Iraq: Juristic, Political Criticism over Haeri’s Fatwa to ‘Fight US’

Sunday, 25 August, 2019 - 10:15
Baghdad - Fadhel al-Nashmi

The Iraqi political and juristic debate continued on Saturday in the wake of the fatwa issued by Ayatollah Seyed Kazem al-Haeri on the call for fighting the US forces in Iraq.

Given the political and juristic background of Haeri, most of the discussions circulated in these two aspects.

Critics said that a religious man living in Iran doesn’t have the right to interfere in the Iraqi political affairs and issue a fatwa to fight the US forces, especially with the presence of Iraq's Ayatollah Ali Sistani and other prominent religious leaders in Najaf, in addition to an Iraqi parliament and executive and legal authorities.

The criticism focused on the ‘extremist’ Haeri’s fatwas such as those permitting the torture of Iraqi soldiers and killing police officers during the Iraqi-Iranian war 1980-1988. Also in 2003, he forbid voting for laics in Iraqi elections.

In response to the wave of criticism, Haeri’s released a statement on Saturday where he justified that the fatwa was to defend Iraq’s security, independence, and sovereignty against any aggressor.

While most of the official and religious parties remained silent, Asaib Ahl al-Haq leader Qais Khazali defended him.

In a tweet, Khazali said that Haeri is a religious leader for many Iraqis, and disrespecting him is a disrespect to them. He continued that his only fault is his hatred to Iraq’s enemies, namely Israel and the US administration.

Further, Sadr's spokesman Sheikh Salah al-Obeidi stated that a journalist asked him his opinion on Haeri’s. Obeidi affirmed that he can’t give any statement because he is Sadr’s spokesman, who would possibly tweet or issue a statement.

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