Imagine if a Christian religious academy were spending any time at all training its students “in the use of combat weapons, physical resistance and street fighting.” But no one will take any note of this school, despite the active support it is receiving from two governments.
Note also the close collaboration between the Iraqi and Iranian governments on this. That is the fruit of our ill-thought out Iraq adventure. “Iran terror camp shock,” from the Gulf Daily News, July 28:
NAJAF, Iraq: A religious academy in Iraq has started training more than 1,500 recruits from Bahrain and other Arab countries in the use of combat weapons, physical resistance and street fighting, it emerged last night.
The training, which began yesterday at a camp about 5km away from a main road between Najaf and Karbala, is funded by Iran, our sister paper Akhbar Al Khaleej reports.
Apart from members of Hawza Ilmiyya Najab, the religious academy, those being trained include citizens from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Syria and other Arab countries, the report adds.
Their countries’ national flags were flown over the main gate of the camp during the opening ceremony of the camp, it says.
Mohmmed Redha Ali Al Sistani, son of Iranian religious scholar Ali Al Sistani; Iraqi Transport Minister Hadi Al Amiri; Higher Education and Scientific Research Minister and a senior member of Iraq Islamic Dawa Party Ali Al Adeeb; Iranian General Qasim Sulaimani and other members of the State of Law Coalition attended the ceremony.
Iran has allocated $1 million (BD37,800) for the camp, and the amount was handed over to Mohammed Al Sistani by General Sulaimani, the report says.