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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Sistani at Forefront of Iraq Constitution

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Yahoo News - AP: Sistani at Forefront of Iraq Constitution

Excerpt - CAIRO, Egypt - As Shiites ascend to power in Iraq and turn toward writing a constitution, the key role expected for their enigmatic spiritual leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, is once again a subject of mystery and debate.

Top aides say al-Sistani — who remained sequestered at his home in the holy city of Najaf during the Wednesday opening session of the Iraqi parliament — has no desire to push for a constitution that turns Iraq into an Islamic republic.

But they say the 75-year-old al-Sistani will not sign off on a document that condones violations of Islam's basic tenets, including, for example, women's place in public life and the laws governing divorce.

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