IRAQIS GIVE ARABS AND MUSLIMS A REASON TO BE PROUD
"I've just returned from the polling station. To my surprise, a large number of people have shown up to vote: men and women, Muslims and Christians, Sunnis and Shias. Terrorists have threatened voters in my neighbourhood to choose between their life or election. Still, none of the voters seemed to be afraid. To me and to many Iraqis, I think, it is a matter of life and death to this wounded country. It is the unbending will of man that can never be defeated by terror." Iraqi Woman, Baghdad, Iraq
"I am fed up with the stupid analysis of non-Iraqis about the legitimacy of the elections. Yes, the elections in Iraq are legal and representative. If you don't believe me then look at the happy faces of Iraqis who have voted. The people of Iraq have spoken. Iraq will not be the first country that holds elections under occupation or under the shadow of violence (examples like Palestine, Kosovo, Bosnia, East Timor, Germany, Austria, Japan, Sri Lanka and Columbia come to mind) nor will it be the last." Mohammad al Zubaidy,
The BBC is running a reporters' log. Paul Wood reports from Baghdad:"We have seen voting here in the capital, and in the streets close to the BBC office the atmosphere was almost euphoric. One elderly Shia man told us his two sons had been executed under Saddam and he was voting now to make sure there was no return to the old days."
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