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Ours is not the only Election

October 28, 2004

This news comes out of Baghdad through the blogger “Healing Iraq” (an Iraqi that likes to report inside news from the Shi’ite perspective).

ayyid Ahmed Al-Safi, a representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, reiterated during the Friday prayers sermon at Karbala the call of the Maji’iya for widespread participation and voting in the upcoming elections late January 2005. Al-Safi stressed that ‘heavy participation in the voting procedures is a national and legal (religious) duty,’ adding that those who refrain from voting would ‘enter Jahannam (Hell)’.

Al-Safi strongly denied rumours appearing in the media last week that the Marji’iya or Sistani had prepared or endorsed any slate of candidates. This following attempts by several Islamic parties in the south (such as the Da’wa party, SCIRI, and Hizbollah) to mislead Shi’ite Iraqi voters that they are backed and supported by the Marji’iya, or that voting for candidates from these specific parties is an ‘order’ from the Sayyid (Sistani). Some have even presented forged statements with Sistani’s seal on them to convince potential voters.

Meanwhile, the Association of Muslim Scholars continues its threats to boycott the elections especially if a military campaign is carried out against Fallujah or other ‘Sunni’ towns and areas. On the other hand, several Sunni clerics as well as the Islamic party have issued statements strongly encouraging Iraqi Sunnis to vote in order to guarantee representation in the government and not to fall into the trap of avoiding the elections.

Another Shi’ite cleric, Ayatollah Sheikh Muhammed Al-Ya’qubi, leader of the Islamic Fadhila party and a disciple of the late Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammed Sadiq Al-Sadr, also stressed in a recent statement that voting is an imperative duty for all Muslims the same as prayers or fasting.

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