The USC Open Source Center translates a statement by a Sunni Salafi cleric in Kuwait that allows that some Arab Shiites in Iraq are “honorable” but not those allied with Iran.
Kuwaiti Shaykh Differentiates Between Iraqi Shia Supporting, Opposing Iran
Jihadist Websites — OSC Summary
Wednesday, May 7, 2008 . . .
Terrorism: Kuwaiti Shaykh Differentiates Between Iraqi Shia Supporting, Opposing Iranian ‘Plan’
On 24 April, a forum participant “Al-Ikhwani al-Salafi” posted to a jihadist website a question addressed to Kuwaiti pro-jihad [Sunni] Shaykh Hamid al-Ali about the differences among the Shia in Iraq. Shaykh Hamid al-Ali responds by stating that it is very important to differentiate between those supporting and opposing the Iranian ‘plan’ in Iraq. This is because differences with the former can be resolved through dialogue, whereas the Iranian plan needs dealing with in another manner.
A translation of the questions and answer follows:
“In the name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate.
“Shaykh Hamid al-Ali responds to a question in regards to the honorable Arab Shia.
“I spoke of two or three topics concerning the honorable Arab Shia who stand against the Safavid expansion. I asked the [Sunni] Association of Muslim Scholars regarding the revealing of names of the honorable Shia, who are a few in number. This is because, according to the principle that says ‘ask the knowledgeable,’ I asked Shaykh Hamid al-Ali, may God protect him, about the Arab Shia. His response was brief and clear. I will leave the comments to you.
“The question: Honorable shaykh, God knows how I love you in God. I want your opinion with regards to the honorable Arab Shia.
“First, what is your opinion concerning some of the Shiite leadership in Iraq such as Al-Husni al-Baghdadi, Shaykh Al-Mu’ayyid, and Shaykh Al-Khalissi. This is especially since Al-Sistani and Al-Hakim are angry with the three of them and they have been expelled from Iraq. Meanwhile, their followers are being sent to prison because of their stances regarding the American occupation and the Safavid Iranian occupation.
“Shaykh Al-Mu’ayyid forbids the vilification and slandering of the companions of the Prophet. Hence, is it legitimate to support them or pray for their guidance, especially since the Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars stated that those people shared a similar stance as theirs? Is cooperation with them in fighting the Iranian and American occupation legitimate?
“Second, what is the shaykh’s opinion on the Arab Shiite Southern Tribes Council that is funded by the Sunni Association of Muslim Scholars and headed by Shaykh Harith al-Dari? Iran has killed 37 Shiite tribal chiefs because they were against its perverse attitudes. Is not fighting Iran and America a proof of their honesty? Is what the Association of Muslim Scholars is doing in opening lines of communication with them legitimate?
“Please respond to me because many people inside and outside Iraq are interested in the subject.
“Response of Shaykh Hamid al-Ali:
“I mentioned in the Al-Jazirah meeting that it is imperative to differentiate between the Shiite ideology and the Safavid political plan.
“Regarding the honorable Shia in Iraq who have stood against the Safavid [i.e. Iranian] plan, our differences with them are ideological and can be resolved through dialogue, as always has been the case throughout the history of our nation.
“As for the advocates of the Safavid [Iranian] plan, and I do not know to which of the Shiite scholars you referred in Iraq, this plan is a destructive danger and there is another way of dealing with it. If they really are against the Safavid plan, the people of Iraq should benefit from all communities in the society who are against the American and Safavid occupiers. Without doubt, Shaykh Harith al-Dari is a trustworthy personality, is honorable, and has solid and good stances; hence, his opinion should be taken with regards to the Shia who are against the Safavid occupation. God is All-Knowing.
“The words of Shaykh (Hamid al-Ali) have come to a close. Those who do not believe need to ask him once more online.”