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Keyword: sistani

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  • Officials Reveal US is Cozying Up to Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas

    10/31/2014 12:42:37 AM PDT · by sheikdetailfeather · 25 replies
    Israel National News ^ | 10-29-14 | Ari Yashar
    The same Tuesday night that a senior official in US President Barack Obama's administration was quoted calling Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu "chickens**t," yet more officials indicated the US is warming up to cooperation with Iran - the Islamic regime seeking nuclear weapons that has repeatedly declared its desire to destroy Israel. Senior US and Arab officials were cited by the Wall Street Journal saying that in recent months, America and Iran have grown closer through cooperation against their "common enemy", the Islamic State (ISIS), as well as over a shared interest in "stability" in Iraq and Afghanistan. American officials revealed...
  • Iraqi cleric urges leaders not to 'cling' to power

    07/25/2014 6:23:25 AM PDT · by Citizen Zed · 2 replies
    St Louis Post-Dispatch ^ | 7-25-2014 | SAMEER N. YACOUB and VIVIAN SALAMA
    Iraq's most influential Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, has called upon political leaders not to "cling" to their posts at the cost of political stability as pressure mounts for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to step down. "The gravity of the phase Iraq is undergoing requires the concerned parties to bear their national responsibilities, which require sacrifice and not to cling to posts," the reclusive al-Sistani said in a statement read by his spokesman Abdul-Mahdi al-Karbalaie at Friday prayers in the holy city of Karbala. "This government... should enjoy wide national acceptance so that it will be able to face...
  • Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric issues call to fight jihadist rebels (al-Sistani urges followers)

    06/13/2014 9:32:33 AM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 24 replies
    Reuters on Yahoo ^ | 6/13/14 | Raheem Salman and Isra al-Rubei'i - Reuters
    Baghdad, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraq's most senior Shi'ite Muslim cleric urged followers to take up arms against a full-blown Sunni militant insurgency to topple Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, escalating a conflict that threatens civil war and a possible break-up of the country. In a rare intervention at Friday prayers in the holy city of Kerbala, a message from Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who is the highest religious authority for Shi'ites in Iraq, said people should unite to fight back against a lightning advance by militants from the radical Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Fighters under the black...
  • ISIL militants 'executed 1,700 Shiite soldiers', UN alarmed

    06/13/2014 8:32:15 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 29 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | June/13/2014
    Concerns are growing over executions and mounting abuses by militants led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), amid a warning from the United Nations that hundreds of people were killed, many of them summarily executed, after the seizure of Mosul. “The full extent of civilian casualties is not yet known but reports received by UNAMI, the U.N. mission in Iraq, to this point suggest that the number of people killed in recent days may run into the hundreds and the number of wounded is said to be approaching 1,000,” Rupert Colville, the spokesman of the U.N.’s...
  • Ayatollah Sistani "Clinically Dead"

    09/30/2010 6:21:58 AM PDT · by harwood · 30 replies
    ..."According to sources, the health status [of]Sistani worrying and attempts of Iranian medical team who hurry to Najaf after aggravating his health did not lead to a result so far..."
  • Iraq's Top Shiite Cleric Urges Tolerance Towards Christians (About Koran Burning Protest)

    09/10/2010 8:19:08 AM PDT · by kristinn · 21 replies
    DPA via Earthtmes ^ | Friday, September 10, 2010
    SNIP Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, in a statement released Thursday night, said: "While we denounce the assault on the Holy Koran and stress the importance of not letting this occur, we urge Muslims, whereever they are, to exercise the utmost restraint." "Do not do what would hurt the followers of the church," he said. SNIP
  • Saudi insult to Ayatollah Sistani outrages Iraq

    01/08/2010 4:30:11 AM PST · by nuconvert · 12 replies · 661+ views
    Press tv ^ | Jan. 5, 2010
    Insulting remarks by a Saudi cleric about the most revered Shia cleric in Iraq, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, have strained relations between Baghdad and Riyadh. In a Friday sermon in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, a leading Wahhabi cleric, Mohammad al-Ureifi, called Ayatollah al-Sistani an "atheist and debauched." He also launched an attack on Iraqi Shias accusing them of conspiring with Yemen's Houthis against Saudi Arabia with Iran's support. Meanwhile, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki strongly criticized the Saudi religious institutes after the cleric's remarks. He said Saudi religious institutes had a tendency to launch attacks on Shia clerics due...
  • Web site of influential Shiite cleric hacked (with Bill Maher video)

