Friday, February 24, 2006

Life In Baghdad During Post-Mosque-Bombing Anarchy

Zeyad at Healing Iraq says that things are apparently calming down after two-days of anarchy, arson, murder and mayhem in response to Wednesday's bombing of the al-Askariya mosque in Samarra.

Early Friday Zeyad posted the following chilling account of what was going on in his own neighborhood:
Fierce streetfighting at my doorstep for the last 3 hours. Rumor in the neighbourhood is that men in black are trying to enter the area. Some armed kids defending the local mosque three blocks away are splattering bullets at everything that moves, and someone in the street was shouting for people to prepare for defending themselves.

There's supposed to be a curfew, but it doesn't look like it. My net connection is erratic, so I'll try to update again if possible. The news from other areas in Baghdad are horrible. I don't think it's being reported anywhere.

My father and uncle are agitatedly walking back and forth in the hallway, asking me what we should do if the mob or Interior ministry forces try to attack us in our homes? I have no answer for them.
In an earlier posting on Friday Zeyad expressed his feelings with heartfelt passion:
What kind of nation are we? What kind of nation kills its intellectuals and academics, its doctors and healers, its women and children, its clerics and preachers? What kind of nation blows up churches and mosques, hotels and schools, funerals and weddings? We have left nothing sacred. Yet we have the insolence to accuse others of offending us, of vilifying us. I announce today that we have proved ourselves worthy of that vilification. Ten years ago, I denounced religion and disavowed Islam. I do not want to be forced to disavow my country and nation today, but with every new day, I’m afraid I am getting closer to it.
Suddenly, here in my quiet corner of Hawaii, it seems strangely quiet and uncomofortably peaceful. I do not hear gunfire outside my home. I am not terrified and afraid that armed men might burst into my home at any moment, handcuff and blindfold me, drag me outside and put a bullet in my head.

There are tens of millions of Iraqis just like Zeyad tonight. They want peace. They want unity. They do not hate anybody (or would be happier if they didn't need to). Although I am remembering them in my prayers what I am actually asking is that God would answer theirs.