:: In an announcement for a group of (Hawza) clerics (on New Sabah website) the clerics expressed their strong rejection to the atrocities Muqtada and his Mehdi army comitted in Najaf.
At the beginning I thought that this move is a little bit late, but after a moment of thinking I changed my mind; it Isn't late at all because it wasn't possible to make such an announcement two weks ago; no one would dare to raise his voice when the fight was on and Mehdi army men controlling parts of the city threatening and willing to kill anyone showing disapproval with them or with their crazy chief.
More over, such announcements can serve in the future because the situation isn't completely solved yet; the weapons are still in Muqtada's thugs' hands and a new crisis can explode at any time. So an announcement like this one can help bring some important hidden facts to the surface to uncover the massacres of Muqtada against Policemen and civilians and at the same time, it can undermine Muqtada's attempts to gather support by showing himself and his army as victims for the "agressions" of the Americans and the Iraqi government.
The announcement mentions that the senior clerics had tried hard to convince
Muqtada to give up his plans and warned him many times that he shouldn't disturb
the peace near the holy shrines but he refused to listen and insisted on adopting the wrong choice of violence , therefore he's responsible for desecrating the holiness of the shrine and also for the destruction and the casualties among civilians in Najaf.
The clerics in their announcement severely attacked the "religious court" of Muqtada saying that:
"this court is not related to Islam in any way and that those involved in the killings and torture must be sued and punished according to the law".
The announcement also mentioned that "Hawza urges the relatives of the victims of this court to report any evidence or information they have to uncover this terrible crime to the public opinion and to expose the criminals who use Islam as a cover".
Here's the announcemnet in Arabic.
This announcement coincided with two days of demonstrations in Najaf; the people of Najaf went to the streets carrying signs saying "Side by side with our brothers in the IP and ING to bring peace to Najaf" and other signs that show support to the Iraqi goverment and rejection to the illegal existance of militias.
the people marched toward Muqtada's office in Najaf and surrounded it asking the men inside to leave Najaf.
From all that it's clear that Najafis are trying to seize the opportunity to declare that Muqtada and his followers are no more than unwelcomed intruders who murdered hundreds of Najafis in the name of protecting Islam and Najaf.
Another good point in this announcement is that in included a confession from the Hawza that no one is above the law and that it's law, not Shari'a that must govern this country.