November 1, 2006, - 2:20 pm

Mithal Al-Alusi: Courageous Moderate Iraqi Muslim Wants Peace w/ Israel, to Fight Terror

By Debbie Schlussel
While elected Iraqi President Noori Al-Maliki is out to protect Shi’ite terrorist Muqtada Al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army from U.S. troops, there is one light amid the darkness: Mithal Al-Alusi.
Heath Robinson’s piece on Al-Alusi in today’s Wall Street Journal editorial page is cause for a glimmer of hope. If all leaders–or even half of them–in the Muslim world were like the courageous Al-Alusi, we’d be at peace. Both of his sons gave their lives for his democratic ideals and daring to want peace with Israel.

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Iraqi Legislator Mithal Al-Alusi:

He Lost His Sons For Supporting Peace w/ Israel

Al-Alusi, a 53-year-old Sunni, is an elected member of the Iraqi Parliament. Surely, there was no-one like him under dictator Saddam Hussein. Al-Alusi

served as director general of the National Commission on de-Baathification. Mr. al-Alusi ran on a platform of religious pluralism, human rights, free markets and a free press. He calls for an alliance among democracies–including the U.S., Iraq, Israel and Turkey–to fight terrorism.
Not only does Mr. al-Alusi champion values many in the West hope will define the new Iraq, he has risked his life–and lost more than his life–for the cause. In September 2004 he attended a counterterrorism conference in Herzliya, Israel; after which insurgents threatened his family. The following February assassins opened fire on Mr. al-Alusi’s car as it approached his Baghdad home. He wasn’t in the vehicle, but his sons, 30-year-old Ayman and 22-year-old Gamal, were. Both were killed as their father watched. Still, Mr. al-Alusi was unbowed. “Even if these terrorists try to kill me again, peace is the only solution,” he told reporters minutes after the attack. “Peace with Israel is the only solution for Iraq. Peace with everybody, but no peace for the terrorists.” He continued to build his Iraqi Nation Party, which his fallen sons had helped establish, and which now has 15,000 members.
He describes his views less in ideological terms than in human ones. “An Iraqi mother, she has the right to have normal feelings for her baby. It’s the same for an Israeli mother,” he told me in a phone interview from Baghdad. “This is the best way to drive the world’s politics. Not to make it complicated.”

Should we abandon a brave guy like this in Iraq? He believes he will be killed, but our leaving Iraq will certainly assure and hasten that move. And then, there’s the Iran angle:

Mr. al-Alusi told me that “Iran is fully involved in terrorist activity in Iraq.” He believes Tehran is playing both sides, backing Sunni terrorists as well as Shiite ones.
Polls suggest a majority of Americans think it was a mistake to enter Iraq. Mr. al-Alusi respectfully disagrees. “We didn’t have any kind of hope, and now, even with all our difficulty, we have hope.” Iraq today is a central front in a war against extremists who view the murder of civilians as political expression. “I will be killed–if not today, tomorrow,” Mr. al-Alusi says. “The point is not me, but children–for a child to be a child, not a killer; for a teenager to be a teenager, not an extremist.”

A brave man, indeed. That he has 15,000 Iraqi followers is good news. If only there were even more.

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4 Responses

Looks like there ARE moderate muslims that are trying to make a difference. It just takes a while for us to hear about them.

FSM-FTW!(descent) on November 1, 2006 at 3:31 pm

Wow– this is an amazing thing to me–and does make a huge difference! I like how he said that:
“An Iraqi mother, she has the right to have normal feelings for her baby. It’s the same for an Israeli mother,” he told me in a phone interview from Baghdad. “This is the best way to drive the world’s politics. Not to make it complicated.”
Having lost 2 sons in to the jihadis, and still speaking for peace–that is amazing.
I do feel the US should really do what we can to support this brave man also. I think this shows too Debbie, that you are highlighting what is positive in some non-Isralies in the Middle-east–that you are not 100% anti Arab as some may have branded you.

BB on November 1, 2006 at 7:48 pm

We cannot simply leave Islam to its own devices. It will never reform from within without pressure. A democracy and the seeds of pluralism would never have been established in Iraq if America had not overthrown the Saddam Hussein dictatorship. The Islamic extremists are blowing up Iraqis and American troops because they realize that if America succeeds in Iraq, it is the beginning of the end for them. To put it in very simple terms, we can help moderates like Mithal Al-Alusi achieve freedom and a better for their people. Or we can cut and run and watch Al Qaeda transform Iraq into a Middle Eastern killing fields like Cambodia. Some people think we should never have gone into Iraq in the first place. Then voices like Al-Alusi, even though they are a tiny minority, make me think its all worth it. A free society will take a generation or longer to be established in a country like Iraq. Real life is not like a movie where everything gets wrapped up in 2 hours. In sum, we have a lot of work ahead of us over there.

NormanF on November 2, 2006 at 5:46 am

Mithal Al-Alusi has more courage than the entire defeatest DemonRat Party put together. The DemonRat donkey has a yellow streak down it’s back.

FreethinkerNY on November 2, 2006 at 5:01 pm

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