Friday, October 20, 2006

R-35 Iraqs Shiite and Sunni seek peace amongst themselves

Iraq's religious figures issue edicts

BAGHDAD, Iraq - In a bid to stop sectarian bloodshed, Shiite and Sunni religious figures met in Mecca, Islam's holiest city, and issued a series of edicts Friday forbidding violence between Iraq's two Muslim sects........ A final communique, heavy on quotations from the Quran and Hadith, was issued at the end of the two-day meeting. It contained 10 points, the majority of which were edicts forbidding kidnappings, incitement of hatred, attacks on mosques and Shiite places of worship. It also prohibited forcing members of the other sect from their homes and called for the release from detention of Iraqis not charged with specific crimes...... It also stated that differences between the two sects did not touch on the basics of the faith.

None was among the country's top clerics, but spokesman Salah Abdul-Razaq, speaking to The Astry to sociated Press from Mecca, said the fatwas were vetted and approved by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the country's top Shiite cleric, and radical anti-U.S. Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr. Al-Sadr is not a high-ranking cleric but he runs the Mahdi Army, a militia blamed for much of the violence against Sunni Arabs.

The Mecca meeting had lowered expectations from the outset, with its organizers maintaining that they did not seek a truce in Iraq, where a Sunni insurgency continues to target U.S. and Iraqi forces, but only to stop sectarian killings between rival Sunnis and Shiites.

UPDATE '06 Oct 20 Long path to Iraq's sectarian split


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