Is an Anti-US Fatwa in the Works?

That possibility has been brought up by a close aide to the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani:

KUWAIT, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Iraq’s most revered Shi’ite cleric could issue an edict that would ban Iraqis backing a U.S.-appointed council and spark mass protests if Washington does not hold direct elections, a close aide said on Thursday.

“The imam insists on his opinion that general and comprehensive elections should be conducted in all regions of Iraq so that the Iraqi people will have the final say,” Ayatollah Mohammad Baqer al-Mohri, a Kuwait-based aide to Sistani, told Reuters.

“He (Sistani) also says we don’t accept letting people from outside rule, and by that the imam means the coalition forces.”

…Mohri earlier told Abu Dhabi television Sistani would issue a religious edict if the U.S. administrator in Iraq ignored his opinion. “If Bremer rejects…Ayatollah Sistani’s opinion, he would issue a fatwa depriving the U.S-appointed council of its legitimacy,” he said.

“After this, the Iraqi people will not obey this council, as it will be a caricatural council named by Americans.”

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