Clergy of Najaf to Mahdi Army: Go fight outside the City
ash-Sharq al-Awsat: The clerics of the Najaf seminaries have called upon the Army of the Mahdi to go fight the Americans outside the city if they must, so as to avoid the spilling of innocent blood. They called on the militia to pursue peaceful methods and to avoid violence, whatever the motivation. “If you reject our advice and decide to confront them, then remove yourselves from the city of Najaf, and take on the Occupier out there where there are no human beings or buildings, so that you do not burden others with the consequences of your decision, which is foreordained to be a failure.”
They said Najaf has had enough martyrs in the past few decades. Saddam killed tens of thousands in the city in 1991 alone, in crushing the uprising after the Gulf War. Then, the clerics say, the terrorist Zarqawi hit the city on August 29 with a huge carbomb.
They said Iraqi Shiites would never again accept being second class citizens in their own country.