Muqtedar Khan is Director of International Studies and Chair, Political
Science Department at Adrian College in Michigan.
Dr. Khan is also associated with the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy and the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding.
He is the author of American Muslims: Bridging Faith and Freedom (Amana, 2002), Jihad for Jerusalem: Identity and Strategy in International Relations (Praeger, 2004). His forthcoming book is titled Beyond Jihad and Crusade: Rethinking US Policy in the Muslim World (Brookings Institution, 2004).
frequently comments on BBC, CNN, FOX and VOA TV, NPR and other radio
networks. His political commentaries appear regularly in newspapers in
over 20 countries. He has also lectured in North America, East Asia,
Middle East and Europe.
comprehensive resume click here: Resume
Recent Articles on GlocalEye
Elections 2005 :
This article was published by The Globalist [February
Bush administration is under the false impression that the elections in
Iraq herald the era of democracy in Iraq and thus justify the Bush
preemption doctrine. What it
seems they cannot see is that the US has just facilitated a major transfer
of power in the Arab World – from Sunnis to Shiites. Thanks to the US
the Arab Shites will now control Baghdad – the jewel in the Islamic
crown – after a millennium. They did not rule over Baghdad even under
the glorious Fatimid Dynasty (909-1171), a Shiite dynasty that ruled over
Egypt, North Africa and Syria nearly a thousand years ago but had a
tenuous hold briefly under the Buwayhid tribal confederation from 945-1055
when the Turkic Seljuks invaded and captured Baghdad with the help of the
Very few men on the planet command such loyalty and devotion as Ayatollah Al-Sistani
The Iraqi elections according to most analysts are a triumph for the Bush administration’s Iraq policy, since an estimated 60% of the
potential 14 million voters voted on January 30, 2005.
large turnout, in spite of escalated violence by the insurgency which took
hundreds of lives in the run up and 44 lives on the day of the elections
itself, is being interpreted as indicative of the Iraqi people’s desire
for democracy and free society. Though the elections were marred by
violence and the boycott by the Sunni minority, the very fact of that a
“free election’ was held in Iraq in more than half a century is being
touted as a significant step towards democracy.
of all talking about “free” elections in the context of Iraq is
stretching the truth, sort of like the claims that Iraq had large
stockpiles of WMDs and was on the verge of attacking the US and Israel in
2001. Iraq is currently under occupation by foreign powers that have over
170,000 troops [150,000 US and other Coalition forces] in the country.
There is an extremely violent and vigorous on going insurgency in the
country that puts a cloud on the free-ness of the elections. The
leadership of the Sunni community who constituted about 20% of the
population had announced a boycott of the elections and the
extraordinarily low turnout in Sunni areas [due to the boycott and the
insurgency] clearly undermines the legitimacy of this election. It is
incorrect to call this anything but a highly problematic political
"The Anatomy of Iraqi Elections" | Lecture at Sienna Heights University 02.08.2005.
must not forget that until Ayatollah Sistani insisted on early nationwide
elections to the US was opposed to such an election and was determined to
form a government based on local community representatives handpicked by
the US. It was only after the
US agreed to a nationwide elections to install a transitional government
that will write the new constitution did the Shiite community cooperate
with the occupation forces and the incipient Shiite insurgency led
primarily by Moqtada Sadr in Najaf and other places fizzled out at the
intervention of Ayatollah Sistani who expedited his return from Britain,
on August 25, 2004, to placate the growing anger in Iraqi Shiites.
Sistani is manipulating the US occupation and the lack of a post conquest
plan at the Pentagon to orchestrate a Shiite revolution. It is possible
that when the history of the world is rewritten, Ali Sistani will be
considered as the most Machiavellian and the most astute political
strategist ever. Ayatollah Sistani has seen the future. A democratic Iraq
essentially will be a Shii Iraq run by his surrogates who will win
elections with his blessings, will rule on his behalf as members of a
democratic government. In principle and on record Ayatollah Sistani does
not believe in theocracy, that is rule by the clerics. However his entire
conduct since the US invasion of Iraq is clearly suggests that he has no
qualms about controlling, directing and even manipulating politics from
behind the scenes.
Sistani and his clerical brigade will not participate in the government as
his friends and colleagues do in Iran. They will delegate the menial
aspects of governance to the secular elected leaders but the key elements
such as writing the constitution, developing the new legal codes,
determining the role of Islam in the polity [especially which
interpretations of Islam] and the philosophical foundations of foreign
policy, particularly relations with the Arab world and with the West, will
be determined by the grand ayatollah and his coterie of clerics.
elections should not be read as indicative of a desperate desire for
democracy by Iraqis who came out to vote. It should be seen as a
manifestation of power that Ali Sistani wields on the Shiite population of
Iraq. It was his decree that it was a religious obligation of Shiite
Muslims to vote that is primarily responsible for the huge turnout. The
Shiites by and large recognize that the US is presenting them with a
historic opportunity and if they exercised discipline, patience and
followed the Ayotallah, they would rule Iraq. They will not only come to
power but their principle opponents will be quashed by the US itself.
Najaf, the holy center for Shiites will become like Mecca under a Shiite
ruled Iraq and another era of glory would begin in the history of Shiite
While the Sunnis of Iraq are fighting a violent Jihad against US occupation and opposing democratization to prevent Shiite hegemony over Iraq, the Shiites are engaged in their own silent Jihad. It is quite possible that the US led invasion of Iraq has replaced an overt and brutal dictatorship of Saddam Hussein with a covert and subtle dictatorship by Marja-e-Taqleed [Role Model for Emulation] Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani who is the highest-ranking Shiite authority on the planet.