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A Man Needs A Fish Like A Woman Needs a Bicycle
Thursday, May 13, 2004
LEARNING SOME MORE ABOUT MUSLIM CULTURE Juan Cole has an interesting post up on the current fighting going on in Karbala, in which half of an historic mosque has been destroyed in fighting between the Army of the Mahdi (Muqtada al-Sadr's mob) and American forces (intervening at the behest of the US appointed Iraqi governor, Saad Sufouk). Dr. Cole ends his post thus:
I don't care what Sufouk told them the Americans are most unwise to engage in major combat in Karbala so close to Husain's tomb. They make themselves look like Yazid. If they, or whoever is reading this, don't know who Yazid is, then they have no business being in Iraq, much less in Karbala.

So, not knowing much about this fellow, Yazid, I did a little research:
The second Umayyad caliph, he reigned from 680 to 683.

During the reign of his father, Yazid had commanded the army that laid seige to Constantinople. After his accession, Yazid was confronted with two rebellions. The first was that of Husayn, son of Ali and grandson of Muhammad, which occured in Kerbala in 680; the rebellion was short-lived and unsuccessful, but the martyrdom of Husayn and his family created a permanent division between the Shi`ites, the partisans of Ali, and the Sunni majority...

Although often depicted by Muslim historians as a dissolute ruler, Yazid attempted to continue his father's administrative and military policies. He reformed the tax system and improved the irrigation system in the environs of Damascus.

I think I can understand why Dr. Cole is worried. We would never put a 1,000 pound bomb anywhere near the tomb of Husain; right? We would never make that sort of blunder in alienating Shi'ite sensibilities? Even if "practical military necessity" called for it?
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