to left: Grand Ayatollah M. Taqi Al Modarresi, Ayatollah Sayed Ali Al
Sabzewari, Ayatollah Sayedh Hadi Al Modarresi during a recent meeting in the
holy city of Karbala
Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi al-Modarresi, a Shiite spiritual leader in the
sacred city of Karbala, is one of Iraq's four senior
grand ayatollahs. Like
Iraq's preeminent Shiite leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani,
al-Modarresi is considered a moderate who believes in the compatability of
Islam and democracy, and counsels patience with the U.S.-led occupation. Yet
he warns that if demands for direct elections of an interim Iraqi
government are not met, the U.S. risks disaster. As a strong
opponent of Saddam Hussein, he spent years in
exile in Kuwait, Syria, Lebanon, and Iran, before heading home to Karbala
shortly after the collapse of the Baath Party regime.
(Bio excerpt from CBS News)
CBS NEWS (USA),
ABC NEWS (USA),
The Guardian (UK),
Ireland Online (Ireland):
One of Iraq's most senior religious leaders called for an end to the
Najaf fighting, as Iraqis took to the streets across the country to protest
the ongoing violence.
Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Taqi al-Modaresi, speaking in Karbala
during prayers on Friday, the Muslim holy day, condemned the persistent
"What is going on in Najaf and the rest of the Iraqi cities is a violation
of sanctities, an aggression on holy sites and shedding of innocent blood
that could lead to a vicious civil war," al-Modaresi said.
"I call on everyone to shun violence, stop all military operations and for
the immediate withdrawal the troops from the cities."
Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Taqi al-Modaresi condemned the
persistent fighting between U.S. and Iraqi troops and militia loyal to
radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, which initially centered on one of
Shia Islam's holiest sites, but has now spread to other parts of the country
and called for an end to fighting in Najaf on Friday, as Iraqis took to the
streets across the country to protest the ongoing violence.
Aug 13 8:47 AM
In Karbala, senior Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Taqi
al-Modaresi called for an immediate end to the violence.
"We stress the need to halt fighting immediately, to adhere to the truce
and to let reason and wisdom play a role in solving the problems through
political dialogue," said Jaafar Mohammed, al-Modaresi's spokesman.
For more news stories about Grand Ayatollah Al
Modarresi's statements go to