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Friday, August 27, 2004

Senior Muslim figures back Iraqi insurgents




Ninety-three prominent Muslim figures opposed to US troops in Iraq have called on Muslims around the world to support resistance to US forces and to the Iraqi government installed in June.


In the appeal received on Sunday from the offices of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, the Muslim figures from nearly 30 nations, from Germany to Indonesia, said the aim should be to 'purify the land of Islam from the filth of occupation'.

The statement came as US tanks rumbled to within 800 metres of a holy shrine in the Iraqi city of Najaf, after fierce clashes with Shiite rebels in a nearby town reportedly killed at least 40 Iraqis.
Talks to end a near three-week Shiite Muslim uprising led by rebel cleric Moqtada al-Sadr appeared to have stalled after negotiators failed to agree on how to surrender control of the Imam Ali shrine, where Mehdi militias remain holed up.

The signatories included senior members of the Brotherhood, leading Qatari-based moderate Youssef al-Qaradawi, Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah of Lebanon, Khaled Mashal of the Palestinian group Hamas, two Egyptian opposition party leaders, Sheikh Abdeslam Yassine of Morocco's Justice and Charity Group and Yemeni Speaker of Parliament Sheikh Abdullah al-Ahmar.

Others came from Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bosnia, the Comoros, Germany, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan and Tunisia.

The appeal said that Muslim rulers had been silent to the point of complicity in the face of what it called Anglo-American and Zionist aggression in Iraq and the Palestinian territories."