Sunday, December 31, 2006
A Shameful Ending to a Violent Year
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
The view from India is the same as the view from the Moon:
HYDERABAD (Times of India, Dec 31) Deposed Iraq president Saddam Hussein's execution in Baghdad by the Iraq government on Saturday was received with shock and condemnation in the city.
Political parties, including left-wing parties and Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, took out rallies and burnt effigies of US president George W Bush, while religious institutions condemned the execution.
MIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi said, "The trial was a farce. The US showed its total insensitivity by executing Saddam Hussein on a holy day. These days are holy for the Muslims. They are busy in prayers and celebrating Id."
Hundreds of left activists took out a rally from L B Stadium to Basheerbagh crossroads and later burnt Bush's effigy. They also raised slogans against the US government.
"Saddam's hanging is hanging of justice," they shouted.
JI president for AP and Orissa Abdul Basith Anwar, in a statement, expressed regret and said the execution was carried out when Muslims were preparing for Fajar (morning) prayer.
"If execution is the punishment for Saddam Hussein for what he had done to his people and the country, then president Bush and his ally British prime minister Tony Blair deserve worse treatment for what they are doing in Afghanistan, Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq," he added.
Free at Last!
BAGHDAD, Iraq Dec 31, 2006 (AP)— At least 80 Iraqis died in bombings and other attacks Saturday as they prepared to celebrate Islam's biggest holiday, their first without Saddam Hussein.
The military reported the deaths of six more American troops, making December the deadliest month this year for U.S. forces in Iraq. At least 2,998 members of the U.S. military have been killed since the Iraq war began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.
History Repeats Itself
"In about 762 A.D., the Abbasid dynasty took over rule of the vast Muslim world and moved the capital to the newly-founded city of Baghdad. Over the next five centuries, the city would become the world's center of education and culture. This period of glory has become known as the "Golden Age" of Islamic civilization, when scholars of the Muslim world made important contributions in both the sciences and humanities: medicine, mathematics, astronomy, chemistry, literature, and more. Under Abbasid rule, Baghdad became a city of museums, hospitals, libraries, and mosques.
"The city of Baghdad was finally trashed by the Mongols in 1258 A.D., effectively ending the era of the Abbasids. The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers reportedly ran red, with the blood of thousands of scholars (a reported 100,000 of Baghdad's million residents were massacred). Many of the libraries, irrigation canals, and great historical treasures were looted and forever ruined. The city began a long period of decline, and became host to numerous wars and battles that continue to this day." (Read "United States" for "Mongols".) About: Islam