    09/20/2008 4:00:06 AM PDT · by rightwingintelligentsia · 5 replies · 149+ views ^ | September 19, 2008 | Octavia Nasr
    (CNN) -- The Web site of Iraq's most influential Shiite cleric was hacked on Friday, with the attackers' messages saying they are Sunnis upset over fatwas, or edicts, issued on the site. A entity called Group XP placed a video of comedian Bill Maher making fun of Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and his advice to the Shiite faithful, as well as posting messages on the site. The hackers said they are upset at the sexual nature of the advice given to faithful allegedly by al-Sistani through a spokesperson. Those who have studied the attack believe that the Maher video is meant...
  • al-Sistani in a Coma

    08/21/2008 6:00:49 AM PDT · by harwood · 16 replies · 158+ views
    .."An official in the governorate of Najaf [said] that Mr. Sistani [has] loss of consciousness and that he is incapable of movement and speech, .."
  • Iraq eyes conditions on local election campaigning

    07/03/2008 6:51:43 AM PDT · by forkinsocket · 70+ views
    Reuters ^ | Jul 3, 2008 | Mohammed Abbas
    BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's cabinet wants to ban parties from using pictures of figures who are not running for office at campaign rallies for local elections, the government's spokesman said on Thursday. Campaigning in places of worship would also be prohibited, a statement from government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said. Pictures of religious leaders are almost always displayed at Shi'ite political gatherings and during election campaigns. Political sources said that ban was mainly aimed at preventing Shi'ite groups from using posters of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the highest Shi'ite religious leader in Iraq. Analysts said, in past elections, some Shi'ite factions...
  • IRAQ: Sistani Fatwa Bogus, AP Caught Once Again

    05/24/2008 10:13:14 AM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 13 replies · 172+ views
    Flopping Aces ^ | Sat 24 May 2008 | Curt
    I called this AP story fishy from the beginning: Iraq’s most influential Shiite cleric has been quietly issuing religious edicts declaring that armed resistance against U.S.-led foreign troops is permissible — a potentially significant shift by a key supporter of the Washington-backed government in Baghdad…~~~ “(Al-Sistani) rejects the American presence,” he told the AP, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment to media. “He believes they (the Americans) will at the end pay a heavy price for the damage they inflicted on Iraq.” For good reason it seems. Gateway Pundit has the scoop: Iraqi-American Haider...
  • Iraq's top Shiite cleric quietly hints at harder views against US forces

    05/23/2008 7:53:47 AM PDT · by Captain Kirk · 39 replies · 69+ views
    AP News ^ | May 22, 2008 | HAMZA HENDAWI and QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA
    Iraq's most influential Shiite cleric has been quietly issuing religious edicts declaring that armed resistance against U.S.-led foreign troops is permissible — a potentially significant shift by a key supporter of the Washington-backed government in Baghdad. The edicts, or fatwas, by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani suggest he seeks to sharpen his long-held opposition to American troops and counter the populist appeal of his main rivals, firebrand Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army militia.
  • Sadr aide criticises Iraq's Sistani

    05/10/2008 8:08:57 AM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 6 replies · 112+ views
    Aljazeera ^ | Source: Agencies
    An aide to Muqtada al-Sadr has lashed out at Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq's most revered Shia cleric, for keeping silent over clashes that have killed hundreds in Baghdad.   Fifteen people were killed and dozens wounded in fighting in the Sadr City district of the capital on Friday, US and Iraqi officials said. The area is home to some of the poorest Shia in Iraq, and forms the bedrock of support for al-Sadr and his al-Mahdi Army militia.   US forces have killed 25 fighters in two days of clashes in the area. Hospitals in Sadr City said they had received...
  • Special Podcast: Covert Radio and Long War Journal

    05/06/2008 1:55:43 PM PDT · by RadioCirca1970 · 7 replies · 109+ views
    Covert Radio Via the Long War Journal ^ | 05/06/2008 | Brett Winterble and Bill Roggio
    Brand News episode of Covert Radio is now available; Brett Winterble interviews Bill Roggio to talk about Iraq, Iran and the growing Shiite unease with Al Sadr's Mahdi Army. Bill also shares his insight on Khatami's recent comments about exporting revolution. Brett and Bill also talk about the recent over the horizon strikes into Somalia.
  • IRAQ: Ayatollah Sistani on the Mahdi Army: “the law is the only authority in the country”

