Thursday, April 10, 2008


Al Sistani Responds

It was reported earlier this week that Shi'ite Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr announced that he would disband the Mighty Mahdi Army if Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and other clerics in Iran told him to. Then it was reported that he never said that. Then it was reported that the answer was don't disband the band. Despite the apparent contradiction inherent in those two subsequent report, it now appears that Muqtada al-Sadr did indeed consult Ali al-Sistani and here is the Grand Ayatollah's responses:

Al-Sistani has a clear opinion in this regard; the law is the only authority in the country. The top Shiite cleric had not been consulted in establishing al-Mahdi army, so it could not interfere in dissolving it. 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. Al-Sistani asked al-Mahdi army to give in weapons to the government.

Not the model of clarity, due no doubt to translation limitations, but I do like that last part. OK, you can keep the band together if you want but you have to give Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki all your weapons. We can all live with that.


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