Head of Caucasian Moslems Calls on US to Stop Ethnical and Religious Violence in Iraq
Baku Today, Azerbaijan, 21/04/2003
"Our approach to the war in Iraq is complex. There are religious links associating us with the nation of Iraq, where our holy sites are located. It is therefore a very vulnerable problem", said sheikh -Ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazade, head of the Caucasian Moslems
He disscussed Iraq issue in a meeting in his residence with the US Ambassador Ross Wilson.
American diplomat has noted that the war in Iraq was a forced measure aimed at elimination of weapons of mass destruction and releases the nation of Iraq from dictatorship.
According to Wilson, the nation of Iraq will determine its future on its own now. He said that the US objective is protecting the future of Iraq and establishing peace in the region. Wilson confirmed that Moslems are free to visit their holy sites in Iraq, as always.
The Ambassador with satisfaction noted the official Baku's intention to provide assistance to Iraq and expressed hope that Azerbaijan will contribute to restoration of Iraq.
Pashazade has expressed his concern for aggravation of religious and national confrontations in Iraq. He said that murder of Shiah leader Abdulmadjid Hoyi and pressure upon other Shiah activists, may have grave sequences. He called on US to pay closer attention to those issues and prevent escalation of inter-ethnical and inter-religious violence. Pashazade believes that if violence continues "future events in Iraq will be more terrific than under Saddam's regime".
He reminded that Shiah Moslems form 60% population of Iraq. "I believe that the nation of Iraq will establish its own state and I am always ready to help countries that wish only good to Iraq," he noted. Pashazade reported that the Scientific-Religious Council and CMD Council of Kadiys, have taken a decision to provide assistance to Iraq. Sheikh-Ul-Islam has asked the Ambassador to help with implementation of those plans.
In the course of the conversation, the sides also commented on the Karabakh problem. The Ambassador said that the US was interested in soonest resolution of the problem that was catastrophic not only for Azerbaijan and Armenia, but for the whole Caucasian region.
Information for this report provided by Turan