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Sectarian rift in Iraq ploy of authoritarian regimes: Cleric

Sectarian rift in Iraq ploy of authoritarian regimes: Cleric
Web posted at: 4/29/2006 10:43:53
Source ::: The Peninsula
Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra

Doha: The ongoing sectarian violence in Iraq is a ploy of some authoritarian regimes in the region to stall the evolution of democracy in Baghdad, says a prominent member of the Shi'ite clergy in Bahrain.

People's rule in this region is naturally going to set a "wrong precedent" for some regimes, so they might not be wanting democracy to succeed in their midst, says Dheyab Al Moosavi, head of Manama-based Centre for Cultural Dialogue.

"I don't see any other reason behind the sudden outbreak of Shi'ite-Sunni conflict in Iraq," he said in an interview with this newspaper on Thursday on the sidelines of the Fourth Doha Conference on Religions' Dialogue.

Dheyab said that 9/11 had though, brought a sea change in the region and the attitude of people and governments had changed drastically.
Dheyab Al Moosavi

"You couldn't have imagined a conference like this (religions) taking place in this part of the world 10 years ago…the accent today is on religious freedom and tolerance," he said.

"Let people practise their religions freely (in the Arab world)." Bahrain, Dheyab said, had a church more than a 100 years ago.

Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, from the Mosque and Community Affairs Committee in London, meanwhile, said that Muslims in the West were faced with new challenges in the aftermath of 9/11 and, especially 7/7 in the UK.

"The foremost challenge is to present the true picture of Islam before non-Muslims," he said. What happened on 7/7 was an act of crime and crime knows no religion.

He said that there had been instances of verbal and physical abuse against Muslims in the UK after 7/7. Extremism is not a religious issue, it is a socio-economic issue, he said. Muslims in the UK, he said, were living in peace with other communities.

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