Saturday, January 17, 2004

Juan Cole: al-Hayat reported that Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani's representative in Karbala, Shaikh Abdul Mahdi al-Karbala'i, warned that the coming days will witness demonstrations and strikes, and possibly confrontations with the occupation [Coalition] forces if they insist on "their colonialist plot and in designing the politics of this country in ways that serve their interests." Al-Karbala'i called everyone in his Friday sermon before hundreds of worshippers "to support the religious leadership," affirming that "the Shiite leadership in Najaf takes a great interest in the process of transferring sovereignty to the Iraqi people through general elections."

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