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Session Details
Guest Name Anas Osama Altikriti, Former President of the Muslim Association of Britain
Subject Iraqis in Exile: How They Look at Today’s Iraq!
Date Thursday,Apr 8 ,2004
Time Makkah
From
... 15:00...To... 17:30
GMT
From
... 12:00...To...14:30
 
Name
Host    - 
Profession
Answer
Dear viewers,

The session has just started. You are invited to join us with your questions.

After the session, you could view the whole dialogue in the recent sessions.

Yours,

IslamOnline Live Dialogue Editing Desk

 
Name
Muwaffaq    - 
Profession
Question
What are the motives for the latest clashes between the followers of Shiite leader Muqtada Sadr and Americans? How different is the Sadr’s movement from other Shiite movements?

Answer
Bismillah (In the Name of Allah).

The Sadr Family are one of the main trends of Iraqi Shiites, and hold claim to more than 60 prominent members of their family who were executed by the Ba'th regime. There are no specific ideological differences between the various trends but more of political tendencies. Al-Sadr is more or less independent from Iran and has a large following in the South of Iraq. Obviously, he as well as his followers do not want other trends to be dominant in the future shaping and making of Iraq, politically and socially. He formed his famous Badr Militias prior to the fall of Baghdad and the recent problems were sparked by two events: 1) The closing down of their publication, and 2) The announcement that the Americans had a warrant to arrest Muqtada Al-Sadr.

 
Name
Haitham Hasanein    - United Kingdom
Profession
Question
How are you doing brother Osama…I wish you and your dad all the best. We never heard about your father long time ago? Is he still in Britain or he moved back to Iraq?

Answer
Thank you for your kind words. My father went back to settle in Iraq about 6 months ago. We have been living in exile for more than 33 years and it was about time that my father went back to work amongst his own family and people. I hope to follow soon, and I trust all Iraqis outside Iraq. However, I hope that by then the tyranny of the occupation will have been removed and Iraq and Iraqis are living under true freedom and liberation, Insha'a Allah.

 
Name
mahmud    - Bangladesh
Profession student
Question
If someone by mistake takes some water during fast, will his fating still cout?
Answer
Editor:

We are ready sorry for not answering your question. This session is only dedicated to Iraq. You can refer your question to Ask the Scholar service.

 
Name
Munir Elbalabaki    - 
Profession
Question
As an Iraqi living in Britain, how do you feel about other Iraqis who left their countries and have been living a completely different life? Are they satisfied?

Answer
I've been living in Britain for 33 years (since I was 2) and have met thousands of Iraqis whom, like myself, left Iraq yearning for freedom and a better living. Obviously with millions of Iraqis living abroad for so long, many complexities and difficulties will arise when they all go back (or if they go back) to Iraq. However, whether they are satisfied or not, I believe you'd agree with me that anyone watching the news over the past 3 days would be totally unsatisfied with the situation and the barbarism that has come with the occupation of the country and its population. We still have a long battle as an Iraqi people ahead of us.

 
Name
Alia El Kassem    - 
Profession
Question
Do you think it is safe for Iraqis scholars and Islamists to go back to Iraq in the present situations? I heard about the return of Sheikh Al-Rashed recently…before Sheikh Kubaisi, and other people from the Iraqi Islamic Party. I think it is not wise for those strong and influential people to return at this time. Though their presence in Iraq might be fruitful in the sense that they will raise people’s awareness and teach them properly and lead them against the occupation forces, but given the present security circumstances in Iraq, and the previous attempts of assassinations, those Ulama and thinkers are putting their life at stake at a time when they are needed to make a difference, even for a short period, from outside Iraq.

Answer
I appreciate your assessment of the security situation, most of which is absolutely true. However, in the case of the people you have mentioned and many more who have returned to be part of rebuilding Iraq, this is the time they have been struggling for all their lives. It would be totally unacceptable for them to live outside and just watch others rebuilding the future of Iraq politically, socially and economically. They have to be part of it and lead the effort for a better future for Iraq and the Iraqis. Of course there is a risk, but I think you'd appreciate that the people you mentioned had already pledged to put their lives on the line for the sake of Allah a long time ago, so it is meaningless to stand back now.

 
Name
Muhammad    - 
Profession
Question
How does the Muslim Association of Britain defend the Iraqi and Palestinian Issue? Are there obstacles against you from the British government, which is supporting the occupation of Iraq?

