An Independent hoax

On Monday, the Independent published an exclusive interview with Muqtada al-Sadr.

The Independent’s article is really enlightening. “The young nationalist cleric heads Iraq’s largest Arab grassroots political movement” the Independent tells us among other interesting things.

Too bad that interview seems to be a hoax.

The independent Iraqi news agency Aswat al-Iraq reported:

Sheikh Ahmed al-Shibani, the official spokesman for al-Sadr’s office in Najaf, denied that Sadr had given an interview to the British newspaper The Independent on Monday.

“The interview published by the paper was fabricated and groundless. His Eminence (Sadr) has never granted this paper any interviews,” Shibani told VOI by telephone.

“We will sue any newspaper, TV station or web site that publishes fabricated news about His Eminence Muqtada al-Sadr or his office,” affirmed Shibani.

It comes to mind Independent’s Robert Fisk’s wisdom. The great reporter, who recently wrote, “I despise the internet. It’s irresponsible and, often, a net of hate. And I don’t have time for Blogopops.”, some time ago said:

“So people in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, South Africa, the United States, Canada and many other places, are finding that a British journalist can write things they can’t read elsewhere but which must have considerable basis in truth because otherwise it wouldn’t appear in a major British paper.”