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Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

Welcome to the Neno's Place!

Neno's Place Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality


I can be reached by phone or text 8am-7pm cst 972-768-9772 or, once joining the board I can be reached by a (PM) Private Message.

Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

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Established in 2006 as a Community of Reality

Many Topics Including The Oldest Dinar Community. Copyright © 2006-2020

    Iraqi Shiite Cleric: 'Extremism in Iraq Is Transitory Phase'


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    Join date : 2012-12-21

    Iraqi Shiite Cleric: 'Extremism in Iraq Is Transitory Phase' Empty Iraqi Shiite Cleric: 'Extremism in Iraq Is Transitory Phase'

    Post by rocky Sun 23 Jun 2013, 4:36 am

    Shiite cleric Ayatollah Hussein al-Sadr is known as a moderate religious voice in Iraq, thanks to the initiatives he has launched for bringing together points of view between various religious and sectarian schools in and outside the country.

    He established the Humanitarian Dialogue Foundation, and he believes that religion is a point of convergence, not divergence, and that terrorism is a dangerous phenomenon that can be stopped by a true cultural revolution.

    In an interview with Al-Monitor, Sadr asserted that federalism in Iraq will only exist if based on geographic and economic grounds, that the poor performance of politicians calls for the intervention of the clergy to ease the charged atmosphere and that the security performance of Iraqi institutions requires further efforts and development.

    Al-Monitor:  You have been referred to more than once as a ?moderate authority? in Iraq. Do you feel that the range of moderation in Iraq is narrowing and being taken over by extremism?

    Sadr:  Extremism in Iraq is a transitory phase, the explosion of a car bomb here or there and assassinations here or there do not mean a civil war has erupted in Iraq, and you know that a car bomb explosion or assassination by a gun with silencer are easy to execute and are not unusual in the region. Situations must be assessed as is and it is wrong to promote a culture of exaggeration and intimidation. Thus, I don?t think that there is extremism in Iraq as portrayed by the media, especially since the Iraqi people, with all of society's segments and components, reject terrorism and violence and encourage dialogue and understanding.

    Al-Monitor:  Regarding the extremism that exists today, do you think it has political or social reasons?

    Sadr:  We don?t believe there is one way to interpret social phenomena, such as terrorism and violence. If terrorism exists, it is surely because it has a strong position within the societal body. This is attributable to a number of political, economic and educational reasons. I think that we cannot deal with such a phenomenon by use of brute force, rather we must create a cultural and scientific renaissance coupled with an economic system guaranteeing for every citizen the right to a dignified life and with a deeply rooted democratic political system ensuring the right of every individual in manufacturing the state?s political opinion.

    Al-Monitor:  What do you think about the protests in Iraq?s Sunni cities?

    Sadr:  Protesting is a natural right, as long as these protests are based on legitimate rights, do not prejudice public money and the safety of the country and its people, raise patriotic slogans, stay away from cursing and insulting language, are not subject to an external agenda and respect the rules of the democratic game.

    We believe that Iraqi citizens have full freedom to express their opinions and positions, and they can resort to all legitimate means to express these opinions. We hope that all governments continue to pay attention to the people?s demands and execute them, as long as they are consistent with the Constitution and the principle of fairness.

    Al-Monitor:  Do you feel that the clergy must play a role in solving the crisis experienced by Iraq today, or do you think politicians can solve such crises?

    Sadr:  In light of the circumstances on the ground, it seems that politicians have failed to find a road map to solve Iraq?s problems. Alas, some of them rely on sectarianism and ethnic discrimination and regional interference as means and mechanisms in political action. [Nearly] 10 years after the regime change, politicians have yet to take radical steps to solve the problems in Iraq. We live in political, economic, educational and social chaos and politicians have failed to remedy this situation. This does not mean that spiritual leaders must take the role of politicians in solving this problem, but the clergy may request the opinions of experts, scholars and specialists and advise the government to promote dialogue and understanding among officials, to resort to experienced and competent parties, and not to leave problems subject to sectarian and ethnic needs and dictations and foreign agendas.

    Al-Monitor:  What is your take on the Syrian crisis today and how do you think it will be resolved?

    Sadr:  The crisis in Syria is painful and awful in all respects. Regardless of the reasons that led to it, it is a serious crisis, and its disastrous repercussions at the very least will ruin Syria. This really worries me. The solution, despite its complexity and difficulty, starts with ceasing all external interference in Syria and leaving the matter to the Syrians themselves, since the solution stems from Syria. No other country, near or far, shall interfere in Syrian affairs. It seems to me that the crisis would last longer, and this will entail serious repercussions on the whole region and the world. The key to the solution is to limit external interference and urge Syrians to end the problem through dialogue between the conflicting parties

    These days, after two years of killing, bloody violence and mutual destruction, Syrians and the world at large are finding out that there is no other solution but to resort to internal dialogue. It is true that this dialogue has been hindered, but it is a good sign that there are local and international convictions that it is the only solution to the Syrian crisis.

    Al-Monitor:  Do you believe that there is a lack of dialogue between Muslim sects?

