Council of Muftis of Russia Expresses Concern Over Military action in Iraq

The Council of the Muftis of Russia has expressed concern over the attack on Iraq made without the sanction of the United Nations, bypassing international law and prompted by no threats on the part of Iraq.

The statement of the Council, which RIA Novosti received on Friday, points out that "such actions undermine the fragile balance in the international arena and become a precedent which allows other countries to ignore the norms of international law and the will of the United Nations," which "may trigger the aggravation of the situation in the whole world." Apart from that, the statement says, "the attack on Iraq is an attack on a Moslem state," which provokes "a natural feeling of solidarity" throughout the Moslem world. This circumstance, the Council believes, "may put an end to the whole of the international anti-terrorist campaign, because the terrorists and the fighters against them have changed places." "Without giving political estimates of the actions of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein," the Council of the Muftis points out that "he is the legitimate President of the sovereign country, and only the people of that country have the right to determine their future." "During wars, it is not regimes, but people that are killed, and the overwhelming majority of them have nothing to do with the fight for political power. Human losses could have been avoided if the UN inspectors had been given a chance to finish their work," points out the statement which was signed by the Chairman of the Council of Muftis of Russia, sheikh Ravil Gainutdin.