the election december 15th 2005
i have just voted for list 555, the United Iraqi Alliance. The Inclusion of SCIRI has given me doubts as to the independence of this list but Dawa and Sadr Movement has tipped the balance for me. Dawa is the oldest iraqi institution, if you could call it that. Founded in 1958 by the Great Syed Mohammed Baqr al Sadr, it was set up to counter the influx of communist ideology. Syed Ibrahim al Jafari, a mujtahid, heads the party today and is currently the Prime Minister of Iraq. It advocated an Islamic republic but one very different from the iranian model. The Khomeinist 'wilaya al-faqih' model would not work within iraqi society, historically quite a secular society, and Syed Baqr Sadr's model is a much more pragmatic and accomodating system. He envisioned an Islamic state based on islamic social and economic principles, where people cannot be forced to believe. Instead they should be invited/called to islam (Dawa) and should follow the faith voluntarily.
His nephew, im sure we all know about. Moqtada al sadr led 2 uprising against the US in 2004, and draws passionate emotions from all sides... basically you either love him or hate him! i cant say i love him, but his uprising showed the US that if they were to provoke the wider shia community in the way they provoked him then they would be in serious trouble. his Mahdi Army were a small militia of poor shia from Sadr City, a Baghdad Slum, representing a tiny fraction of the Shia and together with the Sunni uprising had caused more US military deaths than any other time since the end of the war. If the US went against the wider shia community then that would have been good night for their project and i believe moqtada, along with syed Sistani's more peaceful approach, helped us get the direct elections in Iraq, which have lifted the shia majority in iraq to a position we have never been in before.
needless to say his militia has swelled and is responsible for security in large parts of the capital Baghdad, especially Sadr City, named after his father syed Mohammed sadiq al Sadr.
As for SCIRI, they are a party of old time Dawa guys, created, funded and trained by Iran. it remains that way today and while i support the Islamic Republic, i do not believe it has a place in iraqi politics, and i cannot support SCIRI.
but the UIA is not just SCIRI it is the shia list, i just hope it makes serious attempts to reach out to the Sunnis in Iraq. while i wish nothing but misery on the Wahabi and Baathist murderers in Iraq today, i refuse to believe that 5 million people are all guilty. this mindset is unislamic, racist and just wrong.