An AP report on Thursday stated that Iraqi religious leader Ayatollah Ali Sistani was "quietly issuing religious edicts declaring that armed resistance against U.S.-led foreign troops was permissible." The story struck many observers as exceedingly odd and utterly out of character with the moderate cleric's prior statements.
Nibras Kazimi has met Sistani and doubted the AP's claims. Then he found an Iraqi article that completely shreds the AP's bogus report:
...Mr. Ali al-Sistani in Najaf today, Friday, blasted some news sites and denied that op-Sistani "is preparing to issue a fatwa calling for armed resistance against occupation".
The source, who asked to remain anonymous, in an interview with "Newsmatik", "There is no truth to this irresponsible rumors in whole or even in part... Iraq is not ready for jihad or a military confrontation for the time being, after the devastation left by the great wars of the former regime."
Iraq's mainstream press also picked up the gauntlet:
A close source to grand ayatollah Ali Sistani's office on Friday denied news agencies' reports the Shiite cleric issued a fatwa permiting taking up weapons to drive the foreign occupation forces out of Iraq.
"The reports of issuing fatwa by the Shiite cleric Sistani permiting taking up arms to drive foreign troops out of Iraq were baseless".
Gateway Pundit, who originally reported this story, surmised the AP's agenda.
The AP published this story based on anonymous sources in Iraq... They did manage to divert attention away from the good news that General Petraeus shared with Congress yesterday.
Actually, it's hard to discern whether the AP's tactics were diversionary... or simply another of its daily propaganda reports that help prop up anti-American terrorists.
That's why I've helpfully created the AP's new logo.
Hat tips: Gateway Pundit and Larwyn.