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May 24, 2004

Comments

PJ

You know, I wrote to Okrent this morning regarding this very line because the media's "holy city" business is driving me nuts. It's good news, but it's speculation and ignores history. Throughout the Lebanon civil war, for instance, combatants used mosques repeatedly for military purposes and the Arab street knows this.

So a more reasonable speculation might be that it's Islamist propaganda and the only ones buying it are the Western media for whatever agenda or reason.

dauber

Well it's clear Najaf is holy: hell, part of the reason the folks are so mad at Sadr is he's destroyed the tourist trade from pilgrams coming in to visit the shrines. As to Karbala, I just couldn't say. It may be that Karbala houses shrines but Najaf I think really is special -- people want to be buried there, etc.

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