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De skriftlærde i Najaf tåler ikke Moqtada al-Sadr og gjengen hans som har tatt seg til rette i Najaf. De lukter at han kan bli en katastrofe for shiaene.

The standoff in Najaf has turned into a showdown between the clerics of the city and Mr. Sadr, as the religious and tribal leaders here try to nudge their unwanted neighbor out of town.

They are men of the book rather than of the bullet, so they are seeking to pry Mr. Sadr loose through their powers of rhetoric.

They know that the hopes of a majority of Shiites of overcoming the long-running domination of Sunni Muslims rest with the success of the Americans’ efforts to establish a largely democratic Iraq. They know, as well, that by advocating armed rebellion, Mr. Sadr’s forces play into the hands of the violent Iraqi insurgents who seek to drive the United States out and reassert Sunni dominance.

Sadrs er en voldens mann. Han bruker vold fordi det er hans vesen. Han trekkes til vold.

Mr. Sadr walked into a mosque full of worshipers pumping their fists in the air.

«We will be human time bombs which will explode in their faces,» Mr. Sadr said. «They have humiliated us, so how will we react? We believe we can humiliate them.»

Mr. Sadr delivered his sermon wrapped in the kind of white cloth usually draped over a Muslim’s body before burial.

Radical Cleric Is Unwanted by His Neighbors