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April 10, 2008

Sistani on Sadr and the Mahdi Army: "The Law Is the Only Authority in the Country"

Hmmm...

Sadr wanted, he said, a ruling from the country's cleric's on his army. This seems to be such a ruling.

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.

If you read on, you'll see that Sadr is backing away from his previous quote (which he disputes) and saying he doesn't give a fig about Sistani.

AJ Strata actually had this the day before. Why did no one notice? Because this big news was tucked away at the end of an article, where few would see it.

Thanks to RBT.


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posted by Ace at 11:07 AM

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