Local News

Triangle Muslims Pray for Peace After Saddam's Death

Posted December 30, 2006 6:00 p.m. EST
Updated December 30, 2006 8:35 p.m. EST

— In the Triangle, members of the Muslim community reacted Saturday to Saddam Hussein's execution in the midst of celebrating the Muslim holiday Eid ul-Adha.

Focused and reverent, members of the Muslim community in Raleigh gathered for prayers Saturday. But the weekend celebration of the end of the Haji to Mecca -- one of the holiest of Muslim holidays – has been partlially overshadowed by the execution of the former Iraqi dictator.

That's like executing a former President on Christmas,” Iraqi-American Yousif Alkadhi said. “I wish everybody in Iraq and the Muslim community here could focus on the holiday then rather all the death and destruction or the legacy of (Saddam).”

Several area Muslims told WRAL Saturday that they not only wished the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had delayed Saddam's execution until after the holiday. They also said they felt the trial itself went too fast.

Shadi Sadi of the Islamic Center of Raleigh said the final judgment on Saddam comes from God, not Muslims.

“We just, to some extent, just hope the verdict doesn't cause an escalation in violence, and hope the Iraqi people can move on to a place where they'll have justice and peace,” Sadi said.

But many within the Muslim community said they fear peace in Iraq won’t come quickly. They also said the execution of Hussein would only lead to even more violence in an already unstable country.

“People need little reason to start killing each other,” Sadi said.

Alkadi said his No. 1 priority now is family members who still live in Baghdad.

“All we pray for is stability for them,” he said. “It's horrible there. My uncles say when you leave in the morning, you don't know who's coming back at night.”