Thursday, July 20, 2006

Grand Ayatolla Sistani Issues Statement On Sectarian Violence

Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani has issued a statement warning that the present wave of sectarian attacks could destroy Iraq. The statement calls on all Iraqis irrespective of sect or ethnicity to realise the magnitude of the danger faced by Iraq. The Ayatollah urged Iraqis to "forsake hatred and violence" and "replace it with love and peaceful dialogue to resolve our conflicts." The Ayatollah singled out intellectuals, religious leaders, politicians, and tribal chiefs, as having a particular duty to exert themselves to the maximum "to end the bloody cycle of violence." Grand Ayatollah Sistani's statement blames "the enemy" for igniting the current cycle of sectarian violence stating that this was the purpose of the February 22nd Samarra bombing*. The Ayatollah is known to be particularly concerned at the implications of the current wave of violence for Iraq.


*See: background briefing on the significance of the bombing and "Asharq Al Awsat's headline" - for context. A site seach of this blog on Samarra will turn up numerous references to the aftermath of the February 22nd Al Askari bombing see also this Wiki entry. - mfi

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