*Jews who buy land in Iraq should be killed, according to a fatwa or legal ruling issued by Sayyid Kadhim al-Haeri ( -Reuters). Al-Haeri is still in Qom, Iran, but he is said to be contemplating a return home to Najaf, in Iraq. He has been adopted as the elder statesman of the al-Sadr Movement, since that movement’s leader, Muqtada al-Sadr, is not yet a jurisprudent in his own right. Al-Haeri also forbade Muslims to sell land to Jews, saying he had gotten numerous inquiries from followers about how licit it would be, after they were contacted by Jewish businessmen. A lot of countries do have certain restrictions on ownership of national assets by foreigners, and Iraq is vulnerable in this regard right now because there is no Iraqi government that would implement the will of the people. Still, al-Haeri’s sentiments are obviously extremely ugly. To any extent that he is given a platform in the Sadr Movement, it is guaranteed to go in a radical rightwing direction that will contribut to a failure of democracy.
*In his Friday Prayer sermon in Najaf, Muhammad Baqir al- Hakim, head of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, condemned attacks on Coaltion forces in Iraq. He said that violence should be a last resort, and that for now Shiites should employ peaceful means to protest the American occupation. This was a a less hotheaded sermon than lastweek’s, in which he called the Americans the great Satan. It still should not give any of us much comfort, since he still seems to be thinking in terms of a popular movement that would kick the Americans out of Iraq.