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Conflict over Shiite and Sunni endowments erupts in Mosul

Sunni Endowments in Mosul complain about Shiite domination over the Sunni religious sites in the city.
The destroyed Grand Mosque of al-Nuri is seen in the Old City of Mosul, Iraq January 29, 2019. Picture taken January 29, 2019.  REUTERS/Ari Jalal - RC1D097AED90

The northern Iraqi city of Mosul is on guard about the possibility of an outbreak of sectarian strife between Sunnis and Shiites following allegations that the Shiite Waqf (religious endowment) is seeking to seize Sunni-held land in the area. The head of the Iraqi Al-Qarar Coalition, Osama Najafi, said Jan. 30, “The Shiite endowment in Ninevah [province] is trying to register hundreds of property bonds belonging to the Sunni Waqf in its name, using its influence through official books issued by the General Real Estate Registration Directorate.” Najafi said the Shiite endowment was also “pressuring and threatening staff in the real estate registration office in Mosul.”

The Sunni Waqf has demanded that the federal government “put an end to the attempts by the Shiite Waqf to seize more of its real estate and property,” as seen in a Jan. 26 statement by Shirwan al-Dubardani, a member of the Iraqi parliament from Ninevah. He told Al-Monitor, “Rogue armed groups are trying to seize land in Ninevah in operations outside the law,” adding, “The fact-finding commission will identify the official entities involved.” Dubardani said, “Authorities in Ninevah filed a complaint to Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, requesting a swift intervention to stop violations against the Sunni Waqf and land belonging to them. Deputies from Ninevah will adopt a unified position in issuing a decision to halt these violations.”

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