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  Media Statements of Grand Ayatollah Al Modarresi


Right to left: Grand Ayatollah M. Taqi Al Modarresi, Ayatollah Sayed Ali Al Sabzewari, Ayatollah Sayedh Hadi Al Modarresi during a recent meeting in the holy city of Karbala


Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi al-Modarresi, a Shiite spiritual leader in the sacred city of Karbala, is one of Iraq's four senior grand ayatollahs. Like Iraq's preeminent Shiite leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, al-Modarresi is considered a moderate who believes in the compatability of Islam and democracy, and counsels patience with the U.S.-led occupation. Yet he warns that if demands for direct elections of an interim Iraqi government are not met, the U.S. risks disaster. As a strong opponent of Saddam Hussein, he spent years in exile in Kuwait, Syria, Lebanon, and Iran, before heading home to Karbala shortly after the collapse of the Baath Party regime. (Bio excerpt from CBS News)

Sources: CBS NEWS (USA), ABC NEWS (USA), The Guardian (UK), The Scotsman (Scotland), Ireland Online (Ireland):

One of Iraq's most senior religious leaders called for an end to the Najaf fighting, as Iraqis took to the streets across the country to protest the ongoing violence.

Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Taqi al-Modaresi, speaking in Karbala during prayers on Friday, the Muslim holy day, condemned the persistent fighting.

"What is going on in Najaf and the rest of the Iraqi cities is a violation of sanctities, an aggression on holy sites and shedding of innocent blood that could lead to a vicious civil war," al-Modaresi said.

"I call on everyone to shun violence, stop all military operations and for the immediate withdrawal the troops from the cities."

Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Taqi al-Modaresi condemned the persistent fighting between U.S. and Iraqi troops and militia loyal to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, which initially centered on one of Shia Islam's holiest sites, but has now spread to other parts of the country and called for an end to fighting in Najaf on Friday, as Iraqis took to the streets across the country to protest the ongoing violence.

Aug 13 8:47 AM



In Karbala, senior Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Taqi al-Modaresi called for an immediate end to the violence.

"We stress the need to halt fighting immediately, to adhere to the truce and to let reason and wisdom play a role in solving the problems through political dialogue," said Jaafar Mohammed, al-Modaresi's spokesman.



For more news stories about Grand Ayatollah Al Modarresi's statements go to Yahoo News.




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