    04/10/2008 12:48:18 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 37 replies · 596+ views
    Long War Journal ^ | April 9, 2008 9:55 PM | Bill Roggio
    With the Iraqi government applying pressure to the Sadrist movement and Muqtada al Sadr to disband the Mahdi Army, Iraq’s senior Shia cleric has weighed in on the issue. Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the most revered Shia cleric in Iraq, backed the government’s position that the Mahdi Army should surrender its weapons and said he never consulted with Sadr on disbanding the Mahdi Army. Instead, the decision to disband the Mahdi Army is Sadr’s to make. Sistani spoke through Jalal el Din al Saghier, a senior leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, a rival political party to the...
  • IRAN'S BUSTED IRAQ BID (Iran's Quds unit failed to destabilize Iraq)

    04/10/2008 2:23:16 AM PDT · by TigerLikesRooster · 43 replies · 146+ views
    NY Post ^ | 04/10/08 | AMIR TAHERI
    IRAN'S BUSTED IRAQ BID By AMIR TAHERI April 10, 2008 -- A GAMBLE that proved too costly. That's how analysts in Tehran describe events last month in Basra. Iran's state-run media have de facto confirmed that this was no spontaneous "uprising." Rather, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) tried to seize control of Iraq's second-largest city using local Shiite militias as a Trojan horse. Tehran's decision to make the gamble was based on three assumptions: * Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki wouldn't have the courage to defend Basra at the risk of burning his bridges with the Islamic Republic in...
  • Sadr: Sistani told me to keep the Mahdi Army; SCIRI: No, he didn’t

    04/10/2008 11:00:08 AM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 14 replies · 631+ views
    Hot Air ^ | April 10, 2008 12:25 pm | Allahpundit
    And so this idiotic saga of “did he or didn’t he,” launched by Sadr’s announcement that he’d disband the JAM if Shiite clerics told him to, reaches its absurd conclusion. Because Sistani won’t talk to the press himself, we’re left to divine his intentions from intermediaries. Surprise: Sadr’s people say he gave them the thumbs up and Sadr’s chief rivals for Shiite supremacy say he gave them the thumbs down. Sort of. The thumbs up version: The influential Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr said his clerical advisers, including Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, rejected calls to disband the Mahdi Army.Salah al-Obaidi,...
  • Sistani Turns On Sadr, Joins Maliki!

    04/09/2008 2:33:08 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 51 replies · 63+ views
    Strata Sphere ^ | Wednesday, April 9th, 2008 at 8:40 am. | AJStrata
    When word came out from Sadr’s people yesterday that the Shiia Council had not told Sadr to disband the Mahdi Army I was highly skeptical and lambasted sick liberals like Juan Cole and the dupes in the SurrenderMedia for almost cheering the idea Sadr will not be completely destroyed politically. I noted that only a Sadr spokesman made these claims and one of two things would happen: We will know soon enough if CNN was duped again or not. If the Sadr spokesperson (possibly in Iran) is right the Iraqi Shiite leaders will remain silent. And if he is trying...
  • Sistani tells Shiites to protect Sunni brothers (Fatwa from Sistani!)

    11/28/2007 3:30:16 PM PST · by neverdem · 58 replies · 806+ views
    KUNA ^ | 11/28/2007 | NA
    BAGHDAD, Nov 27 (KUNA) -- Leading Shiite cleric in Iraq Ali Sistani Tuesday banned the killing of Iraqis, particularly the Sunnis, and urged the Shiites to protect their brother Sunnis. Sistani bans the Iraqi blood in general the blood of Sunnis in particular. His announcement came during a meeting with a delegation from Sunni clerics from southern and northern Iraq. The clerics are visiting Najaf to participate in the first national conference for Ulemaa of Shiites and Sunnis. Sistani called on the Shiites to protect their Sunni brothers, according to Sheikh Khaled Al-Mulla, head of the authority of Ulemaa of...
  • Why Al-Qaeda Wants the Head of the Grand Ayatollah Sistani

    08/07/2007 10:35:08 AM PDT · by NYer · 12 replies · 891+ views ^ | August 8, 2007 | Sandro Magister
    ROMA, August 7, 2007 – At the end of last week’s general audience, Benedict XVI surprisingly dedicated a thought to a sports event, the victory of Iraq’s soccer team in the Asian Cup: “I was pleasantly startled by the enthusiasm that spread among all the inhabitants, driving them into the streets to celebrate the event. As on so many occasions I have wept with the Iraqis, this time I rejoice with them. This experience of shared celebration reveals the desire of a people to have a normal and peaceful life. I hope that the event can contribute to realizing...
  • Iraqi Top Shi'ite Cleric's Aide Killed in Najaf

