Shia-Sunni differences on Saddam's Death Sentence
09 November, 2006
By Tanveer Jafri
At last death sentence was declared for Saddam Husain. Including the case of Dujail massacre, many other cases are lying in the courts against former president of Iraq. But at present he has been convicted of killing 148 persons in Dujail in 1982. Besides Saddam, his step brother Barzan al-Tikriti, the former Chief Justice of Iraq, Awad Hamid Al-Badr & Barzan Ibrahim Al-Tikriti were also given death sentence. Taha Yassin Ramazan, a former vice-president under Husain was sentenced to life in Prison & three others were given 15 years imprisonment sentence with labour. At the same time a Baath Party official Mohammad Azawi Ali was acquitted, just to prove impartiality of the Iraqi court.
The declaration of death sentence for Saddam Husain wasn't astonishing. Undoubtedly it was expected from the present government of Iraq. But the reactions at the international level at the death sentence of Saddam are really something that causes worry. It was expected from American President Bush to say that death sentence for Saddam Husain is a milestone for democracy in Iraq. But on the other hand European Union has requested not to act upon the decision of death sentence. Whereas George Bush is saying that it is a big achievement of the constitutional government of democracy of Iraq. It is also a decisive hint to announce the decision of this case of Saddam Husain by the Iraqi court, just before the parliamentary election of America that there is a pressure of consent of America in deciding the date of the case.
Prime Minister of Iraq Noori Al Maliki has welcomed this decision & has said that Saddam Husain deserved it. This decision will lessen the grief & pain of those widows & orphans who have been directly affected because of Dujail massacre. But because of death sentence to Saddam, there is being seen a division of Iraqi population, on the basis of class, some in favour & some against death sentence. If we have a look, out of Iraq, there seems a division of the Muslim world, keeping in view of the death sentence of Saddam. Such mixed reactions are there in India & Pakistan also. Majority of the Sunni Muslims are not happy over this decision. Nobody can deny it that Saddam Husain was removed from his office by conspiracy acting upon the planned programme from America. Then three years ago he was made to come out of a tunnel & was kept under the charge of the American army. After that he was tried because of the evil deeds done under his rule. It was also kept in mind by America that this decision must look like as if declared by the Iraqi court & not by the Bush administration. Here it is noteworthy that during the court proceedings of Dujail massacre, whenever the judge Rauf Rashid Abdul Rehman's five member judgement committee wanted to know the views of Saddam Husain about Dujail massacre & wanted to know his clarifications, Saddam Husain badly failed to save his side. Saddam wasted a lot of time of the court in discussing & telling himself the President of Iraq. Sometimes he raised questions on the appointment of judges & sometimes he said- Allah Hu Akbar. But one thing is there that the man who always appeared in arrogant mood before the public, having a rifle in his hand, the former president, kept Quran Sharif in his hands & looked as an Arabian Muslim. Yes, about Dujail massacre, Saddam Husain's lawyer when favouring his side told one thing that on July 8 1982, shots were fired at by some persons hiding in a orchard on the convoy of then President Saddam Husain. It was doubted that the persons involved in the assault were the Shia terrorists & that were from Iran. As the war was going on between Iran & Iraq, so it was a must to attack those terrorists & all it happened because of it.
The opposers of the death sentence to Saddam are giving the argument that if Saddam Husain is guilty of Dujail massacre, then why is George Bush not guilty of the lakhs of people being killed in Iraq & Afghanistan? Why is he not being tried? Some persons are of the view that the responsibility of Dujail massacre in 1982 lies on America too. Because America has given moral support to Saddam Husain for the war against Iran & also made him available the war material. But it should not be taken as that the Bush administration is trying to show its liberal attitude to Shia world by the conspiracy of hanging a former Sunni ruler. The whole world is witnessing that in the last days when a war was going between the Shia organisation, Hezbollah in Lebanon & Israel, America was in favour of Israel. The confrontation of America & Iran that has the greatest part of Shia population in the world, about the Uranium Enrichment is before us. On the Palestine issue, the American attitude seems to favour Israel. At this time, it is not proper to see the death sentence of Saddam as the difference between the Shiites & the Sunnis.
At last, the peace loving & liberal Muslims must agree that the bad conditions prevailing in Afghanistan & Iraq is the result of the deep conspiracy of America. But it is also beyond doubt that persons such as Osama Bin Laden, Mulla Mohammad Umar & Saddam Husain give chance to America for such circumstances. It can't be denied that during his rule, Saddam got thousands of persons killed in his country. All of them didn't belong to the Shia sect, but there were the Shiites, the Sunnis & the Kurds in it. There was a war against Iran, continuously for 8 years & thousands of the Muslims were killed during the war. The responsibility of this attack solely lies on Saddam Husain, who after being incited by America attacked Iran. After that, in 1990, Saddam Husain attacked Kuwait & welcomed America to install its army base on the Arab land. Today, on the basis of that Kuwait army base, America has occupied Iraq & Saddam Husain is there to be hanged.
If the hanging of Saddam Husain is not taken as the judgement, then there may again be a deep division among the Muslims of the world, as is expected by America. So the need of the time is that the hanging of Saddam should not be seen as the difference of the Shiites & the Sunnis but in future, the Muslim rulers should try to keep themselves away from the activities that are helpful in spreading American colonization. Along with it, there rises the need to have constructional steps so that there is unity & brotherhood among the Muslim world & the Muslim world is not entrapped in the American conspiracy in future.