Friday, September 23, 2005

Al Sistani backs constitution

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, meeting with aides Thursday in the holy city of Najaf, urged his followers to vote "yes" on the new basic law, according to two top officials in al-Sistani's organization. The officials refused to be identified because they are not authorized to speak for the reclusive cleric.

This is indeed good news, but there’s more:

Iraq's most influential Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, is planning to issue a fatwa or religious edict ordering Shiites to approve the new draft constitution in a referendum next month…he would issue the fatwa in the next few days.

Al-Sistani's edicts encouraged many Shiites to take part in the January elections by telling them it was their religious duty to vote.
The fatwa could boost the chances of success of the 15 October referendum in which the Iraqi people are called on to approve the draft constitution.

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