Monday, May 23, 2005

Sunnis Decide to Participate in Iraqi Government

The Sunni political boycott, used as partial justification by terrorist groups for their actions, may be over. More than 1,000 Sunnis, including former hardliners, met in conference and formed a Sunni political alliance, which will participate in drafting the new Iraqi constitution. This alliance is a major blow to terrorist insurgent groups who have been trying to foment civil war between the Sunni minority and Shiite majority in Iraq. From the News Telegraph (UK)
Many delegates acknowledged that the Sunni boycott of the January elections was a mistake that handed power to the long-repressed Shia majority for the first time in modern Iraqi history. Just 17 Sunni Arabs were elected to the 275-seat assembly.

"We will not make the same mistake again," said Ahmed Abdul Ghafur Samarrai, a member of the Association of Muslim Scholars that led the calls for a boycott. "Sunnis must unite and prepare to participate in the next election."
But the Sunnis are hardly unanimous now for political participation:
...other hard-line groups, such as the Religious Guidance Organisation, have refused to participate in the new Sunni bloc.

While many speakers rose to condemn "terrorist acts against civilians" and called for only legal opposition to US "occupation", the biggest cheers were reserved for those who threatened violence against the new government. A statement drawn up at the end of the meeting said that "resisting the occupier is a legitimate right".
Still, the Sunni alliance is devastating news for the terrorist insurgency, especially the former Baathists.

Via The Jawa Report.