Muthanna Harith al-Dhari, chief of information and culture affairs for the association, also warned that the "tragedy" in Falluja "will not reinforce the US military presence in Iraq".

Al-Dhari, speaking to Aljazeera, said he did not believe the situation would end in Falluja as the rest of the country had been deeply affected by the battle.

"I don't believe this case will end by eliminating the resistance in Falluja," he said.

"What has happened is a rare example of resistance as the city's circumstances have forced the fighters to stay, thus, distinguishing this battle from others."

The spokesman for the Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS) further said that since the beginning, "no one believed that Falluja will stand firm in the face of, and beat, such a military operation".

Fierce resistance

The US military operation has now completely changed, al-Dhari said. The battle has lasted for more than 11 days, proving that resistance in the city is fierce.

"Even if the battles in Falluja ended, many other cities are subject to similar battles, as the interim government has announced that 16 other cities will get similar treatment," he said.

"What is happening in Falluja has deeply affected the agenda of the political process
and the elections"

Muthanna Harith al-Dhari,
AMS spokesman

"This is the evidence that the case [of eliminating resistance] is not over," the AMS spokesman said.

"What is happening in Falluja has had a strong impact on the political agenda and the planned elections."

This, the AMS believes, is one of the Falluja fighters' goals.

Boycotting elections

Al-Dhari's comments come as a group of national, political and religious forces - including the AMS - have all issued a final decision to boycott the elections due to be held early next year.

In a statement received by Aljazeera, the Imam Khalisi University, the AMS, the National Trend Movement, the Iraqi Turkmen Front and the Christian Democratic Party all confirmed that any elections posed grave risks.

The signatories added that a ballot would undermine Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity.