The use of the word Anfal

al-Anfal from the Quran

The word “Anfal” is taken from the eighth chapter (Sura) of the Quran; “al-Anfal” which contains 75 verses (Aia). Some of the 75 verses are about war and its spoils.

The use of the word Anfal

The use of the word Anfal

The Sura calls upon the prophet Muhammad and his followers to fight against the non-believers, until the final triumph is reached. The final victory was to either eliminate the enemy or forcing them to accept the Muslim faith and rituals, and thereby making them, give up their own faith and religious rituals.

Anfal is known as the liberation battle against the non-believers and justifies the Islamization of the non-Muslims and was first used in the year of 624, during the battle against the non-Muslim Arabs.

Saddam’s use of the Quran

Even though the name of the campaign against the Kurds is taken from the Quran, Muslims say that Saddam’s version of this chapter differentiate from the Qurans version.

The Iraqi police adopted the name Anfal in their genocidal campaign against the Kurds in the Northern Iraq, using the verse to justify their battle from an Islamic view, claiming it to be a battle against the non-believers even though a large number of the Kurds are Muslims.
This was a way to gain the support of the Iraqis, and by claiming to fight a so called “Muslim war” he would also gain the support of other Muslim countries in the Middle East.

The old Anfal from the seventh century demanded victory over non-believers and encouraged the destruction of their faiths and religious culture. It also encouraged the looting and possession of the enemy’s articles, items and other material goods.
The Baath regime conducted a similar attack against the Kurds in the areas referred to as the “forbidden areas”. They looted the villages for any items and other material goods. They killed or prowled house animals, destroyed and burned the villages to the ground.
The habitants of these villages were sent to complexes, jails or straight to death. This death could be in terms of starvations or mass graves.

Saddam and his military had prior to the “al-Anfal campaign” against the Kurds used Islamic names for their wars. This had been seen previously, in a battle against Iran “The battle of saad bn al-Waqass” and again during the eight year war against Iran from 1980 – 1988, “al-Qadissiat al-saddam”.
Qadiddia is the name of a battle against the non Muslims during the early islamization in the seventh century.


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