    08/03/2007 4:55:21 PM PDT · by BlackVeil · 1 replies · 226+ views
    Voice of America ^ | 3August 2007 | n/c
    Mourners carry the body of Fadhil al-Akil to his burial in the Shi'ite holy city of Najaf, Friday Iraqi police say gunmen have killed an aide to the country's most revered Shi'ite cleric, in the latest attack on his associates. Police say Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's aide, Sheikh Fadhil Aqil, was killed late Thursday in a drive-by shooting outside his home in the Shi'ite holy city of Najaf. Last month, another aide, Sheikh Abdullah Falak, who collected religious taxes for Sistani was stabbed to death in Najaf. In statements issued Friday, the U.S. military in Iraq said four American soldiers...
  • Top Aide to Sistani Fatally Stabbed in Najaf Iraqi Police Take Four Suspects Into Custody

    07/21/2007 3:21:04 PM PDT · by bd476 · 14 replies · 969+ views
    Washington Post ^ | July 21, 2007; 5:04 PM | Megan Greenwell
    BAGHDAD, July 21 -- A top aide to Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani was stabbed to death in what Sistani's supporters believe was a warning to Iraq's senior Shiite cleric, authorities said Saturday. Abdullah Falaq was killed Friday in his office, which is adjacent to Sistani's home in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, about 100 miles south of Baghdad, according to an aide to the cleric. Sistani is considered one of the most influential Shiite leaders in Iraq, and Falaq was his chief adviser on matters of Islamic law. Police said they had taken four suspects into custody. An...
  • Aide to Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Sistani killed

    06/06/2007 12:36:45 AM PDT · by HAL9000 · 5 replies · 373+ views
    Reuters (excerpt) ^ | June 6, 2007
    Excerpt - NAJAF, Iraq, June 6 (Reuters) - A local representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the reclusive spiritual leader of Iraq's Shi'ite majority, was gunned down outside his home, Sistani's office and police said on Wednesday. Raheem al-Hasnawi, who represented Sistani in the town of al-Mishkhab, 40 km (25 miles) north of the holy Shi'ite city of Najaf, was killed late on Tuesday, they said. A spokesman for Sistani's office said three gunmen riding in a car shot Hasnawi outside his home in al-Mishkhab. ~ snip ~
  • Iraqi Shiite party steps back from Iran

    05/13/2007 12:09:52 AM PDT · by CutePuppy · 18 replies · 1,008+ views
    LATimes ^ | May 12, 2007 | Garrett Therolf
    BAGHDAD — Iraq's largest Shiite Muslim party pledged its allegiance Saturday to the country's top cleric in a move apparently aimed at establishing its distance from Iran, where it formed and grew for decades before the 2003 U.S.-led invasion here. The announcement by the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq did not signal a sudden shift. The party has sought to align itself with Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani since it came out of exile in Iran. It won a quarter of the seats in Iraq's parliament and control of the southern provinces. The party's power is centered in...
  • Iraqi parliament agrees to sue al-Jazeera TV

    05/09/2007 9:59:51 AM PDT · by SolidWood · 14 replies · 1,160+ views
    Aswatairaq ^ | May 9, 2007 | Voices of Iraq
    Baghdad, May 9, (VOI)-The Iraqi parliament unanimously agreed on Wednesday to file a lawsuit against al-Jazeera television for allegedly giving offence to Iraqi religious leaders. At the beginning of the parliamentary session held on Wednesday, presided over by House Speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, Iraqi parliamentarians condemned the attack that they said the Qatari al-Jazeera satellite channel launched on top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani when it said "he was appointed by Paul Bremer, the chief U.S. administrator in Iraq." "Al-Sistani is fruitful tree. He has a long and well-known history," al-Mashhadani said in the session attended by a correspondent for...
  • Attack on Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani foiled

    01/29/2007 5:53:50 PM PST · by nuconvert · 22 replies · 923+ views
    KLTV ^ | January 29, 2007
    Attack on Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani foiled January 29, 2007 CNN Newsource KLTV Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and other top Shiite religious figures were the apparent targets of an insurgent plot thwarted in an intense battle near the Shiite Muslim holy city of Najaf, Iraqi officials said. U.S. forces took the lead role Monday in fighting against insurgents north of Najaf. The battle apparently foiled a plot to kill leading pilgrims and clerics, including al-Sistani, Iraq's most revered Shiite leader. The insurgents were planning a massive siege of Najaf on Tuesday, the culmination of the Shiite holy period of Ashura. By...
  • Sistani the Moderate?

