Iraq and Gulf Analysis

Sistani, the United States and Politics in Iraq: From Quietism to Machiavellianism?

Posted by Reidar Visser on Sunday, 12 March 2006 18:13

It is often claimed that the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is the most important person in Iraqi politics today. But there is less agreement on exactly what kind of political ideology the ayatollah stands for. Two dominant paradigms for understanding Sistani are explored in this paper: is he a “quietist” or is he a Machiavellian prince? The discussion also covers Sistani’s stand on contentious issues like sectarianism, federalism, the implementation of the Sharia Islamic law in an Islamic state, and the Khomeini-inspired principle of wilayat al-faqih (“the rule of the jurisprudent”)… More.

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