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‘Iraq’s top cleric urged Shi’ah forces to shield Sunnis’‎

Rasa – Iraq’s top cleric Ayatollah al-Sistani has urged the Shi’ah forces of Popular ‎Mobilization Forces to sacrifice their lives to protect Sunni families who are under relentless ‎attacks by Daesh, an Iranian official says.‎

RNA – Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Sistani was quoted as saying by Ayatollah Mohsen ‎Ayatollah Araki, the Secretary General of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools ‎of Thoughts.‎


Ayatollah Araki, who recently met Ayatollah al-Sistani during his stay in the holy city of ‎Karbala to take part in Arba’in pilgrimage, says the Iraqi top cleric has underlined the need to ‎preserve unity between Shi’ahs and Sunnis and added the latter have been deprived of ‎security due to the relentless attacks by Daesh.‎


‎“In one of the recent meetings of Grand Ayatollah with a crowd of Popular Mobilization ‎Forces, one member said we have peaceful coexistence with our Sunni brothers. In reply, ‎Ayatollah al-Sistani underlined that they should never use the term Sunni brothers because ‎we are from the same origin and there is no difference between us and them,” Ayatollah ‎Araki said.‎


According to Ayatollah Araki, Ayatollah al-Sistani also said he had urged Popular Mobilization ‎Forces to protect the Sunni families who are under Daesh attack under any condition.‎


‎“The top Shi’ah cleric said enemies are seeking to create division between the Shi’ah and ‎Sunni Muslims in Iraq and there are many who call on him to issue a verdict in this regard but ‎he has declined to do so until today because he thinks it is not in the interest of Iraq to ‎contribute to any conflict between the two sides,” said Ayatollah Araki.‎


According to Sistani, when Daesh started attacking Sunni Muslims, most of them fled to the ‎Shi’ah-populated regions and faced warm hospitality by their Shi’ah brothers and today, the ‎Shi’ahs are reaping the fruits of their deeds.‎


Enemies Hatching Plot to Divide Iraq


Ayatollah Araki says Ayatollah al-Sistani also expressed satisfaction with peaceful coexistence ‎among Shi’ah and Sunni Muslims in Iraq and said “in the Sunni-populated city of Mosul, ‎people decided to pick up a Shi’ah candidate during the latest parliamentary elections. This ‎reveals that the two sides have good relations with each other.”‎


According to IFP news Ayatollah al-Sistani said since the early days of Saddam regime’s overthrow, the US insisted ‎on dividing Iraq into a number of regions but he vehemently rejected any such plans saying ‎that Iraq must never be divided.‎


“They said the Shi’ahs will have the upper hand if Iraq is divided. They tried to tempt the ‎Shi’ahs into agreeing with Iraq’s division,” Ayatollah al-Sistani was quoted as saying.‎


Ayatollah al-Sistani said he resisted against any plan to divide Iraq and said Iraq must remain ‎united and the Iraqis should remain brothers with each other regardless of their schools of ‎thoughts.‎


Arba’in, Axis of Unity in Islamic World‎


“Of course Iran played a key role in creating peace and security in Iraq,” Ayatollah al-Sistani ‎said, adding, during the Arba’in march, people from various races and beliefs stood hand in ‎hand revealing the unity in the Islamic World.‎


“During Arba’in, not only Shi’ahs and Sunnis but also people from other religions stood ‎behind each other.”‎


Ayatollah al-Sistani then said that he benefits from the Iranian leaders’ ideas. “Under the ‎Saddam regime, there were no appropriate communication channels. Today, I study other ‎countries’ laws and regulations. I receive many books from Iran and fortunately good books ‎are published there, which I draw on to deal with many issues.”‎


He finally prayed for the Iranian government and nation and expressed hope the issue of the ‎unilateral sanctions on the country could be resolved soon and the Iranians could overcome ‎their problems in the near future.‎


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