Muslims For Nader/Camejo

A blog on the Nader/Camejo 2004 Presidential campaigen - exposing the racket of the two corporate parties - with a special focus on issues of concerns for Muslims. This blog is UNOFFICIAL and is NOT endorsed by the official Nader for 2004 presidential campaigen. Blog update daily and several times a day - come back often! Contact: muslimfornader@yahoo.com

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

A Call to Action: Najaf, Iraq



One of the arguments put forth by progressives who are planning on voting for Kerry, is that he is supposedly more suceptible to pressure. Meaning, that if there is a movement against war, and against the occupation, supposedly he will listen more than Bush will... in my view this is mistaken, and assumes that the problem is with Bush as an individual, and ignores serious institutional/structural problems that have emerged in US democracy.

Furthermore, so far, Kerry's view on the war on the Iraq is near identical to that of Bush... the only difference is that Kerry says "he will do it right!" (Whatever that is supposed to mean).


But let's give the progressives voting for Kerry the benefit of doubt.

Voices in the Wilderness has issued a call to action around the ongoing US attacks in Najaf, and it includes writing to Kerry to have him call for an end to all US military action in Najaf.

Let's see if Kerry responds, or if he just repeats his newly found mantra of "I will do it right!"

Here is the complete call to action.

Najaf and the Shrine of Ali

Our country’s military now declares preparations to attack the Shrine of Ali in the city of Najaf in Iraq. Our country stands on the precipice of declaring war on Islam. An attack on the Shrine of Ali is an attack on the heart of Islam and must be nonviolently resisted in our country.

The US military is urging civilians to leave Najaf. We take this as a signal that our country is preparing to turn Najaf into a free fire zone, in which all who move, civilian or not, are targeted for attack. A free fire zone and an attack on the Shrine would significantly escalate the violence throughout Iraq, increasing the danger for all Iraqis.

As the fighting and crisis intensifies in Najaf, Voices in the Wilderness calls for nonviolent acts demanding an end to the fighting. Call your Congressional Representative, US Senator and John Kerry’s campaign headquarters in your state to demand that they publicly call for an end to all US military actions in Najaf, against its citizens and at the Imam Ali Mosque. Call candidates for federal office in your state and issue the same demand. If they don’t respond positively, initiate nonviolent direct actions at their offices. Such nonviolent actions can include: an occupation of their office; a daily vigil outside of their office; a fax campaign to their office demanding they issue the statement; or a phone call campaign to their office. Also, write letters to the editor of your local newspapers and hold vigils in your local community. The time to act is now.

Voices in the Wilderness calls upon all US government officials—elected or appointed—to publicly declare their opposition to any attack by US military forces against the Shrine of Ali. We further call upon US military forces to withdraw from the holy city of Najaf and to cease all military operations against the city, its citizens and at the Imam Ali Mosque.

The Shrine of Ali is the holiest of shrines in Shia Islam. It is the burial place for Imam Ali, cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammed. The shrine is sacred to both Shia and Sunni Muslims. Attacking the Imam Ali Mosque is akin to bombing the burial site of Jesus for people of the Christian faith or the Western Wall for people of the Jewish faith.

An attack on the Mosque would also replicate the history of oppression of Shia under Saddam Hussein. In 1991, Shia rose up against Saddam Hussein, at the urging of the first President Bush. As US warplanes flew overhead, not intervening, Saddam’s helicopters massacred Shia on the ground below. Saddam attacked the Imam Ali Mosque during this time, killing those inside.

As US citizens we must say "no" to this threatened attack on the heart of Islam. We will use all nonviolent means available to us to resist it.

The violent overthrow of the Iraqi government and the subsequent military occupation of Iraq have not lead to freedom, security, and prosperity for the Iraqi people. Neither have they created the conditions in which freedom, security, and prosperity can be sown and nurtured. Quite the opposite: the threat and reality of violence is commonplace. Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed or injured. To this threat of violence, add the increased threat of water-borne disease and the weight of a collapsed electrical grid.

The Iraqi people are our sisters and brothers. Our humanity demands that we begin to act as if lives of Iraqis and their faith truly matter to us. As US citizens we must respond without equivocation and act to end this war and occupation.

Please see VitW's Emergency Action Concerning Najaf Iraq.

Use the following website addresses to find your Congressional Representative, US Senator or local campaign office for John Kerry:

http://www.house.gov/writerep/

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

http://www.johnkerry.com/contact/