    11/02/2006 9:43:14 AM PST · by bordergal · 4 replies · 218+ views
    Jihadwatch ^ | 11/2/2006 | Hugh Fitzgerald
    Everyone will have his own startling encounter with Islam -- the real thing, not what Muslim apologists, hoping to give everyone a carefully-circumscribed "peek into the Koran" (and let's make sure that none of these unwary Infidels manages to read anything beyond the Michael Sells "Approaching the Qur'an" and by all means, keep them from looking into the Hadith or the Sira), have on offer. It is almost always limited to highly selective quotation from the Qur'an. The Hadith, and the Sira -- sorry, off limits for now. One keeps being surprised at how little people think they need to...
  • I no longer have power to save Iraq from civil war, warns Shia leader

    09/02/2006 4:57:45 PM PDT · by jmc1969 · 164 replies · 2,989+ views
    Telegraph ^ | September 3 2006 | Gethin Chamberlain and Aqeel Hussein
    The most influential moderate Shia leader in Iraq has abandoned attempts to restrain his followers, admitting that there is nothing he can do to prevent the country sliding towards civil war. Aides say Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is angry and disappointed that Shias are ignoring his calls for calm and are switching their allegiance in their thousands to more militant groups which promise protection from Sunni violence and revenge for attacks. "I will not be a political leader any more," he told aides. "I am only happy to receive questions about religious matters." However, the extent to which he has...
  • Iraqi PM meets with influential cleric (Maliki and Sistani)

    09/02/2006 3:28:09 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 7 replies · 438+ views
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 9/2/06 | Elena Becatoros - ap
    BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq's most influential Shiite cleric on Saturday warned the prime minister to quell violence or risk "other powers" filling the gap, while police found the tortured and blindfolded bodies of 13 Pakistani and Indian pilgrims and their Iraqi driver. At least 15 violent deaths were reported elsewhere in Iraq, while the government announced it had formally taken over the notorious Abu Ghraib prison from coalition authorities. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki met with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in Najaf, 100 miles south of Baghdad, the cleric's office said. In July, al-Sistani was credited with restraining the Shiite community...
  • Silent Sistani

    08/27/2006 7:24:35 PM PDT · by Dawnsblood · 37 replies · 913+ views
    Newsweek/ MSNBC ^ | September 4, 2006 Issue | Scott Johnson
    For months, calming statements from the ayatollah held Shiites back from retaliating for killings by Sunni insurgents. But three years of insurgency, sectarian tensions and miserable living conditions have shrunk the space for temperance and given extremists plenty of room to operate. "[Sistani] doesn't have the same degree of influence," says Joost Hilterman, director of the International Crisis Group's Iraq program, based in Jordan. "He may be saying the same things, but fewer people are listening to him." As much as anything, the battle now is about which voices will shape the future of Iraq. Not too long ago Sistani...
  • Iraq cleric calls for disarmament ~ Sistani lays it on al-Sadr....

    04/27/2006 12:14:18 PM PDT · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 144 replies · 4,871+ views
    BBC ^ | Thursday, 27 April 2006, 17:43 GMT 18:43 UK | staff
    <p>Ayatollah Ali Sistani, one of Iraq's most senior Shia clerics, has called for the next government to dismantle militias operating in the country.</p> <p>The grand ayatollah said only the government should have weapons, and its forces should be loyal to the nation - not to individual political parties.</p>
  • Shiite Ayatollah Ignores Letter From Bush

    03/30/2006 3:06:36 PM PST · by jmc1969 · 12 replies · 426+ views
    AP ^ | March 30 2006
    A letter from President Bush to Iraq's supreme Shiite spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, was hand-delivered earlier this week but sits unread and untranslated in the top religious figure's office, a key al-Sistani aide told The Associated Press on Thursday. The aide _ who has never allowed use of his name in news reports, citing al-Sistani's refusal to make any public statements himself _ said the ayatollah had laid the letter aside and did not ask for a translation because of increasing "unhappiness" over what senior Shiite leaders see as American meddling in Iraqi attempts to form their first, permanent...
  • Saddam calls for national unity

