From AP, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
BAGHDAD, Iraq – U.S. troops detained the head of Iraq’s largest Sunni Muslim political party on Monday, according to party officials, police and the man’s wife. South of the capital, two suicide bombers attacked a crowd of policemen in Hillah, killing 20 and wounding nearly 100….
The arrests came on the second day of Operation Lightning, a massive Iraqi-led anti-insurgent offensive in Baghdad that Abdul-Hamid’s party opposes, believing security forces will trample on innocent people’s rights.
Abdul-Hamid was taken from his home in the western Baghdad suburb of Khadra at about 6 a.m., along with his three sons and four guards, said party-secretary-general Ayad al-Samarei.
Al-Samarei accused American soldiers of raiding Abdul-Hamid’s home and confiscating various items, including a computer. U.S. military officials could not immediately confirm the detentions. Iraqi officials were also reluctant to talk about the issue.
“This is a provocative and foolish act and this is part of the pressure exerted on the party,” al-Samarei said.
“At the time when the Americans say they are keen on real Sunni participation, they are now arresting the head of the only Sunni party that calls for a peaceful solution and have participated in the political process,” he added….
Iraq’s president, Jalal Talabani, who is Kurdish, expressed “surprise and discontent” on learning of Abdul-Hamid’s arrest and called for his immediate release, according to a statement from his office. The statement did not identify who detained Abdul-Hamid.
“The Iraqi president said that no one gave prior notice to the Presidential Council about the arrest of Dr. Mohsen Abdul-Hamid. This way of dealing with such a distinguished political figure is unacceptable,” the statement added.
A top police official, speaking on customary condition of anonymity, claimed U.S. forces arrested Abdul-Hamid as did his wife, Awatif Ibrahim.
“They (U.S troops) raided our house and my son’s house, using bullets and stun bombs,” Ibrahim told Associated Press Television News. “And they arrested him (her son) and they also detained my husband, Mohsen Abdul-Hamid, head of the Iraqi Islamic Party.”
The party also released a statement alleging “occupation forces arrested Abdul-Hamid” and that an Arabic translator had assisted in the detention.
The Iraqi Islamic Party issued a statement demanding Abdul-Hamid’s immediate release, saying he “represents a large sector of the Iraqi people.”
“This irresponsible behavior will only complicate the situation,” the party statement said….
Abdul-Hamid, aged in his late 60s, is regarded as a moderate Islamic leader. He was a member of the now dissolved U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council and has been involved with the party since the 1970s and headed it since 2003.
So why would Mohsen Abdul-Hamid have been detained? Is this a foolish and clumsy attempt to silence dissent? Maybe.
Or maybe it’s that fiendish Mossad. From IranDaily:
TEHRAN, Jan. 2–State Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in a meeting with the head of Iraq’s Islamic Party, Mohsen Abdul-Hamid, on Sunday warned against the irreparable consequences of Iraqi people’s failure to participate in political activities.
According to a report released by SEC’s Public Relations Office, Rafsanjani referred to the critical situation in Iraq and said a delay in elections will further tighten the grip of occupying forces over the destiny of the Iraqi people and their national resources, IRNA reported.
“Despite paying excessive costs, the US is mainly concerned about securing its own interests and reluctant to leave the country,” he said.
He underlined that no other factor is more pivotal in saving Iraq than holding elections and letting the people control their own destiny.
For his part, Abdul-Hamid explained the latest developments in his country and said the US forces in Iraq proved their country to be the number one enemy of the Muslim world.
“The US has occupied Iraq to support the Zionist regime and with the hope of controlling the region’s oil resources,” he said….
Abdul-Hamid declared that terrorist groups and Israel’s intelligence service Mossad are currently causing many problems and trying to inflict damage on the Iraqi nation.
Or maybe it had something to do with his ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, the forefather of Al-Qaeda and Hamas, which he affirmed despite his peaceful rhetoric. From IslamOnline:
BAGHDAD, April 23 (IslamOnline.net) – The Iraqi Islamic Party (IIP) will not adopt violence as an approach to resist the U.S.-Anglo occupation of Iraq, the party’s Secretary General Dr. Mohsen Abdul Hamid said Wednesday, April 23.
Speaking to IslamOnline.net, Abdul Hamid rejected any kind of cooperation with an occupation-installed government.
“It is abundantly clear that we reject the presence of the U.S. occupation in Iraq, but we will not use violence in resisting it,” he said.
“Armed confrontation is useless and we will resist (the occupation) peacefully. The party and other Iraqi religious and national factions are on board when it comes to this, no doubt.”…
“The parties in Iraq are a dime a dozen “¦ Any body can stroll five persons together and form a party,” Abdul Hamid said, referring to the anarchy and free-for-all looting that swept Iraq.
“But the IIP (Iraq’s Muslim Brotherhood) is a time-honored party that dates back to 1944, when Imam Hassan al-Banna (the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928) dispatched his close ally Dr. Hussein Kamal Eddin.
“But the then government did not allow us to name the party after the Muslim Brotherhood and we instead established the society of Islamic brotherhood, which played a pivotal role in whipping up religious zeal in Iraq at that point in time,” he added….
Asked whether or not the IIP would cooperate with the new U.S.-installed Iraqi government, Abdul Hamid said the party “will never cooperate with any government not elected by the Iraqi people under the umbrella of the international legitimacy.”…
“The Americans would only bless a government that helps them set up military bases in Iraq and recognizes Israel. We, from the bottom of our hearts, are against this and we put it clear that they will not stay in Iraq for long.”…
“We revived the party once again and are doing everything in our power to redraw its political, economic and social maps,” he said, noting that the part had already set up ad hoc committees to draw up the executive regulation of the party and make some amendments to its constitution.
“We hope that we would succeed in lifting the blinkers that stand as a stumbling block between Islam and some of the Iraqi people”¦We do not care about the results, we only want to raise up the public awareness of the religion,” he concluded.
What might he have been doing to raise up public awareness of the religion? Maybe we will be finding out soon.