Liaison office of Grand Ayatullah Sayyid Ali Al Sistani (L.M.H.L) in London, Europe, North and South America.

English translation of the Statement by His Eminence Sayyid Seestani (long may he live) on the events in Iraq.

In The Name of Allah, The Compassionate, The Merciful

*And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allâh (i.e. this Qur'ân), and be not divided among yourselves, and remember Allâh's Favour on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His Grace, you became brethren (in Islâmic Faith), and you were on the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allâh makes His Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.,) clear to you, that you may be guided.* True are the words of Allah the high and mighty (Al-Imran: 103)

With a heart griped in sorrow and pain I follow news of the atrocities and attacks the oppressed Iraqi people are being subjected to everyday; fear and forced displacement, kidnappings, murder and the parading of dead bodies, which words fail to express their ugliness and repulsiveness and the extent of their emptiness from all humane, religious and patriotic values.

Since the first days of the occupation I was eager for the Iraqis to surmount this critical stage in their history without falling into sectarian or ethnic strife. I was aware of the magnitude of the danger that threatens the unity of this nation and its national composition, [which is] a result of past accumulations and scheming foreigners who take advantage through their wicked institutions plus other [influencing] factors.

Through the cooperation and efforts made by good people and the patience of devout Muslims, it was possible to avoid descending into the abyss of sectarian discord for more than two years despite all the tragedies that the tens of thousands of innocent people were exposed to because of their religious identity.

However, the enemies did not lose hope. They implemented their schemes to divide this country by expanding the gulf of discord among its citizens. Regrettably some local people aided them, leading to the great disaster of the bombing of the holy shrine of the two Askari Imams (peace be on them) and thus the sightless violence that we are witnessing today all over the country, including Baghdad - destroying its people under different banners and false pretexts with no deterrent or prohibition.

Today, I reiterate my appeal to all Iraqi citizens from different sects and ethnicities who care about their country, to realize the extent of the danger that threatens the future of their country and to stand side by side in confronting this danger by discarding hatred and violence and replacing them with love and peaceful dialogue in order to solve all problems and disagreements.

I also implore all those with sound opinions and ideas, religious and political leaders, heads of clans and others who are loyal and truly concerned about the unity and the future of this country and its citizens, to do their utmost to halt this chain of bloodshed because if it were to continue, according to the enemies’ wishes, it will inflict the most serious damage to the unity of this nation and hinder its hopes of freedom, stability and progress for a long time to come.

I will also remind those who permit the shedding Muslim blood and have no regard for innocent lives because of their sectarian inclinations, of the saying of the great Prophet (Allah’s peace and blessing be on him) when he said in his farewell Haj pilgrimage: “ No doubt your blood, your wealth, your wives are prohibited to one another like the prohibition of this day of this month in this country, no doubt those present will inform those who are absent”.

Also of his saying (Allah’s peace and blessing be on him): “He who bears witness that there is no God but Allah and that Mohammad is his Messenger, has his blood and wealth protected, unless in a just cause, and Allah will hold him accountable ”.

Also of his saying (Allah’s peace and blessing be on him): “He who assists in the slaying of a Muslim, even by one word, will meet Allah, The Glorified and The Majestic, on the day of judgment with the words ‘No hope of Allah’s mercy’ written between his eyes”.

I also address those who target unarmed civilians and peaceful citizens by the words of Abu Abd-illah Al-Hussain (peace and blessing be on him) on the day of Ashoura when he addressed those who speared the attack on his family [women/children] “If you have no religion and you do not fear the day of judgment then have a free will in your life and return to your roots, if you are Arabs as you claim then... there is no sin [liability] on women”.

Why then do you target people like the old, the women and children even university students and industrial labourers and government office staff and others who have no role in all the current happenings? If you are not deterred by a religion that you claim you follow, then will not the human form you appear in deter you from this?

I say to those who cause injustice and harm to non-Muslim citizens like Christians, Sabians and others, have you not heard what the Commander of The Faithful (Amirul-Momineen) Ali (peace and blessing be on him) said when he learned of a non-Muslim woman who was confronted by men wanting to take her jewelry? He said (peace be on him): “If a Muslim dies of regret [for this action] I would not blame him, but rather agree with his comportment”. Why do you then harm your brothers in humanity and your fellow countrymen?

Dear people of Iraq,
The way out of the impasse in Iraq under the present circumstances requires a resolution from all the different parties to respect the sanctity of Iraqi lives, whoever they may be, and to stop reciprocal acts of violence in all its forms so that car bomb scenes, random executions in the streets and forced displacement campaigns and other such atrocious sights may vanish forever – God willing – and to replace them by cooperation with the nationally elected government and scenes of constructive dialogue to resolve any crisis and outstanding disagreements on the basis of fairness, justice and equality of rights and duties between all the citizens of this country – away from power struggles and ethnic and sectarian domination. Hoping this will be a gateway for Iraqis to reclaim the complete sovereignty of their country and to pave the way for a better tomorrow when they can enjoy security, stability, development and progress with Allah, Almighty’s support.

May Allah grant everyone success to that which He pleases.
Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatoh

Seal and Signature of
Ali Al Hussaini Al- Seestani
22 Jumada al-Thani 1427
18 July 2006