Monday, April 7, 2003

In the WSJ, Brendan Minter looks to Shiite Islam as a base for moderation in southern Iraq, basing his evaluation on, of course, Shiite hatred of Saddam, as well as the supposed fatwa issued by the Ayatollah in Najaf calling for his followers to cooperate with the Americans.

But the story about the Ayatollah is a bit more complicated

The meeting was partly an attempt to clarify the Grand Ayatollah's position on the presence of US forces in Iraq. On Thursday, US military officials said the cleric had issued a fatwa, or edict, declaring that Iraqi Shia should not interfere with US forces. The son, however, denied this, saying the fatwa said only that citizens should refrain from looting."There was nothing about American military in the fatwa," says Mr al-Khoi. "This he might have said to someone just in a conversation, but it wasn't a fatwa," which carries greater religious authority.

And then there are the ever-changing views of the primary Sunni religious leader in Iraq