    02/27/2006 2:21:44 PM PST · by HAL9000 · 8 replies · 479+ views
    Agence France Presse | February 27, 2006
    Ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has called on Iraqis to unite and praised the appeasing role played by top Shiite cleric Ayatollah Ali Sistani, his lawyer said Monday. Saddam, who is on trial for crimes against humanity, called "for unity at all levels to stop those who want to trigger sedition and division", lawyer Khalil al-Dulaimi said in a statement. The call follows last week's unprecedented sectarian violence in which more than 120 people were killed. Saddam also "paid tribute to Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the religious authority, for his efforts to prevent sectarian strife". The Shiite religious leader appealed...
  • Sistani plays major role, but from sidelines

    12/15/2005 7:01:25 AM PST · by Valin · 34 replies · 328+ views
    Jordan Times / AP ^ | 12/15/05 | Hamza Hendawi
    BAGHDAD — There is an Arabic phrase that aptly describes Grand Ayatollah Ali Al Sistani's role in this week's elections: "Absent yet present." Sistani, who wields vast influence among Iraq's majority Shiites, has not publicly endorsed any candidates. But there's little doubt of his choices — and why. The Iranian-born cleric has issued a binding fatwa, or edict, instructing followers to vote in Thursday's parliamentary elections. He did not endorse any particular candidates, but his cryptic warning against "splitting the vote and risking its waste" suggested his support for major Shiite religious parties grouped in the United Iraqi Alliance. The...
  • Shia scientist tipped to be Iraqi prime minister

    05/25/2004 5:40:45 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 1 replies · 217+ views
    Financial Times ^ | May 26 2004 | James Harding and Peter Spiegel in Washington
    A Shia nuclear scientist said to be close to Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is emerging as one of the frontrunners to become the new prime minister of Iraq. Hussain Shahristani spent a decade in Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison for defying former dictator Saddam Hussein's command to turn his scientific expertise to the development of nuclear weapons. Lakhdar Brahimi, United Nations special envoy, and Robert Blackwill, a Bush administration official, are still finalising the composition of the new Iraqi government. Officials say that balancing the communal, religious and ethnic groups within the new government is proving difficult and fluid, and caution that...
  • IRAN IRAQ: Al Sestani's Vivacious Website for Shiite Sect (Iranian Ideological Invasion)

    09/04/2005 8:18:18 AM PDT · by humint · 3 replies · 1,812+ views
    Almendhar: new Iraq chronicals ^ | 04/09/2005 07:07:25 | Al Anbar Website
    White seculars in Tehran insist that 90% of the Iranian political power is found in Qum, some might also add that at least 70% of the Iraqi political power is also found in Qum. Asia Times Newspaper correspondent has visited 'The International Association for Ahl Al Bait (The Prophets Family), which is supervised by his eminence Al Sayyid Ali Al Sestani and asked a question that stated: Which is the voice with the greatest credibility in the Shiite sect? Is it the sedate and solitary voice in Najaf, which forced the Americans to submit for its desires? Or is it...
  • Constitutional Concerns - Religious freedom is at risk in the new Iraq

    08/29/2005 2:36:13 PM PDT · by NutCrackerBoy · 24 replies · 471+ views
    National Review Online ^ | August 29, 2005 | Nina Shea & John F. Cullinan
    Iraq's proposed constitution, adopted Sunday without a vote by Iraq's interim parliament, marks both a significant achievement and an imperfect compromise, as are all such political dispensations shaped by conflict among competing factional interests. This constitution offers a decidedly mixed picture, with grounds for hope and grounds for concern. Among the latter are potentially grave risks for religious freedom, the cornerstone of all basic human rights. How far does this document meet President Bush's "non-negotiable demands of human dignity," which in turn underlie the "forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East" in defense of U.S. interests and ideals? In...
  • NYP: IRAQ'S DELAY: POLITICS TRIUMPH - Delayers defied top cleric Sustani, by Amir Taheri

    08/17/2005 5:52:55 AM PDT · by OESY · 2 replies · 518+ views
    New York Post ^ | August 17, 2005 | AMIR TAHERI
    Is the decision by the Iraqi National Assembly... to postpone for a week its scheduled debate on a new draft constitution "a major setback" for the newly liberated nation, or just a bump on the road to democratization? No doubt, many nostalgics of Saddam Hussein had been praying that the Aug. 15 deadline would not be met. These are people who want Iraq to fail so that they could prove that George W. Bush and Tony Blair were wrong.... The postponement was a setback if only because this was the first time that the new leadership couldn't meet a political...
  • The Good Ayatollah

