Mr. Iyad Amin Madani, Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), is currently visiting Iraq in regards to the critical security situation facing the people in the region. This visit comes at a time in which the people have been striving to defend their countries their and honor against various groups of terrorists formed from Wahhabism, extremism, and terrorism. Mr. Madani started off his tour by visiting the Grand Jurists in the Holy City of Najaf, most notably His Eminence Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Sistani, may Allah (swt) prolong his life, whom he visited this past Wednesday.

According to reports, the Secretary General announced that he came to Iraq in order to benefit from the wisdom and vision of His Eminence Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Sistani regarding how to strengthen the foundations for unity and coexistence. Mr. Madanī recognized the perceptive and holistic vision of His Eminence with respect to the circumstances of the Muslims as they face the dangers of extremism and hate. He added that he presented to His Eminence a process to establish a center for dialogue amongst Islamic schools of thought in the Holy City of Mecca, including an outline of its objectives. On his part, Grand Ayatollah Sistani offered his advice concerning ways to advance the work and objectives of the OIC in the service of Muslims.

Reports also noted that the OIC Secretary General’s efforts in meeting various religious and political leaders come out of a sense of moral obligation before the Islamic world and before history in order to put an end to the bloodshed. His endeavors support reconciliation and clarification of the causes for extremism, such as economic disparity, the absence of social justice and political repression.

It is noteworthy that His Eminence Grand Ayatollah Sistani praised the OIC’s efforts when it launched the Mecca Document on November 20, 2006. The document aimed to alleviate sectarian tensions in Iraq at the time. Regrettably, the intensity of violence returned, this time to an even greater degree. The situation deteriorated to such an extent that circumstances called for Ayatollah Sistani to intervene and issue a religious fatwa on June 10, 2014 requiring every qualifying individual to take up arms and exercise defensive force (al-Jihād al-Kifāʾī) against ISIS. The ruling was motivated by a need to protect the Muslims, as well as the entire country of Iraq, from the terrorist threat. Consequently, the country’s official armed forces recovered their strength and the people’s volunteer forces took form, pushing the terrorists back and rendering them in a critical condition.

The Honorable Sayyid M. B. Kashmiri, representative of His Eminence Sayyid Sistani in North America, clarified that the Sayyid always readily and proactively welcomes and praises noble endeavors that can help foster unity and security. Sayyid Kashmiri noted that this visit comes a few days after the region witnessed a widespread advancement by the official armed forces and the people’s volunteer forces against the terrorists, regaining many villages and previously occupied lands. Hence, the visit has multiple implications, he said. In discussing the causes for the ongoing violence, hate and murder in the region, Sayyid Kashmiri stressed that another factor must be emphasized. This factor, Kashmiri stated, is represented in the political agendas that put on the garb of religion and sectarianism. In the past, the Holy City of Najaf’s religious authorities have warned against such maneuvers and their effects, he continued. It is thus unfortunate that moderate discourse and efforts to end this violence come so late, Kashmiri concluded.

Department of Public Affairs
Imam Mahdi Association of Marjaeya (I.M.A.M.)

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