Lebanese Shiite Spiritual Leader Bans Muslims from War on Any Islamic Country
The spiritual guide of pro-Iranian Lebanese Shiites, Sheikh Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, issued a fatwa (decree) Tuesday prohibiting Muslims from aiding the United States in any war against any Islamic entity.
"It is prohibited for any Muslim party, be it a state, a leader or a political organization, from providing any military, economic or security assistance to the United States against any Muslim state or entity," Fadlallah said in a statement.
The "verdicts issued by the Americans are based on presumption and not on legal proof," the statement added, in apparent reference to a US announcement that Saudi Islamic militant Osama bin Laden is the prime suspect in the devastating terrorist attacks that hit the United States last week.
"The defense of American political interests requires any sort of action that will restore to the United States its prestige and reaffirm its military power over the oppressed of the world," the statement continued.
Last Wednesday, a day after hijacked planes slammed into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, Fadlallah said he was "horrified" by those acts.
"Although we are hostile to the United States policy, particularly toward the Palestinian, Arab and Islamic peoples, we are horrified at these operations, which no religion in the world supports," he said.
"We reject such methods, whoever is their author. According to the Sharia [Islamic law], it is not allowed to face the United States in such a way," he said in a statement.
Fadlallah said "nobody accepts that any people suffers like the American people did.
"We had called for a boycott of American goods so that the American administration understands that the Islamic world wants to punish it for its hostility toward the Palestinian people and its support to Israel," he said.
"But we do not accept that the United States be confronted with such methods," he said.
Fadlallah said the "authors of these acts are considered twice criminal. First, because they have hijacked planes and led their passengers to death, and second because they targeted civilians and killed thousands of innocent people."
Fadlallah carries the title of "ayatollah," which is the highest rank in the Iranian religious hierarchy. He is considered to be close to the relatively liberal current of Iranian President Mohammad Khatami.
Fadlallah was accused by the US media of links with the hostage-taking operations of American nationals in Lebanon in the 1980s, at the height of Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war.
In 1988, he escaped a powerful bomb attack in the Shiite-dominant southern suburb of Beirut that killed 80 civilians, which he blamed on the US Central Intelligence Agency -- BEIRUT (AFP)
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