Al-Sadr Not Supported by Other Iraqi Leaders

(MEMRI) Nimrod Raphaeli - Dissident Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has been angry and frustrated for some time at being kept outside the Iraqi Governing Council. Not unlike the Iranian ayatollahs who prepared him as a cleric, al-Sadr is interested, first and foremost, in achieving an Islamic state in Iraq, and he will not avoid confrontation if it enables him to achieve his ultimate objective. However, al-Sadr is not supported by other Iraqi Shi'a leaders. Al-Sadr's activities are anathema to the most senior Shi'ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. An Iraqi court issued an order for al-Sadr's arrest for the assassination of the moderate Shi'a cleric Abd al-Majid al-Khoei in a mosque in Najaf. Al-Khohei was the son of Grand Ayatollah Abu al-Qassem al-Khoei, al-Sistani's mentor. Following the violence initiated by al-Sadr, al-Sistani issued a statement calling on the demonstrators to exercise self-control and not to strike back if they were struck by the coalition forces. Al-Sadr, who is considered roughly the equivalent of a graduate student, has failed, despite many attempts, to obtain an interview with al-Sistani.

2004-04-09 00:00:00

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