Sadiqoun politician's controversial TV remarks

Mosul clerics condemn Iraqi MP for ‘insults to prophet’s companions’

MOSUL — Sunni clerics and scholars in Nineveh province convened at the Al-Nabi Sheet Mosque in Mosul on Monday to denounce remarks by Ali Turki Al-Jamali, a member of the Sadiqoun bloc, which they viewed as offensive to revered Islamic figures.

During a May 7 television interview on Al-Ahd channel, Al-Jamali, who represents the political wing of Asaib Ahl al-Haq in the Iraqi parliament, read from a traditional Shiite text that, according to Sunni Endowments, disparaged revered Islamic figures.

Al-Jamali declared, “May God curse the first, the second, the third, and the fourth; may God curse Yazid as the fifth.” When the host sought clarification about the fourth figure, Al-Jamali identified him as Muawiyah, stating, “This is what we believe.”

In Islamic history, the four Rashidun Caliphs—Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, Umar ibn al-Khattab, Uthman ibn Affan, and Ali ibn Abi Talib—are highly regarded as major representatives and symbols of the faith among Sunni Muslims, central to the early Islamic Caliphate.

The Sunni tradition also respects Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan as the first Caliph of the Umayyad Caliphate. Conversely, Shia Muslims, apart from recognizing Ali ibn Abi Talib, who is considered part of the “Ahl al-Bayt” or the family of the Prophet Muhammad, do not acknowledge the other three caliphs as rightful leaders.

Shia followers, including Al-Jamali, believe Ali is the only true Imam and rightful successor to the Prophet.

The Sunni Endowment and the Iraqi Fiqh Council condemned Al-Jamali’s statements, urging Iraq’s religious authorities to take a definitive stance against such actions.

The clerics also called on the executive and judicial authorities to take legal measures that reinforce community security and foster peaceful coexistence, stressing the need to deter any disrespect toward religious symbols and maintain Iraq’s unity, stability, and social cohesion.

A representative of the Mosul Sunni Endowments (Waqf) said in a press conference, “Despite national stability, ongoing reconstruction, and increased engagement with the Arab and Islamic world, including anticipated visits from the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and the Secretary-General of the Muslim World League, an Iraqi parliament member has undermined our country’s reputation and others’ trust by cursing revered religious figures.”

The representative emphasized that such behavior, which recurs occasionally, is not only offensive to religious sentiments but also criminal under Article 372 of the Iraqi Penal Code, which carries a penalty of up to three years in detention and fines for publicly insulting a symbol or a person revered by a religious group.

The Sunni Endowment Diwan has filed a legal complaint against Al-Jamali and Al-Ahd channel in Baghdad’s Karkh court.