Answer
Of course there are obstacles, the most prominent of which are the continuous attempts by the Zionist movement in Britain to break our resolve. We have had countless attempts to shut down our website, newspaper editors are told not to publish anything for us as well as our prominent leaders, some Zionist figures within the Parliament do not stop at any attempt to label us with various tags, and so on.

However, we have made a decision to fight for what is true and pure, and to join hands with not only the Muslims community, but also the non-Muslims who agree that these issues are just and humane. Alhamdulillah, over the past couple of years, MAB has shot to the forefront of Muslim political effort in Britain and we hope to launch many more projects of various natures that would benefit Islam, Muslims, Britain and all British people, In sha'a Allah.

 
Name
Denis    - 
Profession
Question
You just said that you have been living in Britian for 33 years and that you went there yearning for freedom. Don't you think the other Iraqis who did not get the chance to get out of Iraq need to enjoy freedom that the so called "occupation" is trying to achieve?

Answer
Looking at the images that are being relayed by TV all over the world, they don’t seem to be enjoying much of that 'freedom' you describe! Also, I as well as the 25 million Iraqis under siege today, all recognize and understand that our freedom would never have been confiscated had it not been for the US, Britain and other Western states supporting and backing the successive evil tyrants that ruled Iraq and the Iraqis. It is time the people of the world saw through the smokescreens and realised that the West only became interested in Iraq and removing Saddam when his 'credit points' had run out. The whole world was aware of his and the Ba'ath crimes over decades, yet it wasn’t in anyone's interest then to intervene and offer the Iraqis their 'freedom'.

Mark my words...freedom is never achieved by occupation, nor an illegal invasion. The West has meddled too much and has gone too far in countries such as Iraq, and the people, although suffering tremendously under brutal dictators imposed and backed by the West, will never accept to be occupied and 'granted' or 'gifted' democracy and freedom made in the corridors of 10 Downing Street or the White House. The people will only gain freedom that they have earned and fought and struggled for, not one conveniently given to them in installments whenever it suits the powers that be.

 
Name
Khalid Mursi    - Austria
Profession
Question
How do you assess the Sunni-Shiite cooperation in rebuilding Iraq? We hear a lot of news about Shiite attacking Sunnis and vice versa.

Answer
There can be no question that there are differences between the Sunnis and the Shi'ites. But to portray the situation as though it is only the occupation forces who are keeping Iraqis from attacking each other and creating a bloodbath is a lie and a incredibly shameless one at that. The Iraqi people, all sects and ethnicities have always lived together and built a wonderful nation that was only destroyed by tyranny and evil dictators dealing with filthy western governments who had nothing on their minds but the total exploitation of the country and its resources, whatever the cost. Their are countless Sunni families who marry into Shi'ites and vice versa, and there are no dividing lines through residential areas or work places to distinguish one from the other. Saddam used the dirty ploy to turn people against people in order to secure his own stranglehold on the country, and the Americans are doing the same thing today.

 
Name
Linda    - 
Profession
Question
It has been a long time the Iraqis were waiting for their freedom. I believe everything needs sacrifice, and the clashes or the state if insecurity that we see and hear about happening in Iraq show us that those long oppressed people are not ready yet for independence and that is what the Americans forces and others are trying to achieve. But everything takes time. The problem I see is we always look from the negative side: why don't we look at the too many demonstrations going on the streets now with the absolute freedom, why don't we look at the people that can watch what they like, talk what they think, get to criticize their leaders even on sattelites and radio.... don't you see this as a postive result of the liberation of Iraq?

Answer
Of course, but only if it were absolutely true! The recent clashes in Baghdad, lest we forget, are because the Americans closed down a newspaper belonging to Al-Sadr (not much free speech there), and the dozens who have died in Falluja and Basra, were unarmed protestors who demanded their rights in gaining access to the local hospital and amenities. The world has no right to state that the Iraqis, unlike the rest of the world, should be given partial independence because they seemingly can't handle the joy of being absolutely free. The Iraqis aren’t beneath enjoying basic human rights as anyone of us would not only demand but expect. The US and Britain do not want an absolute democracy in Iraq, and do you know why? Because the likes of Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims who they are killing right now in their homes and mosques, would be the most likely victors in any free election...that's why. I, like you wish that we had more positives in the case of my people and my country. But I cannot look at a mirage and contest that it is a reality. The attack on Iraq was morally and legally wrong and all that follows cannot possibly bring any good.

