Fascinating insight into the behind-the-scenes Civil War over the direction of Shiiite Islam. Could our conflict with Iran be solved by the current Grand Ayatolah being suceeded by the Liberals described in this article?
The best known of the liberals is 84 year old Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, once the designated successor to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran’s first supreme leader, and in recent years one of Iran’s foremost advocates of democracy.
Even more intriguing is Montazeri’s near neighbor, Grand Ayatollah Yusuf Saanei, 68, who, unlike his elder, is still instructing students at his madrassa and delivering regular sermons and fatwas He offers two reasons for optimism. One is the growing demand for change among Iranian youth; those under 30 make up more than two-thirds of the population. The other factor is Iraq — where, Saanei says, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani has successfully updated the role of Islam in government.