Saudi Arab

Saudi Wahhabi insult to Ayatollah Sistani outrages Iraq

demoiraq Insulting remarks by a Saudi cleric about the most revered Shia cleric in Iraq, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, have strained relations between Baghdad and Riyadh. In a Friday sermon in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, a leading Wahhabi cleric, Mohammad al-Ureifi, called Ayatollah al-Sistani an “atheist and debauched.” He also launched an attack on Iraqi Shias accusing them of conspiring with Yemen’s Houthis against Saudi Arabia with Iran’s support. Meanwhile, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki strongly criticized the Saudi religious institutes after the cleric’s remarks. He said Saudi religious institutes had a tendency to launch attacks on Shia clerics due to their hostile attitude towards Shia Muslims, AFP reported. Iraq’s Parliament also condemned the remarks by calling on the Saudi government to take transparent position on the issue. In a statement, Iraqi lawmakers said the Saudi cleric had intended to create a rift among Muslims. They called on the Saudi government to warn the clerics against making provocative statements. The Iraqi Parliament also called on the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), the Association of Asian Parliaments and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani to condemn the remarks.

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