 
Name
Mohammed    - 
Profession
Question
I would be really disappointed with the way things are in Iraq now. It's sad that a Western force felt it had to liberate Iraq. Unfortunately their intention was not liberation. What we need is strong leadership from the Muslim world to assist Iraq with their transformation into a democracy.

Answer
I agree to a large extent. But do you see any potential candidates for such a momentous role? The Iraqi people have to carve their own future and make their own destiny. They cannot be offered freedom and a wonderful life without working hard for it. This is all part of their struggle. After decades of Saddam, they have learnt never to accept a tyrant, even if he has ended the life of the tyrant before him.

 
Name
Ennes    - Greece
Profession
Question
As-Salamu `Alaikum! What do you think or feel about the likes of Chalabi, who exploits the term "Exile" for his own interest. (2) It is said in the American media that the reports about WMD came first from Iraqi Exiles and as we know there are no WMD until now. What is your view about this, and have you yourself as an Iraqi exile contributed to this WMD Intelligence? (3) Today's news says that The Iraqis ( Shias and Muslims) control a major part of 3 cities in Iraq Akka Kut Kuffa and a major part of Najaf, Do you think that they can push this war further until God gives us victory and liberate Iraq? Thanks for your time, and Salam.

Answer
Wa `Alaykum As-Salamu warahmatullah.

1) Ahmed Chelebi is an American puppet who is also a convicted embezzler and a wanted criminal (He was convicted by a Jordanian court for embezzling more than $200m in the early 90s.). He has no credit with the Iraqis, and I see even the Americans getting tired of him in the near future, as he is failing to deliver as a political and social 'force'.

2) The WMDs that existed in Iraq were all sold to the previous regime by American, British, Russian and French companies, but they were destroyed long before the war (as confirmed by Scott Ritter and other UN weapons inspecting chiefs). I as well as millions around the world, saw the excuse of WMD prior to the war as a big lie and a deception. I have also heard that some of those who were on the payroll of the US and British Governments contributed towards this intelligence, but the main sources of intelligence in this issue were the likes of Hussein Kamel, Saddam's son-in law who fled Iraq in 1995 and offered information for free before returning and getting killed by Saddam's son. I certainly wasn’t privy to any information on WMD nor offered any help to anyone in this regard.

3) The news that the control of some cities has fallen to the people is still premature. The struggle of the Iraqi people, militarily and politically must continue until the occupier leaves and a true patriotic and democratic government is elected, In sha'a Allah.

 
Name
Anis Rohat    - 
Profession
Question
What is the wish of Iraqis in exile now? Do they wish to return back? Are the people planning to do so many? Or most of them are worried about the currect situations?

Answer
Of course, every Iraqi's dream is to go back and settle in Iraq, and yes, most people are very worried regarding the situation. However, I believe that most Iraqis, rather than fear for themselves, actually have great concerns regarding the whole situation and the occupation of their country and people. However, I hope that the people of Iraq will all return home one day after the occupier has left and the country freed, In sha'a Allah.

 
Name
rahmana    - 
Profession
Question
So, you are pro the armed resistance in Iraq?

Answer
I am all for the effort and struggle to free Iraq and end the occupation. I would rather that happen without any silage of blood on any side, the coalition forces or the Iraqis. If there are political avenues that are efficient and would work, then they must be exhausted. However, to expect to rule people with guns and missiles and not expect a reaction in kind is extremely foolish and naive. Also, to occupy a people and expect them not to retaliate is also unrealistic. Even the United Nations recognizes the right of an occupied people to free themselves using any means and methods, and the Iraqis aren’t exempt from that liberty. However, my wish is that not one single Iraqi is killed, not one single American or British soldier is killed...and Iraq is freed from occupation. If that can be achieved, then I'm all for it.

 
Name
Denis    - 
Profession
Question
You are even a product of the west you are defaming and blaming now!! Would you be able to voice your views that loud under the Saddam's regime...thank then Tony Blair for giving you that freedom!!

