RealNews

Saddam Invitees Believed Behind Insurgency

Internationally isolated and fearful of losing power, Saddam Hussein made an astonishing move in the last years of his secular rule: He invited into Iraq clerics who preached an austere form of Islam that’s prevalent in Saudi Arabia.He also let extremely religious Iraqis join his ruling Baath Socialist Party. Saddam’s bid to win over devout Muslims planted the seeds of the insurgency behind some of the deadliest attacks against U.S. and Iraqi forces today, say Saudi dissidents and U.S. officials. “Saddam invited Muslim scholars and preachers to Iraq for his own survival,” said Saad Fagih, a London-based Saudi dissident. “He convinced them that Shiites are the danger.” Shiite Muslims make up about 60 percent of Iraq’s 26 million people and they strongly support planned Jan. 30 elections, hoping to reverse the longtime domination of Iraq’s Sunni minority. The insurgency is thought to be run mostly by Sunnis who fear losing power.Full Story

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