A weapons dealer dismantles an AK-47 assault rifle before selling it to smugglers transferring it to Syria, at his house near the city of Mosul, 390km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, Feb. 16, 2012. The weapons dealers sell a rifle for about $1000. (photo by REUTERS/Stringer)

Iraqi Party Says Arms Sales Declined After Clerics' Fatwa

Author: Al-Hayat (Pan Arab) Posted September 5, 2012

The Iraqi Islamic Virtue Party (al-Fadhila Party) announced today [Sept. 4] that weapons sales in central and southern Iraq have declined, after religious authorities issued a fatwa relating to this matter. Moreover, tribes in the south of the country denied that they were working as arms traffickers. 

SummaryPrint The Iraqi Islamic Virtue Party, or al-Fadhila Party, announced that medium and small arms sales declined in central and southern Iraq, following a fatwa by religious authorities, reports Al-Hayat. Some reports have linked these arms sales to weapons smuggled into Syria.
Author Posted September 5, 2012
Translator(s)Joelle El-Khoury

The Islamic Virtue Party said in a statement that “weapons sales in central and southern Iraq have declined, particularly following a fatwa issued by religious authorities forbidding this activity,” Al-Hayat reported.

The statement added: “We were given accurate information indicating that sale of medium and small weapons, which was rampant in central and southern Iraq,  has decreased.” The statement added that “this information should serve as motivation for the Iraqi people and is proof that they are  keen to respect decisions taken by religious  authorities and officials.” The statement explained that “the concentrated efforts made by religious authorities, security forces, members of the security and defense parliamentary committee and some deputies have brought about a decrease in weapons sales.”

The party emphasized “that security forces need to take precautionary measures against practices designed to challenge national unity. They must be aware that some individuals are trying hard to attack and harm the country’s security and stability, especially given that Iraq has proven itself  to be a homeland for all of its diverse citizens. It has beaten the odds and managed to unite the Iraqi people under a single name: Iraq.”

There have been reports over the past few days of organized operations to sell weapons in various parts of the country, particularly in central and southern Iraq. Some have said it is probable that these weapons will be smuggled into Syria.

Moreover, Maytham Lafta al-Fartusi, deputy chairman of the parliamentary security and defense committee in the Maysan governorate council, said that more than 350 tribal leaders denied any involvement in arms trafficking, adding that “they called on executive bodies to carry out the death penalty against those found to  be involved in smuggling arms out of the governorate.”

Sajad Sharhan, chairman of security committee in the Dhi Qar governorate council, announced that two arms traffickers were arrested and had all of their possessions confiscated. 

Read More: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/security/01/09/iraq-arms-sales-fatwa.html

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