Iraq

Ayatollah Basheer Najafi slams offensive cartoon of the Grand Ayatollah Sistani

An Iraqi Shia Marja Ayatollah Basheer Najafi (source of emulation) condemned a recent move by a Saudi-owned newspaper to insult senior Scholar the Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Al-Sistani.

It is very regrettable that some media outlets in Arab countries insult the holy city of Najaf and its scholars who are striving to defend Arab and Muslim countries, the Grand Ayatollah Basheer Hussain Najafi said in a statement. He described the offensive move as very painful and said it stems from ignorance. On Friday, Hadi Al-Ameri, secretary general of the Badr Organization, which leads the Fatah (Conquest) Alliance at the Iraqi parliament, said in a statement that the Riyadh regime had once again insulted the religious authority and crossed red lines by the blasphemous cartoon at the Saudi-owned London-based daily Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

The image underestimates the feelings of millions of Shia, Sunni and Christian Iraqis who are aware of the Grand Ayatollah Sistani’s role in preserving the country’s national sovereignty against the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, al-Sumaria TV network quoted Ameri as saying. He noted that the cartoon shows the Saudi regime’s intention to continue its suspicious schemes and hostilities against all those seeking to maintain Iraq’s unity. On Sunday, Iraqi protesters staged a demonstration in the capital Baghdad to condemn the insulting move by the Saudi daily.

The demonstrators converged outside the gates of the heavily-fortified Green Zone, which is home to several embassies and government offices including the parliament and the prime minister’s office, on Sunday, seeking to break into the Saudi embassy, Arabic-language al-Ahad television network reported. The participants demanded that the Iraqi government adopt a clear stance on the insult to the prominent religious figure. Ahad said security forces used tear gas to disperse the protesters who were trying to enter the area. The report said there were injuries among the demonstrators after the Green Zone Protection Forces assaulted them.

-Ayatollah Basheer Najafi

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