Nasty Letters To Crooked Politicians

As we enter a new era of politics, we hope to see that Obama has the courage to fight the policies that Progressives hate. Will he have the fortitude to turn the economic future of America to help the working man? Or will he turn out to be just a pawn of big money, as he seems to be right now.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Terrorizing those who are praying…

** Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches **

This story is also being run Friday afternoon/evening on Free Speech
Radio News, with exclusive tape taken from inside the mosque during
the slaughter. You can listen to it on the radio, or on their
website, and I highly recommend it.

November 19, 2004

Abu Talat calls me frantic. The deafening roar of hundreds of people in
a confined area yelling, “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest) reverberate
behind his panicked voice.

“I am being held at gunpoint by American soldiers inside Abu Hanifa
mosque Dahr,” he yells, “Everyone is praying to God because the
Americans are raiding our mosque during Friday prayer!”

He makes short calls, updating me on the atrocity. After a few sentences
of information he hangs up because he is trapped inside the mosque and
trying to let me know what is happening. Being Friday, the day of prayer
and holiday, this was supposed to be an off day for us.

I just finish typing what he told me before he calls back.

“They have shot and killed at least 4 of the people while they were
praying, and at least 20 are wounded now! I cannot believe this! I can’t
let them see me calling you. I am on my stomach now and they have our
guns on everyone, there are at least 1,500 people inside the mosque and
it is sealed. We are on our bellies and in a very bad situation.”

Several Humvees and Iraqi National Guard (ING) vehicles showed up and 50
soldiers and well over 50 ING sealed and entered the mosque with the
goal of detaining the Imam, Shaikh Muayid al-Adhami.

Abu Talat calls back, “We were here praying and now there are over 50
here with their guns on us,” he said. ”They are holding our heads to the
ground, and everyone is in chaos. This is the worst situation possible.
They cannot see me talking to you. They are roughing up a blind man now.”

The soldiers eventually released women and children along with men who
were related to them. Abu Talat was only released because a boy
approached him and told him to pretend to be his father.

Shortly thereafter he phones me from his home in tears.

“Dahr I cannot believe what has happened,” pausing to collect himself,
“I will go back to see what is happening now.”

I urge him not to go, but he insists.

“This is my mosque and my people. I must go see what is happening to them.”

It is now 2:15pm and the mosque is still sealed. We begin to interview
people he is with via the mobile as he describes the scene.

“People were praying and the Americans invaded the mosque,” Abdulla
Ra'ad Aziz said, who had been released along with his wife and children.
“Why are they killing people for praying? After the forces entered they
went to the back doors and we heard so many bullets of the guns. There
were wounded and dead, I saw them myself.”

Some of the people who had been at prayer were ordered by soldiers to
carry the dead and wounded out of the mosque.

“One Iraqi National Guardsmen held his gun on people and yelled, ‘I will
kill you if you don't shut up’,” said Rana Aziz, a mother who had been
trapped in the mosque. She was now waiting outside for her brother, who
was still inside.

She said someone asked the soldiers if they would were hostages. “A
soldier yelled at everyone to ‘Shut the Fuck Up,” she said. Suddenly,
she laughed amid her tears. “The Americans have learned how to say shut
up in Arabic, ‘Inchev’.”

Hammad Mohammed, a 20 year-old man, said, “My uncle’s coffin was taken
inside the mosque to be prayed on, and the Americans raided the mosque
and went to the Imams’ room. Then they went to the back doors and we
heard so many bullets of the guns-it was a gun bigger than a
Kalashnikov. There were wounded and dead, as I saw them myself. I saw 4
killed and 9 wounded.”

Abu Talat then breaks the interview and tells me, “Doctors and staff are
standing outside but the Americans refuse to let them inside. They can
do nothing, and the Americans are not letting them inside while there
are wounded people inside the mosque.”

Just like in Fallujah, soldiers denied Iraqi Red Crescent ambulances and
medical teams access to the mosque. As doctors negotiated with U.S.
soldiers outside, more gunfire was heard from inside the mosque.

About 30 men were led out with hoods over their heads and their hands
tied behind them. Soldiers loaded them into a military vehicle and took
them away around 3.15 pm.

A doctor with the Iraqi Red Crescent confirmed four dead and nine
wounded worshippers. Pieces of brain were splattered on one of the walls
inside the mosque while large blood stains covered carpets in several

Later Abu Talat comes to my hotel to see me. He is distraught, crying
while he recounts the story. After listening to the tape he recorded
inside the mosque during the atrocity, he says…

“I am in a very sad position. I do not see any freedom or any democracy.
If this could lead into a freedom, it is a freedom with blood. It is a
freedom of emotions of sadness. It is a freedom of killing. You cannot
gain democracy through blood or killing. You do not find the freedom
that way. People are going to pray to God and they were killed and
wounded. There were 1,500 people praying to God and they went on a
holiday were people go every Friday for prayers. And they were shot and
killed. There were so many women and kids lying on the ground. This is
not democracy, neither freedom.”

After several weeks of relative calm in Adhamiya, the detention of the
Imam of Abu Hanifa and killing of worshippers inside their mosque is
sure to ignite the fires of revenge in this area, which is already known
as the Fallujah of Baghdad.


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