Center for Strategic Communication

[ by Charles Cameron — Sistani’s “call to arms” against ISIS, impact re Iraq and Iran ]


Under the header Can ‘obscure cleric’ save Iraq from brutal terrorism of ISIS, my first post for UK-based Lapido Media: Centre for Religious Literacy in World Affairs was posted yesterday, with a couple of paragraphs added today:

THE GRAND AYATOLLAH Ali al-Sistani of Najaf, Iraq, recently issued a ruling (fatwa) calling for able-bodied Iraqis to join forces with the Iraqi army in resisting the ISIS ‘terrorists’. He said that anyone who dies fighting ISIS will die a martyr.

This last claim will be hugely significant to his Shia followers, for whom the martyrdom of Imam Hussein at Karbala in 680 CE (61 AH in the Islamic calendar) is the defining moment for their branch of Islam, solemnly recalled each year on the day of Ashura – a devotion whose significance is captured in the slogan: ‘Every day is Ashura and every land is Karbala’.

Significantly, Sistani’s call has gone out to the Iraqi people, not just to the Shia – and he has also clarified that he does not wish British Muslims to fly to Iraq to join the battle.

Read the rest at the Lapido site.