Statement: Situation in Iraq

Salaamun Alaikum,

The World Federation of KSIMC and The Council of European Jamaats clarifies Ayatullah Sayyid Ali al-Husaini al-Sistani's statement concerning the current situation in Iraq.

STATEMENT

On Friday 13 June, Ayatullah Sayyid Ali al-Husaini al-Sistani called on all able-bodied Iraqi citizens to volunteer to join the state security forces in defence of their homeland and to safeguard Iraq. The intervention delivered in Karbala was in response to the takeover of Mosul by the terrorist group ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Sham). Similar pronouncements have been made by many prominent Sunni scholars within and outside of Iraq.

The duty of defending the nation was termed "Wajib Kifa`i" for all Iraqi citizens i.e. a collective obligation, which is only withdrawn when the goal of safeguarding the country against the invading terrorist group has been adequately met.

With several news organisations misrepresenting the statement, The World Federation of KSIMC and its member Regional Federations clarify that the call by Ayatullah Sistani was for Iraqi citizens (and so not for volunteers outside of Iraq) to join the army, rather than any armed activity outside the legal framework. This applies to all Iraqi citizens, regardless of their sectarian or ethnic affiliation.

We wish the people of Iraq peace and safety during this terrible crisis, and shall seek to support with humanitarian aid where possible.

Ayatullah Sistani's subsequent statement released on Saturday 14 June calls upon the citizens of Iraq 'to exert the highest possible level of self-restraint during this tumultuous period', urging all groups to steer clear from engaging in any sectarian conflict 'that is of detriment to Iraq's national unity.'

Whilst fears of a full-blown sectarian war grow, let us not only raise awareness of the issue, alongside praying for our brothers and sisters in Iraq, but also support the message of unity laid out by Ayatullah Sistani: "Sunnis are ourselves, not just our brothers".

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Signed by:

Dr Asgarali Moledina - President, The World Federation of Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri Muslim Communities

Dr Husein Jiwa - President, The Council of European Jamaats

Anwarali Dharamsi - President, The Federation of Khoja Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaats of Africa

Gulamabbas Najafi - President, Organization of North American Shia Ithna-Asheri Muslim Communities.

Altaf Husain - President, The Federation of Khoja Shia Isna Asheri Jamaats of Pakistan

16th June 2013 / 17th Shaban 1435 A.H.

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The World Federation of KSIMC

The Council of European Jamaats