Iraqi Cleric: Terrorist Groups Established to Cause Rift among Muslims
Qom (Tasnim) – Iraqi Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani’s representative in Iran said that the religious leader has a strong belief in reinforcing unity between the Shiite and Sunni Muslims, emphasizing that terrorist groups such as ISIL were set up to sow discord among Muslims.
“There has been no rift between (we) Shiites and Sunnis, because we are on the same front and it is the enemy that does not want us to be united,” Hojatoleslam Shahrestani said during a meeting with a number of Iranian Sunni lawmakers in Qom on Monday.
The cleric also pointed to the emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group in Iraq saying it is aimed at creating rift among Muslims.
After Ayatollah Sistani issued a fatwa (religious decree) for countering the terrorists, unfortunately, some elements tried to instill division among Muslims by saying that the decree targeted Sunni Muslims, he noted, therefore the Shiite religious authority announced that Shiites, Sunnis, Izadis, and Christians are all on the same front against terrorism.
Iraq has been facing the growing threat of terrorism, mainly posed by the ISIL terrorist group.
The ISIL militants made swift advances in much of northern and western Iraq over the summer, after capturing large swaths of northern Syria.
However, a combination of concentrated attacks by the Iraqi military and the volunteer forces, who rushed to take arms after Ayatollah Sistani issued the fatwa calling for fight against the militants, have blunted the edge of the ISIL offensive.