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Muthanna al-Dhari: ‘Iran’s Influence and Incursion Led to Spread of Terrorism’ | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Secretary General of the Association of Muslim Scholars Dr. Muthanna Harith al-Dhari

Riyadh-In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Secretary General of the Association of Muslim Scholars Dr. Muthanna Harith al-Dhari confirmed that the association is still carrying out its work even though he is not residing in Iraq.

Muthanna al-Dhari had succeeded his late father Sheikh Harith al-Dhari, who also headed the association.

Al-Dhari talked about Iran’s actions in Iraq, stressing that its influence and incursion have let it occupy the country, leading to the spread of terrorism.

Al-Dhari said that there is an ongoing scenario of all those related to Sunni groups in Iraq being killed for many years now.

He described crimes carried out by Popular Mobilization militias as sectarian since they target those who stand against Iranian influence and occupation.

On the other hand, al-Dhari seemed to be optimistic when it came to Iraq’s future and had confirmed the association’s readiness to provide all appropriate conditions for Iraqi forces to express their opinions and discuss different visions, reaching common ground.

When asked why the meeting among Sunni bloc in Iraq did not come up with a representing party, Sunni component or any official – who can act parallel to the Shi’ite counterpart in Iraq – al-Dhari said that Sunni meetings resulted in the appearance of names, characters, powers, factions and opposition forces that carried out duties for their religion, homeland and citizens. However, they were abandoned for political necessities and immature readings for the Iraqi scene following the occupation regardless of the decisions that dominated the official Arab one.

According to al-Dahri the scene Iraq today cannot be redrawn for several reasons. Mainly because of determinants concerning the political process that divided Iraqis into two separate parties, Arabs and Kurds, based on ethnicity; then, it divided Arabs into Sunnis and Shi’ites, following doctrines. This is how the Sunni component was divided twice unlike other components.”

Moreover, he said: “lack of support played a major role since the Kurdish party merited international support for unknown reasons and special circumstances and so did the Shi’ite party, in the framework of supporting the so-called Iraqi opposition prior to the occupation in addition to the presence of a strong ally, which is Iran.”

He further noted that the schism did not only happen in Iraq but also in countries that were blighted with Iranian invasion in Syria, Yemen and Lebanon.

Al-Dhari explained that the association was established after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and the harsh circumstances led to its foundation.

He said that the association, for many years, was responsible for national actions against the occupation and its political process, supporting the resistance, defending Iraqis’ rights and interests, disclosing and documenting human rights violations and providing necessary services for those in need, according to the association’s modest abilities, circumstances and potentials.

He stressed that the association is still following this path despite all obstacles and despite the fact that “we are not receiving our least right, which is listening to our point of view to end the crisis and bloodshed in Iraq.”

Al-Dhari said that the Association of Muslim Scholars is cooperating with a number of organizations and Islamic bodies and associations in different Arab countries.

He noted that cooperating with other parties is one of the association’s working principles that were applied from the day it was founded up until this very day as it is a member in many organizations, and it cooperates with others.