    08/01/2005 7:28:21 AM PDT · by Valin · 19 replies · 600+ views
    Front Page Magazine ^ | 7/12/04 | Stephen Schwartz
    Much hope is presently vested, by friends of a free Iraq, in the 74-year-old grand ayatollah, Sayyid Ali al-Husseini Sistani. Ayatollah Sistani acts as a marja, or religious guide, for many if not most Iraqi Shia Muslims from his residence in the holy city of Najaf. Since the Shia make up about 60 percent of Iraq's population, it is a matter of some interest to know just where the grand ayatollah would lead his followers. Sistani has thus far been an unwavering advocate of elected government in Iraq (far more steadfast than the Coalition itself). And now it is possible...
  • NYP: TO KILL OR NOT TO KILL by Amir Taheri - a theological history on the killing of civilians

    06/10/2005 5:31:13 AM PDT · by OESY · 9 replies · 652+ views
    New York Post ^ | June 10, 2005 | AMIR TAHERI
    An obscure Arabic word is making a comeback from centuries of oblivion to dominate the debate about whom Muslims are allowed to kill in the service of political goals. The debate has been triggered by the killing of large numbers of Muslims, including women and children, by Islamist insurgents in Iraq. Are such acts permissible? Judging by fatwas (religious opinions) and articles by Muslim theologians and commentators, the Islamic ummah (community) is divided on the issue. Those who believe that killing innocent people, including Muslims, is justified in certain cases, base their opinion on the principle of tattarrus. The word,...
  • A Nobel For Sistani

    03/20/2005 7:05:18 AM PST · by PolishProud · 5 replies · 416+ views
    New York Times ^ | March 3, 2005 | Tomas Friedman
    As we approach the season of the Nobel Peace Prize, I would like to nominate the spiritual leader of Iraq's Shiites, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, for this year's medal. I'm serious. If there is a decent outcome in Iraq, President Bush will deserve, and receive, real credit for creating the conditions for democratization there, by daring to topple Saddam Hussein. But we tend to talk about Iraq as if it is all about us and what we do. If some kind of democracy takes root there, it will also be due in large measure to the instincts and directives of...
  • ‘Sistani will not endorse Islamic constitution of Iraq’

    03/17/2005 8:17:04 PM PST · by WmShirerAdmirer · 16 replies · 837+ views
    International News ( ^ | March 18, 2005 | Staff
    BAGHDAD: As Shias ascend to power in Iraq and turn toward writing a new constitution, the key role expected for their spiritual leader, enigmatic Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, is once again a subject of mystery and debate. Top aides say al-Sistani, 75, who remained sequestered at his home in the holy city of Najaf during the Wednesday opening session of the new Iraqi parliament, has no desire to push for a constitution that turns Iraq into an Islamic republic. But they say al-Sistani will not sign off on a document that condones violations of Islamís basic tenets, including, for example,...
  • Iraq Shi'ites, Kurds Say They're Nearing Government Deal

    03/15/2005 11:58:22 AM PST · by Alex Marko · 4 replies · 524+ views
    BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Shi'ite Muslim and Kurdish politicians are nearing agreement on forming Iraq's next government, officials from the two sides said Tuesday. "We expect to sign a declaration in the next few days on general principles that include dealing with the city of Kirkuk according to the interim constitution," Mohammad Bahr al-Uloum, a member of the majority Shi'ite bloc in parliament told Reuters.
  • AP: New Iraq Said Must Be Islamic State (AP distortion of news)

    02/28/2005 10:32:29 AM PST · by Alex Marko · 13 replies · 794+ views
    BAGHDAD, Iraq - Many consider Abdel Aziz al-Hakim, the prominent cleric who leads the United Iraqi Alliance, to have emerged as the country's top Shiite power broker after the Jan. 30 elections. A leader of a key Shiite political organization, the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (news - web sites), al-Hakim opposed Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) from exile in Iran (news - web sites) before returning after the U.S.-led invasion. The alliance he leads with the backing of Iranian-born Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the country's most powerful Shiite cleric, took 140 of the 275 seats...
  • The Religious Face of Iraq: Shiite Leader Ali Sistani's Edicts Illuminate the Gap With the West

