Saturday, November 29, 2003

Yesterday's anti-terrorism demonstrations in Baghdad

Local papers described the anti-terrorism demonstrations in Baghdad as being attended by several hundreds. The rallies were prepared and organized by political parties and tribal leaders which are not represented in the Governing Council such as the Iraqi Democratic Congregation (which includes several democratic parties), the Iraqi Democratic Current, the Iraqi Turkomen Front, and representatives and sheikhs from the Ka'ab, Al-Saada and other influential tribes in southern Iraq.

The demonstrations were held in Al-Tahrir square midtown Baghdad near the Freedom monument and the demonstrators marched on through Sa'doon street to the Fardus square in front of the Palestine and Sheraton
hotels. Three symbolic coffins for the Iraqi police victims of bombings in Baghdad, Ba'quba, and Khan Bani Sa'ad were carried on cars ahead of the demonstrators representing a symbolic funeral for the victims of terrorism in Iraq. Protection was provided by IP, and various news reporters and jounalists covered the event according to the Azzaman
Baghdad edition paper.

Sheikh Hashim Al-Yassiri of Al-Saada tribe from Karbala called upon neighbouring countries to secure their borders preventing infiltration of terrorists to Iraq from these countries, reminding them of the Iraqi people's position in the past in defending these countries.

Faruq Abdullah of the Iraqi Turkomen Front described the demonstrations as a strong message from the Iraqi people to terrorists attempting to undermine the new Iraq and a declaration of patriotic unity between different Iraqi factions against terrorism and violence.

Sheikh Rahi Musah Jabbar of the Bani Ka'ab tribe in the Basrah Governorate demanded that the Arab League accept its responsibilities in the reconstruction of Iraq and to assist Iraqis in their war against terrorism, emphasizing that Arabs and Muslims are being targetted here, so the Arab League should make a clear stand against this.

Aziz Al-Yassiri of the Iraqi Democratic Congregation said that the demonstrations will convey a message from Iraqis to the whole world explaining that the Iraqi people regardless of religious, sectarian, tribal, and political differences are unanimously against terrorism, specifically terrorist acts that will serve to obstruct the rebuilding of Iraq and its transition to democracy.