Answer
Neither you nor Tony Blair have the authority to grant or to confiscate neither my or anyone else's freedom to speak and express themselves. You ought to be ashamed of yourself for thinking that I or the Iraqi people ought to grovel and accept being occupied and humiliated by the Coalition forces, simply because they had been living under the tyranny of the Ba'ath regime (who was imposed and backed by Britain and the West, let's not forget) for 35 years. You ought to also be ashamed of yourself for saying that I am a product of the West...what is that? And how does it oppose a 'product of the East'? That is the very mentality that has created the situation that we are in today, and will continue to spill blood and create chaos and havoc around the world...all in the name of granting people some of the freedom we have and teaching them how to be better and more civilized human beings. Your argument and attitude are an absolute disgrace.

 
Name
Ainon    - Malaysia
Profession
Question
The Iraqi exiles who called upon the US to occupy Iraq. How do you justify your actions now that Iraq has become a living hell?

Answer
If you are referring to myself...then you have the wrong person. I never called on the US to occupy Iraq. In fact I lead demonstrations to stop the war.

 
Name
Ahmed Arrafeeq    - 
Profession
Question
Do you think that the long waited Arab summit will defend Palestine and Iraq for the first time?

Answer
In short, No. I don't think I need to go into detail to explain my answer!

 
Name
Mohammad Al-Rajeah    - 
Profession
Question
What do you say to Iraqis living outside Iraq now? What advice you give to the Sunnis and Shias?

Answer
I don't need to give them any advice at all. The people of Iraq are a nation of wonderful talents, skills, abilities, fortitude, resolve and courage. They have been wronged for far too long, but now they are fighting for their freedom and future. I can only remind them that it is with unity and standing together that we can achieve our goals and realize the objectives that have been beyond us for so long. Also, if anything, we have learnt from the dark era of the Ba'ath regime, never ever to allow injustice to go unpunished and unchecked. We must never ever allow a tyrant to flourish or a wrong-doer to get away with any in the future. It is with justice and truth that we can have the kind of Iraq we all dream of.

 
Name
Rafeeq    - 
Profession
Question
What do you think would be the priorities of Iraqis in the present time? It seems that there are many efforts to resist occupation, but I still see a huge difference between the Palestinian resistance and the Iraqi one.

Answer
I warn against drawing comparisons between any two different contexts. It would be impossible for the Iraqis to follow the Palestinian example, as it would be wrong for the Palestinians to take on board, unconditionally, the Iraqi model. What we must learn though are the lessons that come from the struggle of the two people and use for the benefit of our future. The priorities of the Iraqi people have to be headed by the removal of the occupation. This is closely followed by achieving national unity and then developing a flourishing and ambitious economic situation where resources are utilized for the benefit of the country and its people. These must be among the main short term objectives. On the long run however, we can list many, including developing the national and Islamic identity and role of the country within the region.

 
Name
Abdullah    - 
Profession
Question
My mother is suffering from Alzeimers disease and is a confused state of mind. I try all my best to take care of her. She gets some financial help from the social care, she is obviously not capable to decide for herself. My question is how her money should be spent since she cannot decide fore herself. I would like also to tell you that she has sisters and other relatives living in poverty. Jazakum Allah.

Answer
Firstly, I would advise that you continue to pray for her and persist with looking after her as much as you can, in accordance to the stipulation of Allah Almighty and teachings of Islam. This is the time when the extent of your service for your parents is really tried. Also, I would advise that you consult a local scholar as to how her wealth is spent. However, it is fair to say that it should be spent on her, her needs (whether medical or living, etc.) and all that offer her a decent and comfortable life. After all, it is her wealth and this is when she needs it most. Many scholars will equate her condition to that of an orphan living in foster care, where his or her wealth are to be used by the fosters to look after them and care for their affairs, and not for any personal gain. In fact, the wealth of an orphan is held in high sanctity and must never ever be touched or misused, so my belief is that the same goes for your mother. May Allah grant her and you health and firm Iman.

Editor:

You can also forward your question to Ask the Scholar service on islamonline and insha'Allah you will be helped by so many.

 
Name
Editor    - 
Profession
Answer
Finally, we would like to thank Mr. Anas Osama Altikriti for speaking to Islamonline viewers today, and we also thank all those who participated in this dialogue. We apologize for not being able to accommodate all the questions within the time allocated to this session. We request our readers to join us in the upcoming sessions.

Yours,
IslamOnline Live Dialogue Editing Desk

 

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