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Ayatollah Sistani on the Mahdi Army: “the law is the only authority in the country”

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 Sadrist movement. Saghier was clear that Sistani did not sanction the Mahdi Army and called for it to disarm.

"Sistani has a clear opinion in this regard; the law is the only authority in the country," Saghier told Voices of Iraq, indicating Sistani supports Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki and the government in the effort to sideline the Mahdi Army. "Sistani asked the Mahdi army to give in weapons to the government."

Sadr did not consult with Sistani on the issue of disbanding the Mahdi Army, disputing a claim from Sadrist spokesmen who intimated Iraqi’s top cleric told Sadr to maintain his militia. "The top Shiite cleric had not been consulted in establishing the Mahdi Army, so [he] could not interfere in dissolving it,” Saghier said. “Whosoever established the al-Mahdi army has to dissolve it; Sayyed Muqtada al-Sadr established this army and it is only him who has to dissolve it."

Sistani’s statements are the latest in a series of moves to politically isolate the Sadrist movement and delegitimize the Mahdi Army. On March 25, the Iraqi security forces started an operation in Basrah designed to clear the city of the Mahdi Army. After meeting early resistance in Basrah and fighting broke out in Baghdad and the South, the Iraqi military rushed reinforcements to the southern city. Six days after the operation began, Sadr ordered his fighters off the street. The Mahdi Army took significant casualties while the Iraqi Army secured the southern cities of Hillah, Kut, Karbala, Najaf, Diwaniyah, Nasiriyah, and Amarah in days. Clashes are still ongoing in Sadr City.

On April 6, Iraq’s Political Council for National Security moved to bar the Sadrist movement from participating in upcoming provincial elections in October if it did not disband the Mahdi Army. The plan had the full backing of Sunni, Kurdish, and Shia political parties.

The move caused panic inside the Sadrist movement as their political isolation became apparent. "We, the Sadrists, are in a predicament," Hassan al Rubaie, a Sadrist member of parliament said the day the Political Council for National Security announced the plan. "Our political isolation was very clear and real during the meeting." he said, referring to the meeting of the Political Council for National Security, where the legislation was announced. "Even the blocs that had in the past supported us are now against us and we cannot stop them from taking action against us in parliament."


Click to view image: '171870-sistani.jpg'

Added: Apr-11-2008 
By: natej740
In:
Iraq, Middle East
Tags: iraq
Views: 3037 | Comments: 15 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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  • where's all the esurgent retards calling this fake, propaganda made up bullshit!!!

    it's amazing how they believe everything that goes against what they think is a lie... fucking dummies!

    Posted Apr-11-2008 By 

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  • GO IRAQ! Here's your chance to step up in the world and struggle for true independence. Even with all your differences, you can band together, when needed, to stop what is wrong and divisive. Good luck!

    Posted Apr-11-2008 By 

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  • well, we will see what happens after this!!!!!!

    Posted Apr-11-2008 By 

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  • Kiffur: "
    WEEDBENDER: "
    ----------_: "sistani is fkn Iranian those basterd EMAMS dont give ashiiit about ppl they just took and never we feel that they can do change . where is the low u fkn tookan about it the iraqi plice kill every day and stolen our homes in the name of low go fk ur self dirty sistani."
    LOL easy dose it you SUNNI dog."
    FIGHT

    FIGHT

    FIGHT

    LOL!

    :)

    ."
    Can't we all just get along? LOL

    Nice to see a Muslim religious leader More..

    Posted Apr-11-2008 By 

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  • Comment of user 'YatzeR' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Ayatollah Sistani... What a brave thing to say. It's good to see support being spoken by an Islamic religious figure on behalf of the legitimate Iraqi government.

    Posted Apr-11-2008 By 

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  • About time.

    Posted Apr-11-2008 By 

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  • Sadar should be dragged into the streets by his dirty beard and beheaded.

    Posted Apr-11-2008 By 

    (1) | Report

  • cancer

    Posted Apr-11-2008 By 

    (1) | Report

  • WEEDBENDER: "
    ----------_: "sistani is fkn Iranian those basterd EMAMS dont give ashiiit about ppl they just took and never we feel that they can do change . where is the low u fkn tookan about it the iraqi plice kill every day and stolen our homes in the name of low go fk ur self dirty sistani."
    LOL easy dose it you SUNNI dog."
    FIGHT

    FIGHT

    FIGHT

    LOL!

    :)

    .

    Posted Apr-11-2008 By 

    (1) | Report

  • That's right madi army idiots. Listen to your wierd santa clause guy Sistani and lay down your arms or die.

    Posted Apr-11-2008 By 

    (1) | Report

  • ----------_: "sistani is fkn Iranian those basterd EMAMS dont give ashiiit about ppl they just took and never we feel that they can do change . where is the low u fkn tookan about it the iraqi plice kill every day and stolen our homes in the name of low go fk ur self dirty sistani."
    get a lawyer and settle it in court. If you turn to violence, you'll only lose.

    Posted Apr-11-2008 By 

    (1) | Report

  • I expect that in a week or two, they'll declare Sadr an outlaw.

    Posted Apr-11-2008 By 

    (1) | Report

  • About time a High level religous muslim has spoke. Sheesh. But now hell be a traitor ect and theyll try to kill him like all muslims do. They dont like whats said they kill you. You dont agree with their point they kill you. You dont wear a burka they kill you. List goes on and on and on and on and on and on and well we all know.

    Posted Apr-11-2008 By 

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  • WE_OWN_YOU: "where's all the esurgent retards calling this fake, propaganda made up bullshit!!!

    it's amazing how they believe everything that goes against what they think is a lie... fucking dummies!"
    Actually you dont see the far left libs posting either. Funny shit.

    Posted Apr-11-2008 By 

    (0) | Report

  • They kill you

    Posted Apr-11-2008 By 

    (-1) | Report