The Free Muslim Coalition Against Terrorism urges Arab and Muslim leaders to provide moral support to the new Iraqi government in its bid to defeat Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mehdi Army.
It has been more than a year since the invasion of Iraq. Some were for the war and some were against the war. However, continuing to argue about whether the war was justified is now moot and not constructive. No matter what is one’s view about the invasion of Iraq, the Arab and Muslim world must now agree that a stable, prosperous Iraq is in everyone’s best interest.
The journey to stabilizing Iraq has been a difficult one and it is being made more difficult by terrorist infiltrations, Iranian sabatoge and ruthless private militias who have no purpose other than to destabilize Iraq.
The battle with Muqtada al-Sadr has continued for too long. There must come a time when negations must stop and decisive action taken. Al-Sadr has been given numerous opportunities to lay down his arms and join the government if he wants to influence government policy. In response, he has continued to play cat and mouse and continues to divide Iraq.
Some fear that waging a full assault against al-Sadr and his forces may enrage the Shia population. The Free Muslim Coalition Against Terrorism believes this is flawed reasoning. Those who support al-Sadr will be just as enraged with the Iraqi government and the Coalition forces if they continue to wage a low intensity battle that accomplishes no more than increase al-Sadr’s popularity and recruits.
The Iraqi government and the Coalition forces must eliminate al-Sadr in a quick, decisive and overwhelming battle. The United States must also reaffirm to the Iraqi people that it has no intention of continuing to occupy Iraq. The United States must make it clear to the people of Iraq that it will leave Iraq one day after Iraq becomes stable. This approach will provide the Iraqi government with a credible argument against the militants who claim that they are fighting for the liberation of Iraq. With this approach, the Iraqi government may win the hearts and mind of the Iraqi people by arguing that if the militants want the U.S. to leave Iraq then the militants must put down their arms and contribute to the building of a prosperous and stable nation.
Having said this, no one should be naïve into believing that al-Sadr is fighting to end the occupation of Iraq. The battle with al-Sadr is about the future of Iraq. Iraq is now divided between those who want to build a democratic, secular nation and those, like al-Sadr, who want to build an Iran type theocracy. We must never allow Iraq to become another Iran.
The Free Muslim Coalition Against Terrorism is a nonprofit organization made up of American Muslims and Arabs of all backgrounds who feel that religious violence and terrorism have not been fully rejected by the Muslim community in the post 9-11 era. For more information visit their website at: www.freemuslims.org. Contact President Kamal Nawash directly at his email: firstname.lastname@example.org.