President Jalal Talabani called an emergency summit of Iraq's political leaders to discuss the violence.In his translations of Middle Eastern newspapers Professor Cole uses the term "excommunicators", that is apparently the accepted translation of takfiri. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's group, Jama'at at-Tawhid wal-Jihad now known as Al Qaeda in Iraq, are considered "excommunicators", takfiri, by most people.
Sunni Arab politicians boycotted the meeting and pulled out of coalition talks in protest at reprisal attacks.
"We are suspending our participation in negotiations on the government with the Shia Alliance," said Tareq al-Hashimi, a top official from the Iraqi Accord Front, Iraq's main Sunni Arab alliance.
Dozens of Sunni mosques have been targeted and several burnt to the ground since bombers blew up the golden dome of the revered al-Askari shrine in Samarra on Wednesday morning, reports say.
In a rare public rebuke, the main Sunni religious authority - the Association of Muslim Scholars - accused Iraq's top Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, of fomenting the violence.
Ayatollah Sistani has urged Shias not to attack Sunni mosques, but a spokesman for the cleric said anger might be hard to contain.
bryan at dumka dot com
The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they've found it.