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Saturday, 03 May 2014 06:52

Shia cleric denounces violence and extremism wave in the Middle East

A prominent Iranian cleric, Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem-Shirazi rejected on Wednesday an Egyptian court ruling against the Muslim Brotherhood – Sunni radical faction which was outlawed and branded a terror organization by Egypt new military junta and Saudi Arabia earlier this year – which provisions for the sentencing to death of some 683 militants, among whom, Mohammed Badie Al Akwan chief.


Speaking from the holy city of Qom in Iran, Grand Ayatollah Makarem-Shirazi slammed both the Egyptian authorities and the media for enabling and allowing such a culture of fear and persecution against fellow Muslims to take hold. The Shia cleric rejected the idea that a court of law could so carelessly hand out the death penalty against Muslims on account of their political affiliation on such a mass scale. He stressed that the sentencing only reinforced the sheer disregard in which the Egyptian authorities held the sanctity of human life.

Profoundly disturbed by Al Azhar deafening silence over the issue, especially since it holds such an influential role within Sunni Islam and should, as such act a guide, Grand Ayatollah Makaram-Shirazi noted that Shia Islam will continue to speak on behalf of the weak and the oppressed across the Islamic Ummah, regardless of their sects in the spirit of cooperation and brotherhood.

Shia rights activists in Egypt who have often warned that President Mansour Adly’s witch-hunt against the Muslim Brotherhood will only serve the narrative of Islamic radicals and eventually fuel sectarian sentiment across the Middle East welcomed the cleric’s efforts.

Laith al-Wazir from Cairo, hailed Grand Ayatollah Nasser Makarem-Shirazi’s message of tolerance and call for mercy, stressing that Shia clerics had once again proven great wisdom and steadfastness in promoting Islam’ s message of peace.

Written by Catherine Shakdam

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