Following are excerpts from an interview with former Iraqi MP Ayad Jamaluddin, who recently survived an assassination attempt. The interview aired on Al-Baghdadiya TV on August 5, 2011.
Ayad Jamaluddin: [During Ramadhan], we spend our evenings in the mudhif, as you and many people know. It was 10 o’clock in the evening, when a sudden blast threw me several meters away. At first, we thought it was a missile, a mortar, a Katyusha, or something, but the investigation showed that an explosive device had been planted there. It was right behind where I was sitting.
The mudhif was completely burnt down, and some of the brothers were wounded. I was wounded too, but only slightly, Allah be praised.
A security breach can occur in any place and at any time, and you cannot protect yourself 100%. Death is preordained for all.
Ayad Jamaluddin: But honor requires that your killer confront you face-to-face, not approach you furtively and in stealth. This is perfidious and despicable conduct, shunned even by many animals. Lions and wolves, for example, are not treacherous. Maybe snakes are.
I am pretty sure that the militias supported by Iran are responsible for this criminal act. Iran is trying to impose its hegemony over Iraq, and it does not tolerate any Shiite voice opposed to the Rule of the Jurisprudent. They are willing to tolerate it when it comes from a Communist or a liberal, but not when it comes from a Shiite man of religion.
You are a Shiite, living in a Shiite area, and you know many Shiite religious scholars and ulema, both in Iraq and abroad. Among the Shiite men of religion, there are perhaps two or three…
Interviewer: Why are you opposed to the Rule of the Jurisprudent?
Ayad Jamaluddin: The Rule of the Jurisprudent contradicts the rule of Ali bin Abi Talib. The way I see it, you are either loyal to the rule of Ali bin Abi Talib, or else you are loyal to the Rule of the Jurisprudent.
To my understanding, the rule is reserved for the 12 infallible imams only. We don’t have a 13th imam called Khomeini, or a 14th imam called Khamenei, or a 15th, who will come after him.
Interviewer: You have declared that secularism is the ideal solution for the running of the country.
Ayad Jamaluddin: In my view, the state is responsible for the management of the country, and therefore, it must be neutral. It must not have a Shiite, Sunni, or Kurdish hue. It must be neutral, and neutral means secularism. The moment one gives the administration a religious hue, the inevitable question arises: Which religion – Sunni or Shiite? And then we return to the issue of sectarian quotas.
The only form of government suitable for a country like Iraq is a secular one.