In a cautionary note for those accepting at face value the Global Muslim Brotherhood’s profession of belief in freedom of religion, religious media is reporting that local sources are saying that attacks against Christian Assyrian businesses in northern Iraq over the weekend were organized by the Kurdish Muslim Brotherhood. According to a report on Catholic Online:
12/7/2011 ISTANBUL, TURKEY (Compass Direct News) – Attacks against Christian Assyrian businesses in northern Iraq over the weekend, which local sources said were organized by a pro-Islamic political party, marked the first such destruction of Christian establishments in the Kurdish region. The rampage threatens the frail security of Iraq’s dwindling Christian population, sources said. After mullah Mala Ismail Osman Sindi’s sermon claiming there was moral corruption in massage parlors in the northern town of Zakho on Friday (Dec. 2), a group of young men attacked and burned shops in the town, most of them Christian-owned. The businesses included liquor stores, hotels, a beauty salon and a massage parlor, according to Ankawa News. “The interesting thing with this incident is the place where it happened,” Archdeacon Emanuel Youkhana of the Assyrian Church of the East said. “KRG [the Kurdish Regional Government]is, for the most part, safe and secure, and all inhabitants enjoy prosperity and security, until now at least. The future is, by all means, bleak for the Christians and other minorities living there.” Some of the assailants waved banners stating, “There Is No God but Allah,” according to Ankawa News. Sources said local authorities were slow in responding, resulting in heavy financial losses. Thousands of Christians had fled to the Kurdish region since the U.S.-led military intervention in Iraq in 2003. Mullah Sindi denied accusations that he provoked the violence against northern Iraq’s Christian community, according to Ankawa News. After Sindi’s sermon, a man reportedly stood up in the mosque and said that since there were un-Islamic massage parlors in Zakho, Muslims should go destroy them. The mob started with the town’s only massage parlor and continued to stores selling liquor and three hotels, where they lit fires, according to Ankawa News. Later on Friday, the mob tried to attack the Christian quarters of Zakho, but authorities stopped them. Violence also erupted on Saturday morning (Dec. 3) on the outskirts of Dohuk in two Christian neighborhoods, where groups attacked liquor stores and burned a Christian cultural club. Yesterday (Dec. 5) small pockets of violence against Christian communities were quickly extinguished near the Kurdish capital, Erbil, and in the center of Sulaymaniyah, 200 kilometers (124 miles) south. In Zakho, near the border with Turkey, owners of liquor shops and other establishments whose shops were burned and vandalized found leaflets on the walls of their destroyed shops yesterday (Dec. 5) threatening to kill them if they re-opened, according to Ankawa News. Some of the shop owners were Yezidis, a local religious sect. The attacks were reportedly organized by the Kurdistan Islamic Union party, which is inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood, one of the region’s oldest Islamist parties and founded in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood strives to influence governments in the region toward more Islamic values.
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An earlier post reported that the KIU was prepared to welcome back Mullah Krekar, a well known Al-Qaeda supporter currently residing Norway, should he be deported from that country.
The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has identified the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) as a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in Kurdistan. A previous post from August 2009 reported that the KIU had won nine parliamentary seats in the Kurdistan National Assembly July 25 elections while the political coalition that the KIU led in the elections, the Reform & Services List gained approximately 12.8% of the electorate vote. However, a later post reported that the KIU was not going to be participating in the Kurdish government.
The BBC has a short profile on the KIU:
Also known as Yekgirtu, the Kurdish Islamic Union is the largest Islamic organisation in Iraqi Kurdistan. It was formally established in 1994. The group’s leaders fought the 1992 legislative elections in Kurdish-controlled Iraq, winning third place behind the KDP and PUK. The party is currently led by Secretary-General Sheikh Salah al-Din Muhammad Baha al-Din. The party is supported mainly by donations from Saudi Islamic organisations. Active in charity work in the region, the party has been building mosques, clinics and schools in rural areas, where it has a strong following.
For the KIU website, go here.