AMS calls for united Sunni front

Iraq's leading religious Sunni authority has called for the creation of an umbrella organisation of all Sunni groups and parties in a bid to unify the disempowered community's political position.

    Sunni participation in the 30 January election was low

    "We want to set up a general Sunni conference" comprising representatives from parties, tribes, unions, associations and provincial officials, said Shaikh Ahmad Abd al-Ghafur al-Samarrai during his sermon at Baghdad's Umm al-Qura mosque on Friday.

      

    "This conference will not replace the various parties and associations but will be the link among all Sunnis," explained al-Samarrai, a senior member of the influential Association of Muslim Scholars (AMS).

      

    The clerical organisation represents about 3000 mosques across the country and has taken the lead in the search for a common Sunni stance after elections, widely boycotted by Sunnis, which are expected to see the majority Shia and the Kurds come to power.

     

    Main goal

      

    "We want to close ranks and extend a brotherly hand to all Iraqis," he said, adding that the main goal of the proposed organisation would be to "work towards freeing Iraq of foreign occupation through political channels".

      

    "We want to close ranks and extend a brotherly hand to all Iraqis"

    Shaikh al-Samarrai

    Sunni participation in the 30 January vote was low, due to boycott calls, threat of violence or disaffection with the political process among a community struggling to come to terms with the loss of power.

     

    Although the non-Kurdish Sunni community will be poorly represented in the National Assembly that is to draft the country's permanent constitution, all agree that its participation in the next political phase is crucial.

      

    Government and UN officials have been meeting with various key Sunni figures in recent days in the hope of getting them involved in the political process.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why some African Americans are moving to Africa

    Escaping systemic racism: Why I quit New York for Accra

    African-Americans are returning to the lands of their ancestors as life becomes precarious and dangerous in the USA.

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    No country in the world recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    North Korea's nuclear weapons: Here is what we know

    North Korea's nuclear weapons