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Sistani Issues Fatwa Against Sectarian Violence in Iraq

Amid rising sectarian rhetoric and violence in Iraq, Iraqi Shiite cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has issued a fatwa condemning anti-Sunni violence.
An Iraqi Shi'ite Muslim boy kisses a poster of the Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in the town of Karbala, some 110 km south from the Iraqi capital Baghdad, early February 6, 2004. Iraq's most powerful Shi'ite cleric, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, survived an assassination bid on Thursday when gunmen opened fire on his entourage in the sacred streets of Najaf, a security aide said. The assassination attempt comes days before a team of United Nations electoral experts is due to arrive in the country to assess the feasi
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Amid the rising flames of sectarianism, occasionally there are people and groups that hurl insults at other religious sects, fueling the fire and stoking the cycle of violence and hatred. In contrast, moderate Iraqi clergymen make every effort to thwart this trend and try, as much as possible, to limit its influence.

Among the latest developments of the sectarian crisis that rages in Iraq, dozens of young men organized a provocative march in the predominantly Sunni al-Adhamiyah neighborhood of Baghdad on Oct. 7. They did not chant for a return to unity and the rejection of violence, nor did they condemn bombings and terrorism. They, in fact, hurled insults and cursed Sunni holy historical figures, labeling them “nawasib,” a derogatory term used against Sunnis.

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