There seems to be some fatwa-shopping going on. The criticisms of Hezbollah come from the Sunni precincts, like Saudi Arabia and Egypt. But in Shiite-majority Iraq — the capitol of the Democracy Project where American troops are now proping up a new government whose Iran&Syria-friendly Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has come out in support of Hezbollah over Israel — the fatwas are decidedly in the other direction.
The New York Times reports this morning:
So far, the most prominent Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, has remained silent. But another Shiite cleric, Ayatollah Ahmad al-Husseini al-Baghdadi, of Najaf, in an Internet posting on Wednesday accused the “international arrogant forces, especially America” of igniting conflict between Shiite and Sunni Arabs in Iraq and provoking Israel to attack the Palestinian territories and Lebanon. The ayatollah has relatives in Lebanon.
An Iraq-born cleric now living in the Iranian holy city of Qum, Ayatollah Kazem al-Hussein al-Haeri called in an Internet posting for Muslim warriors to support the “mujahedeen of Lebanon,” saying that “the battle is all of Islam against all of the nonbelievers,” according to a translation by the SITE Institute, which tracks Internet postings by Islamic militants. The ayatollah is [Moqtada] Sadr’s godfather.
Did I mention that Sadr’s faction – which has been permitted to keep its terrorist militia (after all, wiping it out might have upset the delicate balancing act required for democracy-building in places with no democratic traditions or institutions) — controls about one-fouth of the seats in Iraq’s new democratically-elected Parliament? That’s an even larger bloc than Hezbollah controls in Lebanon’s emerging “democracy” … although not as large as what Hamas controls in the Palestinian Authority’s “democracy.”