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Radical Iraqi groups threaten strike against 'un-Islamic' election. 31/12/2004. ABC News Online

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Last Update: Friday, December 31, 2004. 9:25pm (AEDT)

Radical Iraqi groups threaten strike against 'un-Islamic' election

Radical Islamist groups in Iraq said in an Internet statement Thursday they considered democracy "farcial and un-Islamic" and warned that no-one who took part in next month's polls would be safe.

"Those who participate in this dirty farce will not be sheltered from the blows of the mujahedeen," said a statement posted on an Islamist website signed by the Al Qaeda linked Ansar Al-Sunna, the Islamic Army in Iraq and the Army of the Mujahedeen.

US-led forces and the Iraq security apparatus are boosting their numbers across the country fearing attacks by insurgents aimed at derailing the January 30 vote, the first since the downfall of former president Saddam Hussein last year.

"Democracy is a word of Greek origin meaning the sovereignty of the people... this concept is considered apostasy, contrary to the doctrine of one God and Sharia (Islamic law)," the statement from the three groups said.

"Democracy is a farce created by our enemies to confer what they call legitimacy on the new government which is subservient to the crusaders and executes their orders."

"To try to ensure these elections succeed would be the greatest gift to America, the enemy of Islam and the tyrant of our time," it added.

The group said democracy could lead to the adoption of laws considered un-Islamic, such as homosexual marriage. "By virtue of democracy, members of parliament become gods themselves."

Ansar al-Sunna is a small secretive network of Islamic radicals which claimed the deadly attack on a US military base in northern Iraq last week and has carried out some of the most gruesome attacks of the insurgency.

In another statement on Wednesday, Ansar Al-Sunna threatened to attack polling stations and warned Iraqis to stay away from military targets.

The Islamic Army is considered one of the biggest of the 60 or so radical groups fighting against US-led forces in Iraq and the US-backed interim government.

It has killed a number of hostages but recently freed French journalists Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot.

The Army of the Mujahedeen is previously unknown.

Earlier Friday Iraq's electoral commission, charged with administering the country's January 30 polls, vigorously denied an al-Jazeera television report that its 700 members had resigned in the troubled northern city of Mosul fearing attacks.


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