الواجهـة العربيـة

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Iraqi Voices



March 21, 2003

Victims of tyranny back military action

By Hamida Ghafour

When Abtehale Al-Hussaini is accused of betraying Islam by supporting war on Iraq, she recites a harrowing set of statistics: 40 relatives executed, including four cousins, three uncles, two aunts, and a grandparent.

She holds one man responsible: Saddam Hussein.

"So ask me again why do I want this war?" she said. "People who say there is another way haven't a clue what is happening in Iraq."

Miss Al-Hussaini, 21, who lives in Southampton, is anxiously awaiting news of relatives who remain in Baghdad under threat of being gassed by their own leader.

Her views represent those of the sliver of the British Muslim population that supports military intervention. Most oppose the use of force, as shown by a YouGov poll conducted for The Telegraph last December.

But Iraqis like Miss Al-Hussaini, whose family has first-hand experience of Saddam's rule, believe Tony Blair's intentions for a liberated Iraq may be honourable.

Yesterday, other exiles delivered messages and letters of support to Downing Street telling of the horror of life under Saddam Hussein.

Miss Al-Hussaini's parents, Amal and Hazem, live in exile in north London. They fled from Baghdad after the 1980-1988 Iraq-Iran war but not before it took a heavy toll on her family.

Many of Miss Al-Hussaini's uncles and cousins were imprisoned. Eight aunts were jailed at the notorious Abu Ghraib jail outside Baghdad on charges of supporting opposition factions.

She said: "Some rioters set the prison on fire. Six of my aunts escaped and ran to the Iranian border but the other two were raped and later executed."

Still, she considers herself lucky. "I lived through that war with Iran. Some of my parents' friends watched as their babies were burned alive, or cooked over a stove in front of them." ....

© 2007 Iraqi Prospect Organisation
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