06/25/2014, 00.00
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Grand Mufti of Iraq: "This is a popular revolution"

Talking with Asharq Al-Awsat he says that there are 15 armed factions that took part in the revolution against the central government, accused of crimes against the Iraqi Sunnis. Rafi Al-Rifa'i: "Our only goal is to put an end to the injustice of Maliki and his followers who have destroyed the country, stole its wealth, killed its people and destroyed the holy places".

Baghdad (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Iraq's Grand Mufti Rafi Al-Rifa'i, tha  highest Sunni autority of Iraq , has portrayed what is happening in Iraq as a "popular revolution", saying the central government is exaggerating the presence and threat of the militant Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) organization.

Al-Rifa'i said: "The tribal revolutionaries are moving to completely change the political process in Iraq, 15 armed factions are taking part in the revolution against the government, following the injustice Iraq's Sunnis have been subjected to. This is a popular revolution that the Iraqi people are participating in alongside these armed groups. Our sole objective is to put an end to the injustice of Maliki and his followers who have destroyed the country, stolen its wealth, killed its people and destroyed its holy shrines".

Rifa'i is currently in Erbil. He has been a staunch critic of the Shi'ite prime minister, accusing him of genocide against Iraq's Sunnis earlier this year.

The Iraqi cleric called on the people of southern Iraq to "rise up against Maliki", but denied being a representative of the anti-government rebels.

The Grand Mufti also denied that ISIS was targeting shrines in Mosul: "Incidents such as this should not happen. We did not come to destroy statues or to establish a special model. We want people to live in safety and security. We are not responsible for what ISIS is doing, and what they are doing is not worthy of a state. We came to change a regime, not statues".




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