- (AFP) -- Iraqis, who face bombings on a daily basis,
have condemned the attacks in London saying they go against Islamic teachings;
but many blame US and British policies for the rise in extremism worldwide.
- Attacks in Baghdad currently average about 20 a day,
including bombings and shootings. Car bombs average eight a week, down
50% from last month, according to a senior US military officer.
- "Muslims oppose attacks targeting civilians, whether
they are Muslims or non-Muslims," said Shaikh Abd al-Ghafur al-Samarrai,
during Friday prayers at the Sunni Umm al-Qura mosque in Baghdad.
- Shaikh Jalaleddin al-Saghir, addressing a sermon at the
Shia Baratha mosque in Baghdad, said on Friday: "Britain, which has
recently opened the door to former Saddam [Hussein] loyalists, must now
see that the terror plaguing the people of Iraq can spread into the subway
stations, resulting in this disgraceful massacre."
- Another preacher, Shaikh Zakaria al-Tamimi, speaking
at the Ibn Taimiyah mosque - home to the Salafist orthodox brand of Sunni
Islam - wondered why the world would not react to the daily killing of
innocent people in Iraq, just as it did to the latest London bombings.
- "This is because Iraqis are like chicken and nobody
cares about the killing of a chicken, but the British are the lords of
- In the Shia city of Najaf, in southern Iraq, Shaikh Sadreddin
al-Kubbanji condemned the London bombings; but he accused British Prime
Minister Tony Blair of being too quick in blaming Muslims for them.
- "These reckless comments increase the hate towards
Muslims," he said.
- Common man's response
- On the streets of Baghdad, ordinary Iraqis reacted with
a mixture of pity and resentment.
- "Bush and Blair say Iraq is the battleground in
the fight against terrorism, and they say they need to fight here to stop
violence from spreading to their own homes," said Soad Mohammed, a
40-year-old teacher in a Sunni district of Baghdad.
- "But it's precisely because of what they're doing
in Iraq that they now face violence at home," she said.
- "They are reaping the fruit of what they sowed,"
- City comparisons
- Khaled Yassin, a 30-year-old taxi driver, said: "Yesterday
I was amazed when I got home from work to hear about bombings at the top
of the news which, for once, weren't in Baghdad."
- He said he even joked with his wife that the terrorists
had moved to London, because the day had been relatively quiet in the Iraqi
- Karrar Mohsen, 33, shopping in the Al-Shuala district,
said: "Seeing innocent people on their way to work being killed makes
me sad. They are now drinking from the same, bitter cup as we."
- Mustafa Mohammed, 45, selling furniture in the district
of Al-Adhamiyah, said: "It's US and British policy towards the Arab
world and towards Iraq which is to blame for the attack in London.
- "If you live in a glass house, you shouldn't be
throwing stones," he said.
- Nabil Mohammed, a professor of international relations
at Baghdad University, said: "The West must alter its policies or
the whole world will be engulfed in violence.
- "In Iraq, people have been subject to attacks for
over two years, all because of the occupation of the country," he
- Targeting Islam?
- Speaking in the southern city of Basra, Hassan Fadhel,
a 35-year-old railway employee, said terrorists in London wanted to sully
the image of Islam.
- "They are targeting Islam," he said, adding
that the attacks should be condemned "whether they happen in London,
Basra or anywhere else in the world".
- "But at the same time, I also blame America and
Bush, because we must not forget that Bush supported Osama bin Laden,"
during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, he added.