Sunday, August 08, 2004

Ayatollah Sistani has left Iraq 

Lebanese paper The Daily Star reports that Grand Ayatollah Sistani has flown to London for treatment of a heart condition. Juan Cole speculates that Sistani may have feared being "taken hostage" by Muqtada al-Sadr. The heart condition may be mere pretext. Prof. Cole also speculates on Sistani's probable "successor" as the leading moderate voice of Iraqi Shiism. I take this to mean that Cole thinks Sistani will be gone for quite some time.

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