Iraqi Extremists Call Election 'Satanic'

Iraqi Extremists Call Election 'Satanic'
December 13th, 2005  
Team Infidel

Topic: Iraqi Extremists Call Election 'Satanic'

Iraqi Extremists Call Election 'Satanic'
By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA - Associated Press Writer
BAGHDAD, Iraq - (AP) Al-Qaida in Iraq and four other Islamic
extremist groups denounced this week's parliamentary elections as a "satanic
project" that violated God's law, but they stopped short of an explicit
threat Monday to attack polling stations.
Despite the sound of detonations rumbling across the capital and at
least 15 deaths in ongoing violence, early voting went ahead in hospitals,
prisons and military bases, and President Bush offered encouraging words
from Washington to Iraqi voters.
In a rare joint statement, the five militant groups denounced the
election as a "satanic project" and said that "to engage in the so-called
political process" violates "the legitimate policy approved by God."
The groups vowed to "continue our jihad (holy war) ... to establish
an Islamic state ruled by the book (the Quran) and the traditions of the
Prophet Muhammad."
However, the statement contained no clear threat to disrupt voting
as in the run-up to the Jan. 30 election and the Oct. 15 referendum on the
The authenticity of the statement could not be verified, but it
appeared on a Web site that often publishes extremist material.
The absence of a clear-cut threat could reflect the growing interest
among Sunni Arabs, the foundation of the insurgency, to take part in the
election. The Sunni decision to boycott the January ballot left parliament
in the hands of Shiites and Kurds _ a move which increased communal friction
and cost the Sunnis considerable influence in drafting the constitution.
A leaflet that appeared Monday in the Baghdad Sunni stronghold of
Azamiyah acknowledged that Sunni Arabs could make gains in the election but
that "fighting will continue with the infidels and their followers."
The statement was unsigned but was written in a style favored by
Islamic extremists.
U.S. officials hope for a large turnout among the disaffected Sunni
Arab minority, a development which could produce a government capable of
winning the trust of the Sunnis and defusing the insurgency. That would
enable U.S. and other foreign troops to begin heading home next year.
"Many Sunnis are campaigning vigorously for office this time
around," Bush told an audience Monday in Philadelphia. "Many Sunni parties
that opposed the constitution have registered to compete in this week's
In the Sunni insurgent stronghold of Ramadi, hooded men carrying
assault rifles erected campaign posters Monday for the Iraqi Accordance
Front, a Sunni Arab alliance headed by Adnan al-Dulaimi, Tariq al-Hashemi
and Khalaf al-Ilyan.
"Elect them for the sake of defending the rights of the Iraqi
population," said a banner held up by men who claimed to be insurgents.
"They have pure hands."
In the first day of early voting, about 250,000 Iraqis _ soldiers,
police, hospital patients and prisoners in jail _ cast ballots, according to
election official Abdul-Hussein Hendawi. Iraqi television aired footage
showing inmates in orange jumpsuits depositing their ballots in jailhouse
The U.S.-led multinational force said 90 percent of all eligible
detainees held in facilities under its control participated in the vote. It
did not release the number represented by that percentage. Suspected
insurgents held in detention but not convicted were eligible to vote,
officials said.
Deposed leader Saddam Hussein, who is jailed and facing trial for
the deaths of more than 140 Shiites in 1982, could also vote, but it was not
know if he did.
Abroad, an estimated 1.5 million expatriate Iraqis will begin voting
over a two-day period in polling centers in 15 countries including the
United States.
Most of the 15 million registered voters go to the polls Thursday.
Sunni Arab politicians have promised an end to what they term abuse
at the hands of the Shiite-dominated security services. As voting began, the
Human Rights Ministry and the U.S. military said that 13 prisoners were
hospitalized after being found at an overcrowded prison run by the
Shiite-led Interior Ministry.
Later Monday, Al-Jazeera television aired a video allegedly showing
abuse at another Interior Ministry facility in western Baghdad. The footage
showed dozens of men, many with welts and bruises. The station did not say
how it obtained the footage or when the alleged incidents took place.
Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, a Shiite, ordered an
investigation into what he described as an "unhealthy phenomenon." A similar
case also surfaced last month.
"I will not allow such treatment of any prisoner," al-Jaafari said
during a news conference.
U.S. and Iraqi officials have expected an upsurge in insurgent
violence as the election approaches.
A U.S. soldier was killed Monday in a bombing in Baghdad, and
another American soldier attached to the Marines died the day before in a
suicide bombing west of the capital near the city of Ramadi, the U.S.
command said.
The deaths brought to at least 2,144 the number of U.S. military
members killed in Iraq since the war began in 2003, according to an
Associated Press count.
Elsewhere, an empty minibus loaded with explosives blew up Monday
near the Kindi hospital in east Baghdad, killing three civilians and
wounding 13, including five police officers.
The threat of insurgent attacks did not deter Shiites in Baghdad's
Sadr City slum, where thousands staged a massive pre-election rally for
Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, a 55-year-old cleric who is widely considered to be
Iraq's most powerful politician.
Al-Hakim heads the United Iraqi Alliance, a Shiite coalition that
hopes to maintain its dominance of parliament.
"Yes, yes to Islam! Yes, yes to Iraq! Yes, yes to the religious
leadership!" the group chanted during the rally in Sadr City, a Shiite
dominated slum.