    Sadr:  Yes, unfortunately there are no serious dialogues between Muslim sects, and the dialogues that do exist are held in accordance with specific ways, methods and mechanisms. Muslim sects use all of their capabilities and capacities to validate their views and beliefs, and then try their best to convince the other party that their ideas and beliefs are the correct ones. This is contrary to the objectives of dialogue. The culture of dialogue means that it must be held with the aim of getting to know the other party ? not in order to change said party ? and find common ground. Dialogue must not cancel religious, sectarian or nationalist pluralism. On the contrary, it should promote respect for the opinions of others by all parties.

    Al-Monitor:  You sought dialogue and established a center for humanitarian dialogue in London. What topics do you wish to hold dialogues on?

    Sadr:  There is not a particular subject because dialogue includes all aspects of life. We call for interreligious, interethnic and intercultural dialogues pertaining to intellectual affairs, arts and the economy. We are seeking genuine dialogues on issues that interest the people and contribute directly and indirectly to determining the fate of humanity.

    Unfortunately, there are no dialogues that live up to the levels we aspire, for several reasons, including the predominance of accusations between governments and the people, the lack of mutual trust between decision-makers and the prevailing misconceptions between religions, sects and ideologies. This is in addition to a historical heritage of relationships between nations, which is rife with pain and suffering. Moreover, people fear engaging in dialogue due to personal or political interests, or simply because the visions of the religions and sects lack knowledge. The reasons are many but I hope we will be able to get rid of some [of these ideas] in order to promote a broader and deeper interreligious and intercultural dialogue on cultural and humanitarian bases.

    Al-Monitor:  Your eminence, what is your opinion on [the establishment of] a federal system in Iraq? Is it the only solution today?

    Sadr:  Iraq must remain united. If federal regions must be formed, I refuse to opt for a federal system that is based on an ethnic or sectarian split. Federalism, if inevitable, must be implemented on a geographical and economic basis, where the federal government can still be in charge of the fateful affairs of Iraq, especially when it comes to state security and foreign and military policy, and this is what the constitution stipulates.

    Al-Monitor:  As a scholar, do you believe that the successive governments have provided the minimum required services? Where have they failed?

    Sadr:  Some services were provided at a subpar level in comparison to the wealth of Iraq, its international strategic position and the expertise the country has in the fields of knowledge and education. The failure resides, in my opinion, in the lack of creative minds who were not allowed to enter the realms of politics, the economy and education. I emphasize the fact that innovative minds are unfortunately out of the country. The state must embrace the well-educated and grant them the full freedom to draw the vision of the state and lay down plans for its economy, media, security and politics.

    Al-Monitor:  What about corruption?

    Sadr:  Corruption is a complicated issue, whether on the administrative, financial or political level. The problem cannot be solved through fatwas or speeches but through specialized committees that believe in God, the homeland and the people, and that exert educational and cultural efforts and supervise the process of rebuilding the collective Iraqi mindset. It seems that these efforts are not being exerted. Financial sanctions are not enough, because it is not certain that they will bring about a radical social change. As I have said, we are in need of transformative educational efforts that will take years to yield results, yet it will be a first step on a long road. Getting acquainted with integrity, through modern means and for a significant period of time, will create a self-monitoring society. 

    Al-Monitor:  How do you assess the security performance in Iraq?

    Sadr:  It is an acknowledged fact that the security situation in Iraq is bad due to internal and external factors. The external factors include the intervention of regional powers, the political and ideological dependence of some Iraqis on outside countries, in addition to the regional and international conflict over Iraq. In addition, the internal factors are many, including unemployment, the conflict between political powers that is founded on non-scientific and non-national bases, poor services, state agencies that are rife with vandals and anti-democracy individuals, let alone the provocative fatwas and a vacuum in key posts in the security apparatus. Also, the state agencies lack avant-garde expertise and advanced security agencies, while intelligence agencies are weak and border security is lax. Also, Iraqis, even if partially, do not trust [the authorities]. In short, security is a problem in Iraq and will remain as such unless radical and practical changes are implemented.

    Al-Monitor:  You are well-known for your close relationship with the neighborhood of Adhamiyah, including its prominent figures and ulema. Have you maintained these good ties? Did you have any initiatives in this regard?

    Sadr:  [My] relationship with Adhamiyah has been, and will always be, good. I harbor love and respect for this neighborhood and I regard in high esteem its tribal and literary figures. We held mutual religious and national conferences, in addition to meetings with ulema and scholars such as Sheikh Abdul Wahhab al-Adhami. We have received the Independence Ulema Gathering of Rusafa, and the ulema and tribal chieftains of Adhamiyah who positively impacted society. These include such figures as Sheikh Amer al-Azawi, a respected statesman. As is the case with the ulema, I met as well with professors, intellectuals, authors, athletes and artists from Adhamiyah. In general, the good ties between Kadhimiyah and Adhamiyah on the tribal, cultural and popular levels are unbreakable, because they are founded on national and religious bases. Our relationship with the rest of the cities ? with all their different backgrounds, religions, ethnicities and sects ? is also as good.

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