Al Daftari, Nasser Al Haideri, salwa sati' Alhuseri, muhsin Suleiman”


This picture is taken during the inauguration of King Faisal II.

Notice the guard drinking water!

Also… anyone noticed the similarities in the uniform those guards are wearing?


This is from an evening with Um Kalthom. The source of the picture says that the people in the picture are: Jamal Baban, Najib Al Rawi, Mumtaz Al Omari, Fazila Daghistani, Suad Al Omari, Nimat Yasin Al Hashimi, Nuri Al Said, Salima Daghistani, Tawfiq Al Sweidi, Tahsin Qadry, Obeyd Al Mathaifi


I liked the comments from which I took the photos from and I will quote it here:

“All the models were Iraqi ladies from prominent families. Can anyone imagine this kind of event taking place in Iraq today????”


The below picture of a fancy dress party where Iraqi Prime Miniter Noori Saeed, his wife Naima standing to the left of Photo. Their son Sabah and Ghazi Al Daghistani in Daghistani costume seated.


Another picture of a reception party at the embassy in Tehran where King Faisal II is seen with other distinguished guests such as queen Shahinaz


Royal hunting where King Faisal II is seen in the light jacket


King Feisal's Birthday Al Rihab Palace . May 2nd 1946. Um Kalthum sang at this occasion


The below picture is from the Baghdad Pact session in 1955


Iraqi Prime Minister, Noory Saeed (left) with Turkish politician Adnan Menderes at the airport.


It has been said that the only statue remained untouched after the 2003 war was of Al Sadoon in central Baghdad.

The picture below is from the unveiling ceremony of Abdul Muhsin Al Sadoun's statue. Baghdad May 20th 1933


Abdel Kareem Qasim in one of his visits


This is an illustration of how Al Khayyam cinema theater


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Do You Know Iraq?

The world should know Iraq through the pictures below:

Its about history, might, power, glory, art

Its about nature, fun, joy and social life for the young and the old

Iraq is about simplicity

Iraq is about genius, music, and spiritual beauty within its people

Iraq is where the first law was discovered, where rules and discipline towards a better humanity have been set

Iraq is where the good food is

They said that Paris or Rome, or New York are called "the cities that never sleeps"

Baghdad, with its glory nights, used to match with such great Western cities.

This is how the world should see, and know Iraq.

That's Why I Made This Blog

Two weeks ago, I received an email, in it there was a question on the purpose I created this blog.

My answer was...

I don't the world to know Iraq through the pictures below