    02/20/2005 5:54:30 AM PST · by billorites · 7 replies · 335+ views
    Washington Post ^ | February 18, 2005 | Phillip Kennicott
    The Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the most revered Shiite leader in Iraq, seems through the prism of the Western media to be an elusive character. He has not met with coalition leaders directly, and he doesn't speak to reporters. edit... For example, fatwa 2648 reads: "It is unworthy to drink too much water; to drink water after eating fatty food; and to drink water while standing during the night. It is also unworthy to drink water with one's left hand; to drink from the side of a container which is cracked or chipped off, or from the side of its...
  • Birth of a Democracy

    02/05/2005 7:13:02 AM PST · by Pokey78 · 8 replies · 806+ views
    The Weekly Standard ^ | 02/14/05 | Reuel Marc Gerecht
    Soon the whole Middle East will see Iraq's national assembly at work. ALL RIGHT. LET US make an analytical bet of high probability and enormous returns: The January 30 elections in Iraq will easily be the most consequential event in modern Arab history since Israel's six-day defeat of Gamal Abdel Nasser's alliance in 1967. Israel's pulverizing defeat of the Arab armies dethroned Nasserism, the romantic pan-Arab dictatorial nationalism that had infected much of the Arab world, particularly its intelligentsia, during the 1950s and '60s. With the collapse of Nasserism, the overtly secular socialist-cum-fascist age in the Middle East closed--except in...
  • Grand Ayatollah a Symbol of Shiite Power (Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani)

    02/13/2005 4:42:06 PM PST · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 7 replies · 403+ views
    Las Vegas Sun ^ | February 13, 2005 at 13:52:29 PST | JAMIE TARABAY
    BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - His supporters may insist that Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is just a frail, white-bearded cleric devoted solely to spiritual pursuits. But the country's most-revered holy man is also now a symbol of Shiite political power, well-positioned to have a lasting impact on his adopted country. Spiritually, al-Sistani has been an important figure in the lives of the majority of Iraqis at least since 1999, when he became Iraq's most senior Shiite religious figure. Politically, his call for elections and his ability to twice force Washington in recent months to adjust its Iraqi election plans have made...
  • The most powerful man in Iraq is an ayatollah with a website

    02/11/2005 11:45:00 PM PST · by MadIvan · 24 replies · 946+ views
    The Times ^ | February 12, 2005 | Stephen Farrell and Richard Beeston
    The hopes and fears of a nation swirl around this asceticTHE most powerful man in Iraq sits on the floor of a modest room, off a narrow alley in a provincial city south of Baghdad. His gown is dark and threadbare. His face is sandwiched betweeen a long white beard and a black turban. On the rare occasions that he leaves his home, it is to pray at the nearby shrine of Imam Ali, the founder of Shia Islam, in Najaf. Grand Ayatollah Ali al- Sistani has never met an American official or soldier. He did not vote in Iraq’s...
  • Sistani: No Shari'a Need Apply

    02/09/2005 3:07:03 PM PST · by swilhelm73 · 21 replies · 735+ views
    captains quarters ^ | February 8, 2005 | Captain Ed
    Contrary to the desperate analyses from Western journalists that have appeared almost daily since the Iraqi elections, the most influential Shi'ite cleric does not want an imposition of Shari'a law. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani instead wants the government to follow parliamentary processes to codify a new direction for the world's newest democracy: A spokesman for Iraq's most influential Shia cleric has denied reports that the cleric is demanding that Islam be the country's sole source of law. Hamed Khafaf said Ayatollah Ali Sistani believes Iraq's new constitution should respect what he described as the Islamic cultural identity of Iraqis. ......
  • Sistani 'not seeking Islamic law'

    02/09/2005 8:34:11 AM PST · by Alex Marko · 6 replies · 387+ views
    A spokesman for Iraq's most influential Shia cleric has denied reports that the cleric is demanding that Islam be the country's sole source of law. Hamed Khafaf said Ayatollah Ali Sistani believes Iraq's new constitution should respect what he described as the Islamic cultural identity of Iraqis. Shia success in the election led to speculation that the ayatollah wanted a constitution based on Sharia law. Mr Khafaf said the speculation was baseless. He insisted that Ayatollah Sistani's position had not changed. In Ayatollah Sistani's view, his spokesman went on to say, it was up to the elected representatives of the...