Spiritual Leader of Iraq's Religious Majority Calls for Citizens to Take Up Arms Against Rebels

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
June 13 2014 10:47 AM

Spiritual Leader of Iraq's Religious Majority Calls for Citizens to Take Up Arms Against Rebels

rtr3tkum
New Iraqi army volunteers.

REUTERS/Mushtaq Muhammed

A representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the top spiritual leader of the world's Shiite Muslims, announced today that all able-bodied Iraq citizens are duty-bound to help fight jihadist ISIS insurgents. Shiites hold a majority in Iraq. From the New York Times:

In a statement during Friday prayers, a representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the senior Shiite cleric in Iraq, said it was “the legal and national responsibility of whoever can hold a weapon, to hold it to defend the country, the citizens and the holy sites.”
Ayatollah Sistani has enormous stature among Shiites, but is also respected by Sunnis and other groups because in the darkest days of the sectarian fighting in 2006 he refrained from inflammatory language and repeatedly reached out to Sunnis, Kurds, the country’s Christians and other minorities.
Advertisement

The rebels have been driving south toward Baghdad. Their advance appears to have been stopped 70 miles from that city for the time being; they did, however, seize two more towns in the country's east today.

Ben Mathis-Lilley edits the Slatest. Follow @Slatest on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

War Stories

The Right Target

Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.

Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?

The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 11:13 AM Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

  News & Politics
War Stories
Sept. 23 2014 4:04 PM The Right Target Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 23 2014 2:08 PM Home Depot’s Former Lead Security Engineer Had a Legacy of Sabotage
  Life
Outward
Sept. 23 2014 1:57 PM Would a Second Sarkozy Presidency End Marriage Equality in France?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 2:32 PM Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Sept. 23 2014 3:04 PM Chicago Gabfest How to get your tickets before anyone else.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 4:45 PM Why Is Autumn the Only Season With Two Names?
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 5:36 PM This Climate Change Poem Moved World Leaders to Tears Today
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 23 2014 4:33 PM Who Deserves Those 4 Inches of Airplane Seat Space? An investigation into the economics of reclining.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.