Thursday, June 17, 2010

Najaf in Vatican's Footsteps?

A growing sex scandal that recently surfaced is probably going to haunt the Najaf clergy, particularly that of Ayatollah Ali Sistani, for a while. Recently, a bunch of video clips appeared on youtube, in which Sistani's representative in Maysan province is seen engaged in sexual action with several women.

So far, the leaks, discussion and speculations have been limited to online forums and blogs, so I must point out that other than I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the additional details...All I can say with certainty though is that the videos of the playboy cleric do exist.

So, reportedly, this guy, Manaf Il-Naji ( مناف الناجي Sistani's representative in Amara-Maysan, who leads prayers and collects the religious tax for Najaf) had seduced or drugged over a dozen different women; some of whom married, and recorded the intimate engagements, supposedly, to blackmail the women and ensure they continue to obey his orders. It is strange though that one of the women is said to be a "colleague" of Il-Naji and the head of a religious women organization that answers to the same hierarchy. The memory card or the camera got lost or stolen and someone posted the videos on the internet...BOOM!

Word reached the families and tribes of the women and, reportedly, some "honor" murders took place and the tribes are demanding Il-Naji's head.

Clerics' involvement in crimes of sexual exploitation is not news, they do it all over the world all the time, often abusing their status and authority in the process of perpetuating and hiding their atrocities. The phenomenon/crimes turn into disasters when the establishment (Sunni, Shiite, Catholic, whatever) rushes to defend the sexual predators and cover up their crime, and it looks like Sistani's establishment is no exception.

Word in the forums and blogs is that Sistani dispatched Ahmed Al-Ansari, one of his assistants on a mission to calm the tribes down, call for restraint and contain the scandal. Ansari was supposedly armed with lots of cash to bribe/persuade sheiks and needy families alike. Other people claim that Il-Naji is currently hiding in or around Sistani's office in Najaf, while others are speculating that he fled to Iran. Some websites posted excerpts of an alleged letter from Sistani to the tribes asking them to "protect the faith by accepting reconciliation and turning the page on what happened...a scandal would forever be a stigma in the history of our faith and would allow Ba'athists and Takfiris to smear and insult the leaders and symbols of the faith."

If true, the letter shows that in Najaf, as in pretty much any other religious establishment, image, influence and power come first. The poor bastards on whose shoulders this power and prestige are built can go to hell.  

I have so far seen no mention of this story in any local newspapers, TV or any other traditional media sources, but the videos exist, so we know it's there. My guess is that editors and managers have deliberately chosen to ignore the news because they don't want to face the consequences of messing with the untouchables, which are certain to be very serious.


Kafir said...

The Catholics kept it covered up for decades, but their sexual sins involved children who didn't know any better. It was only when those children became adults that they were exposed.

After reading "The perverse sexual habits of The Prophet," I'm surprised that more of this sort of thing is not going on in Islam.

Religions have to be accountable, and religious men doubly so. That is why Protestantism exists. Catholicism had lost touch with their mission of salvation and had gotten too cozy with their power. Not that Protestants are off the hook, they have had many of their own sex scandals.

If I am to find anything good about this, it appears the sex was at least somewhat consensual, which is a far cry from the rape rooms of Uday Hussein.

dcat said...

I like what this guy had to say and I think islam is a horrible CULT!

I have a problem with the loons and I will not hold back!  We came to iraq to find the thugs and we are still finding them!  Candy ass Dearborn Michigan SHAME ON YOU!!!   

dcat said...

islam "peace" HELL NO!

By the way nice boob job guys ;)

Don Cox said...

The function of organised religions is to provide comfortable indoor work for people who don't like getting their hands dirty. The claims that these folk are more moral than the rest of us are pure bullshit.

Nowadays, more and more countries have universities to provide similar work. There are also many head office jobs in corporations and government.

So I wonder if religion is really need at all now?

Mister Ghost said...

Lol, Omar, just rename the blog to Atheist The Model.

How would you like to meet Ayatollah Sistani in a darkened mosque?

Ladybird had the best nickname for him, Ayatollah Scarecrow. ))))

You know he keeps a bowling ball under his turban. Bowling, his favorite hobby, he's always hitting the lanes in Najaf.

Extropolitca said...

There are many differences in this with the Catholic Scandal of Paedophile priests.

1) Catholics didn't killed the victims of rapes when the truth was revealed.
2) They paid money to the victims, not some community leader or some head of the family to keep them quiet.

Alawi said...

<p>Seems like the readers didn't like Omar's comparison with Vatican!!

Kafir said...

Really? I thought it was a reasonable comparison. There are differences, of course, but sexual sin is sexual sin.

Louise said...

And cover up is cover up.

Indigo Red said...

The comparison to Vatican impropriety is very apt. Indeed, Pope Benny has gone so far as to claim Church jurisdiction at  least on par with secular law this past week in Belgium when police raided the offices of Bishops who are suspected of sexual abuse or shielding priests from prosecution. Creeping Catholic sharia is as bad as any other.

Diane Carriere said...

<p>Hello old friends!
</p><p>Good post Omar, Thx.  - All this sounds so familiar.   Even religious leaders must eventually face reality.  If they don't, everyone in the village knows about it and they end up loosing face and their precious "credibility".  The power of the truth can be so awesome, even in a world that favor fantasy and manipulation. 

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