The purpose of this blog is begin to build up enough source material to make possible a comparative analysis of the discourse on political identity constructed by key figures in the Iraqi-Shi’a religious field. Consequently, finding fatwas, bayans or articles from different figures addressing the same political events and subjects is especially useful. Here we have al-Sistani responding through his representative to the decision of the US HoR to allow the arming of Kurdish and Sunni-tribal groups directly. I have already translated a bayan from Muqtada al-Sadr on the same subject, hopefully allowing for comparative analysis (to follow). It is worth noting that al-Sistani and al-Sadr seem to have chosen to respond in different mediums, Muqtada more directly through a bayan, whereas al-Sistani has communicated indirectly through his representative al-Karbalai. The hierarchy and categorization of forms of communication needs careful attention and can hopefully be addressed more fully in a future post.
p.s. This translation is quite long and contains a couple of points of quite extensive repetition. However, my aim here is to translate literally and represent the text as is.
Original source (Arabic): http://www.sistani.org/arabic/in-news/25083/
Translation starts here:
Reported by Nun al-Khabaria news agency
The Marja’ al-Sistani rejects the decision of the US House of Representatives and demands that the political powers adopt a clear stance rejecting this approach to dealing with the Iraqi people.
The High Representative of Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Husayni al-Sistani announced al-Sistani’s rejection of the recent decision, voted on by the US House of Representatives, and which allows the provision of military support to certain regions in Iraq, bypassing the elected government. He demanded that the Iraqi political forces adopt a clear position rejecting this approach to dealing with the Iraqi people.
Sheikh Abdul Mahdi al-Karbalai, representative of the Marja’ al-Sistani, stated during the second sermon for prayer 1 May 2015: “It has been confirmed more than once that the foreign support which has been provided to the Iraqi people in their war against terrorism and their quest to rid their land from the gangs of Da3sh must not affect, in any circumstance, Iraqi sovereignty and the unity of Iraq’s people and land.”
He went on to add that he was unable to accept the recent decision that was voted on by the US House of Representatives which allowed for the provision of military support to certain regions in Iraq, bypassing the elected Iraqi government. He assumes that the Iraqi political powers will have a clear stance in rejecting this approach to dealing with the Iraqi people, indicating that it is incumbent upon the political powers to exert the utmost effort for agreement over a unified vision for ridding the areas controlled by Da3sh with the widest participation of the people from these regions.
The representative of the Marja’iya said through his sermon at the Imam Hussein Shrine, attended by Nun al-Khabaria news agency, that the divergence and fragmentation and the pull of individual and factional interests amongst different sections of Iraqis, and the loss of confidence amongst them, is paving the path and preparing the ground for foreign interventions which expose the country to the risks of partition and division. It is demanded of all faithful politicians, themselves from the people of this country, to pay attention to this and work seriously – before it is too late – to secure the interests of all Iraqis according to the constitution and realise security and stability for all.
The Marja’iya demanded from those parties supporting the army in the fight against terrorism, including the volunteers and the people of the various tribes, to take account of the overriding Iraqi interests only, not what is required by the interests of some bodies and states which may well cut across the interests required of Iraq and Iraqis.
Sheikh al-Karbalai made clear that: “Consequently, what is required is achieving the highest degree of coordination with the General Command of the Armed Forces in the military operations maintaining unity and fighting strength distanced from the differences which lead to the weakening of all… at the same time, it is hoped that the General Command of the Armed Forces will work to gather all the various parties under the umbrella of the interests shared by all Iraqis, to realise the most important aim which is to rid the country of the terrorist Da3sh.
Furthermore, the representative of the Marja’iya warned the security and media organs of the dangerous methods of misinformation and psychological warfare which Da3sh depends on, especially with respect to its focus on injecting terror and fear in the hearts of the fighters and citizens by spreading lies and scenes of savage killing. A professional approach is required to confront this method.”
Sheikh al-Karbalai said that maintaining the military victories and preserving the moral of the fighters and replenishing the moral of all citizens, required that the security and media organs take note of the danger of the approach of misinformation and psychological warfare which the Da3sh gangs rely on, especially with respect to their focus on injecting terror and fear into the hearts of the fighters and citizens by spreading lies and scenes of savage killing. It is necessary to adopt a professional approach to combat these methods, and keep pace with security developments, hour by hour, and follow what is published by Da3sh’s media and supporters and quickly respond by reporting the truth of events by communicating with the fighters and their commanders.
The representative of the Marja’ al-Sistani stated the necessity of not trusting what was spread in Da3sh’s media but called for diligence and establishing the facts by referring back to the particular sources in order to know the truth, and to work to spread this truth and clarify the situation for the citizens and public opinion.
It is hoped that all the media adopt professional methods in following the events and in their analysis so as to preserve the moral of all the citizens and fighters.
The representative of the Marja’iya considered that communication with leaders in the field, including small military formations, and dealing in the spirit of fatherhood and brotherhood with the elements of the Armed Forces or the volunteers participating in the fighting is an important factor in rectifying any failure or loss in the different fields of battle.
He added that dealing with events truthfully, and reporting the facts from the Armed Forces in the field to the decision makers in the General Command, and keeping apace of events on the ground and military developments and refraining from hiding the facts for fear for being accused of dereliction of duty or failure, are fundamental factors in treating any security breach or failure. It is clear that communication with the commanders in the field, which includes the small military formations and dealing with the Armed Forces and the volunteers in the spirit of fatherhood and brotherhood is an important factor in rectifying any failure or loss sustained in the various fields of battle.
al-Karbalai renewed the call of the Marja’iya with respect to the importance of political and military officials for making a priority of care for the martyrs (most beloved and most noble) who are falling in battle, especially the senior officers who showed the highest levels of selflessness, sacrifice, and courage in the field of battle, confirming the necessity of exerting the utmost care for the injured and requesting that they be sent outside Iraq… With our renewed assurance that the state is maintaining a constant interest in the achievements of the martyrs and their families and distancing them from routine and complex commitments which burden those families of the newly martyred with more pain and suffering.
- The news and reports set out in this section do not necessarily express the views of the Marja’iya.