Muslims across the Middle East – Sunnis and Shiites alike – largely ignored sectarian divides today to unite in condemnation of the the bombing that destroyed of the golden dome that graced one of Iraq’s holiest Shiite shrines.
King Abdullah II, the Jordanian monarch, call it “a heinous attack … (that) has greatly angered us and has provoked our strong feelings as direct descendants of the Prophet Mohammed.”
Radical Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who was touring the region, cut short a visit to Lebanon to return to his troubled homeland.
At a news conference when he reached Damascus, Syria, al-Sadr laid blame either with the Americans or the Iraqi government.
“If responsibility is not in the hands of the Iraqi government, then I consider the responsibility for this event lies with the occupation forces which should either leave immediately or according to a timetable,” the firebrand cleric told reporters.
Influential Egyptian Sunni cleric Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi said the blast was “a very dangerous action that kindles the fires of sedition.”
He refused to accept that fellow Sunnis were behind the bomb blasts that ripped apart the golden dome of the Askariya shrine in Samarra, about 60 miles north of Baghdad.
“We cannot imagine that the Iraqi Sunnis did this. So who did do it? Who planned with such slyness and precision and got away without being arrested?” he said.
“No one benefits from such acts other than the US occupation and the lurking Zionist enemy.”
Lebanon’s powerful Shiite militant Hezbollah organisation blamed the US.
“We call upon Muslims everywhere, and especially in Iraq, to avoid falling into a major trap of sedition designed for them by the American occupation and their agents inside Iraq,” Hezbollah said in a statement.
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