Skip to comments.Restoration of Mosque symbolizes change
Posted on 01/26/2010 4:44:33 PM PST by SandRat
SAMARRA The Al-Askari (Golden) Mosque here was bombed Feb. 22, 2006, setting off a chain of sectarian violence in the city. Then, June 13, 2007, terrorists again attacked the mosque, destroying two minarets and the clock tower. Despite the attacks on this prominent landmark and sacred mosque, the citizens here have made significant progress to restore peace.
During a recent visit to this ancient city, United States Forces Iraq Deputy Commanding General for Operations, Lt. Gen. Charles Jacoby, walked along the city's streets with the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division Commander, Col. Henry A. Arnold III, and the 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment Commander, Lt. Col. Eric Timmerman.
As they made their way to the rooftop of a hotel across from the Golden Mosque, which is currently being rebuilt and restored to its original form, they couldn't help but notice the evident change that has taken place in a city that was nearly destroyed by war.
In the past three years, violence has significantly decreased as Iraqi Security Forces have taken the lead to provide security of the city. In a recent interview with the New York Times, Arnold said the improvements that have been made in the city are a result of the citizens rejecting terrorists and the professionalism of the ISF.
There is a feeling of peace and security now, as markets are open and children are playing in the streets.
"The citizens are calling in reports," he said during the interview. "The people have turned against violent extremists. I walk around in ACU's and a soft cap; no body armor, no helmet. I walk to the mosque, something I would not have been able to do in 2006."
Is the mosque Sunni or Shiite? And, also, are any destroyed Christian (Chaldean, Assyrian) churches up for reconstruction, repair?
That I don’t know.
The mosque is a Shi’a one. The reconstruction of any Christian churches is inconsequential to the stabilization of Iraq now, being as Christians are an increasingly irrelevant section of Iraqi society.