Ayatollah Sistani has sent food and medicine supplies for 8,000 Sunni families in Iraq’s Saladin Governorate.
Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Sistani, the highest Shiite religious authority in Iraq having already issued many fatwas (religious decree) aimed at prohibiting sectarian acts in the torn up country, has sent food and medicine supplies forfamilies in Iraq’s Saladin Governorate.
The governorate is predominantly Sunni and declared itself a semi-autonomous region in 2011. It is also the home province of former dictator Saddam Hussein and is the site of the shrines of the 10th and 11th Shiite Imams, al-Askari Shrine.
It has also been a fertile ground for ISIS terrorists since the group captured large swathes of territory in the north in 2014. Tikrit and Baiji have been liberated by the Iraqi army and national forces but the cities remain largely affected by the war. It is largely held up by government forces.
On June 11, 2014—not long after ISIS pushed for an expansion in northern Iraq—Ayatollah’s office posted an official statement on his website. It explicitly called for unity among Iraqis in the face of terrorism.
Another statement was later issued requesting “all citizens, especially in the mixed areas where Sunnis and Shiites exist together, to exercise the highest degree of restraint and work on strengthening the bonds of love between each other, and to avoid any kind of sectarian behavior that may affect the unity of the Iraqi nation and all kind of armed manifestations outside of the official Iraqi army.”