Samarra: Symbolizing Sectarian Unity in Iraq

FEBUARY 22,2006 Nearly three years after the US led attack on Iraq , the shrines of imams Ali Al Hadi and Hassan Al Askari  in Samarra City were severely bombed. Samarra being the most important ‘political’ city in Baghdad was targeted to trigger political and mainly sectarian clashes.

A fair trick to start a ‘civil war’ allowing the ‘true’ insurgence to work more tactfully. The horrifying incident was successful in flaming sectarian clashes to the rest of Iraq. The rampage took  1,157 Iraqi lives, increasing the already rising death toll. The blame game continued along with the vain killings concluding nothing but severe loss of life and unity. 

The theory however is amazingly simple:

“The city of Samarra, 120km from Baghdad, is the most important Iraqi city, politically. What happens in Samarra may well determine the fate of the other parts of Iraq – Baghdad, Basra, Najaf, Anbar and Arbil”

The al-Askari Mosque, also called the Golden Mosque, was built in 944 and is one of Iraq’s four holiest shrines for Shias.The dome of the sanctuary was completed in 1905 and had been covered by 72,000 golden pieces. The mosque is one of the four largest shia mosques in the country. However it is situated in a ‘sunni’ majority  area the city of ‘Sammara’. After years of hosting shia pilgrims it is sad how the bombings still triggered rivalries between shia-sunni. Nothing but a well framed agenda to initiate a civil war hence weakening the resistance the US army continues to face.

Today the government woes to utilize up to $60 billion for reconstruction. As the construction work continues wounds are healed and differences mend.

In a remarkable gesture, Sunni women are often seen carrying food for the security personnel guarding the shrines, and for the workers who continue to toil day and night.”

“We always felt the government blamed the Sunnis for the bombing, but it wasn’t us: it was Al Qaeda,

I was devastated when it happened. I wanted to find whoever did it and cut his head off. Now we want it to be repaired.”said Wasmi Hamed, who leads a Sunni neighborhood patrol that has helped drive Al Qaeda militants out of the city.”


While my heart is content upon hearing the news my mind continues to wander:

Why ? Why are we Muslims so gullible ? So easily turned against each other? How many more killings are we willing to afford ? How many years more are we going to overlook the fact that whether Shia or Sunni we all belong to each other. It is my heart-felt desire that we do because only that day will we truly be able to stand in front of our lord as nothing else but ‘Muslims’ without bias and grudges.


7 thoughts on “Samarra: Symbolizing Sectarian Unity in Iraq

  1. “It’s a shame no other Muslim nation took interest in rebuilding the shrines of the Prophet’s grandsons.”

    Brother Sawj, not that I have anything against the rebuilding of the mosque but even if you save 1 Muslims life it is better then rebuilding the mosque. 1 human life lost can never be brought back but a building can always be reconstructed, and it can be made better then it previously was.

    Whole of Kaaba and Harum Sharif is reconstructed with every new king and in a palce of war I think our first and for most priority should be to save the Muslims dying wither Shia or Sunni or what ever sect they belong to. It is not only a duty as a Muslim but also as a Human. Even if a Christian life is being lost we should make it our duty to save him/her.

    It says in the Glorious Quran Surah Tauba Chapter 9 Verse 6

    “If one amongst the Pagans ask thee for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of Allah. and then escort him to where he can be secure. That is because they are men without knowledge.”

    When this is command for the pagans who were enemies of the Prophet. That they should be given shelter then why leave out our own brothers and sisters ?

    Although I can understand that your complaint is valid but on the larger picture it makes no sense ‘how can we expect people to take action in rebuilding a shrine while they remained silent as the entire IRAQ burned to ashes’. The rebuilding of the shrine is a sign of hope and it is better late than never.

  2. I tend to agree with you on the barbaric rampage under saddam’s rule but the fact about people actually celebrating wasnt one I can come to terms with. Its very important to see under what circumstances such images were purposely shown globally it was obviously a tactful way of showing how American attack in Iraq has brought stability in the country, which obviously is foolish. The truth is however badly the Iraqis wanted to get rid of saddam the US led attack was still not accepted. No matter how much we may hate zardari but a US led attack on the country in order to bring him down will still be absurd.

    As for media glorifying saddam that is in fact an unfortunate act, but USA still had no rights what so ever to run that trial or to take the so called credit for his penalization. Most importantly when USA itself is involved in massive murders of innocent civilians in ‘other’ countries. Under these circumstances running of saddam’s trial about what he did in his own country was none of their bussiness.
    Same goes with Afghanistan where the Taliban’s barbaric rule was always overlooked until the American attack , after which claims of freedom of afghan society were brought about , then again too little too late.

    As for being morally dead , I don’t think or atleast I hope that isn’t the case. In our hearts we still feel for our fellow Muslims and we all certainly do have a role to play although we all have been much of an audience lately but inshallah the day will come when we will retaliate inshallah because that is exactly how it is bound to happen 🙂 anyways let’s not loose hope and have faith.

  3. At first, even the Iraqis were happy on the overthrowing of Saddam Haseen but then the situation got out of hand of the US and its cronies. You must remember how happily the Iraqis toppled Saddam’s statue.

    Nobody stood up when Saddam chemically cleaned 1,65,000 shias, and thousands of sunni Kurds in Northern Iraq. Nobody stood up when the Taliban massacred 70,000 Moosvi Syeds in Qandahar. Yet our media continues to glorify these vile creatures. I still remember how they showed Saddam being hanged, constantly praising him for reciting Quranic verses and “looking death in the eye”, all crap! We are a morally dead nation, we don’t question the wrongs that happen. Perhaps that is why we have people like Zardari ruling us.

  4. True but then again no body actually stood up when the ‘entire’ country was being bombed. We need to sort out our priorities, the loss is OURS under both circumstances. Its painful how facts are twisted and priorities distorted.

  5. Samarra is indeed primarily a Sunni city with merchants having their shops around the shrine. Their businesses were affected as well when the shrine was bombed. Soon after, the local people vowed to rebuild the shrine, with work started this year led by the Turkish government. It’s a shame no other Muslim nation took interest in rebuilding the shrines of the Prophet’s grandsons.

  6. I don’t know, but I have very big doubts that this shall happen anytime soon. We find it easier to fight amongst ourselves then to actually direct that anger towards a more deserving source.

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