Scott Peterson has an interesting article about a Wahhabi cleric in a Iraq who has taught his followers to oppose the American occupation of Iraq.
BAGHDAD – To his followers, Sheikh Tahma Aboud Khalif is a loving father of four; a poor and harmless Islamic ideologue whose only fault is his "temper."
But for the American soldiers who caught the sheikh red-handed attempting to ambush their convoy, early one June morning south of Baghdad, the sheikh is a Wahhabi terrorist - and deserves to be sent to Guantánamo Bay.
They can't be reasoned with.
"These guys, you can't change their minds - you have to kill them, and squash them like an ant," says a senior US officer familiar with Tahma's case. "He's a terrorist."
Other non-Wahhabi clerics in the same area have initiated a dialog with US forces in an attempt to dispel mutual misunderstandings and to show them that not all the Sunnis think like those who engage in attacks on US soldiers. What would be interesting to know is for some group of villages how many of the mosques have radical preachers and how many attend each radical or non-radical mosque. Anecdotal accounts such as Peterson's are interesting but provide no clear indication of the scope of the problem.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2003 September 19 09:45 AM Mideast Iraq Insurgency|