Friday, September 14, 2007

Sunni Mourners: Al Qaeda is the Enemy of Allah

What becomes clearer with each passing week is that Al Qaeda (through its affiliate Al Qaeda in Iraq), while still capable of an occasional horrific suicide-bombing or assassination, have been defeated and are on the run in Iraq. The Sunnis who once offered them logistics and in some cases fought alongside them have turned against AQI.

The Anbar Awakening was the result of a few years in which AQI showed its hand and what its prime interests were. AQI were focused on fomenting a civil war (as was clearly stated by Zarqawi) and to that end killed both Shia and Sunni Iraqis. The Sunnis, to be sure, were slow to figure this out.

But eventually they realized that AQI were in fact killing just as many Sunnis as Shia or government forces. They also found out that the brutal Taliban-like regime that AQI wanted to impose was foreign to Iraqi culture. Anbar was the first province to decide to fight back against their former allies, led by Sheikh Abdul Sattar Abu Risha.

Yesterday was the funeral for Risha and one needs only to hear the chants from that ceremony to know that Al Qaeda in Iraq is doomed:
Mourners chanted "We will take our revenge" and "There is no God but Allah and al-Qaeda is the enemy of Allah" as the procession continued to the family cemetery.
Ahmed Abu Risha, the victim's brother, has now been named the head of their tribe. He said, "All the tribes agreed to fight al-Qaeda until the last child in Anbar."

Sheikh Rashid Majid, leader of a powerful tribe from Ramadi, said: "The killing will give us more energy... to continue confronting al-Qaeda members and to dispose of them."

Al Qaeda in Iraq has turned into a disaster for Al Qaeda. They are on the run and being expelled from the one Arab country in which they tried to take control and show everyone what an Islamic state of their design would look like. It has been rejected by Iraqis and is surely now seen as a failure both to Arabs and the wider Muslim world. Who in the future would willingly invite in and cooperate with Al Qaeda after their behavior in Iraq?


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