Qaradawi tells Kurds to help end Iraq strife
1/27/2007 Gulf Times
- By Anwar Elshamy
Prominent Islamic scholar Dr Yusuf al-Qaradawi yesterday called upon Kurdish leaders in Iraq to mediate between Sunnis and Shias, saying that the spiralling sectarian strife in Iraq could spill over to other countries and undermine the unity of the Islamic world.
Qaradawi said Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Masoud Barazani, president of the Kurdistan region, should mediate an end to the sectarian violence.
"Our Kurd brethren should play a reconciliatory role between Sunnis and Shias. Kurds are currently more influential in Iraq. They have the presidency and the foreign ministry. They should intervene between the two sides. The neutrality of Kurds is unacceptable in this regard," he said.
Qaradawi said Kurds should also fight the side rejecting their mediation.
"In case their mediation is refused, they are entitled to fight the side rejecting it," he said, while observing that Sunnis are not expected to refuse such mediation because they are the ones suffering the highest death toll.
"Sunnis are deported from Baghdad and Basra. Their bodies are found headless in streets. Everyone with the name Omar or Othman is being killed by the death squads," he said.
The scholar, who is the head of the International Union of Islamic Scholars, also said that the IUMS has sent a delegate to Iran to hold talks with officials about what Tehran can do to help end the sectarian bloodshed.
"I have repeatedly called upon Iran to use its influence in Iraq to help end the escalating sectarian strife. Iran holds the key to stop the bloodshed in Iraq. I have been accused several times of instigating people against Iran, while this is untrue. I am only worried about the unity of Muslims and want to caution them against schemes to cause fragmentation," he said.
He also criticised the leaders of Muslim countries who, he said, stand by while Sunnis in Iraq are being eliminated by death squads.
"I have recently visited Indonesia and called on the country to play a pivotal role in mediating an end to the sectarian strife in Iraq. I appealed to the Indonesian president to talk to Iran and urge it to step in to stop the daily bloodbaths in Iraq," he said.
He warned against an all-out war breaking out in the whole Islamic world if Muslim countries did not take the required measures to put an urgent end to sectarian violence in Iraq.
He hailed the recent Doha conference for Dialogue of Islamic Schools of Thought as an opportunity for transparency between the main Islamic sects.
"I have stressed in my speech in the conference that transparency between Sunni and Shia scholars is a must. Shia clerics should condemn the sectarian violence as we did," he said, while observing that Sunni scholars have condemned the atrocities reportedly carried out by the forces of slain militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi against Shias in Iraq.