La centralità del Grande Ayatollah ‘Alī al-Sistani nel sistema iracheno

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] The centrality of the Great Ayatollah 'Alī al-Sistani in the Iraqi system

Research output: Other contribution


[Autom. eng. transl.] A few years after the defeat of the self-styled "Islamic State" (IS), Iraq is facing a series of crises that risk having profound repercussions on the future of the country. In addition to having to deal with a complex reconstruction process and the legacies of a season of violence that has affected entire provinces, Baghdad has had to face an intensification of regional geopolitical competition that seems to have elected the land of the two rivers to its own field. privileged battle, as demonstrated by the tragic events that culminated in the killing of General Qassem Suleimani and by the missile attacks launched by Tehran against American forces deployed in the country. The challenges, however, do not come only from the outside. For more than six months, thousands of demonstrators have paralyzed the major cities of central and southern Iraq, demanding the complete renewal of the political-institutional system and the end of a now rampant corruption. In this context characterized by a profound institutional crisis, once again the eyes of internal and external observers are turned to the highest Iraqi Shiite authority, the Great Ayatollah 'Ali al-Sistani. Although manifestly hostile to the interference of the religious establishment in the political sphere, the marja 'al-taqlīd (imitation source, Editor's note) has played a leading role in recent decades, so much so that it ends up being considered a sort of deus ex machina capable of imparting significant changes to an impasse apparently with no way out and to overcome deep and sedimented dividing lines. Significant examples, in this sense, have been the appeals made by the demonstrators to the elderly leader, considered among the few capable of supporting their requests, as well as the resignation of Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi, which took place a few hours after taking a clear stand of the religious in favor of a change of direction. Yet what could appear to be a constant of the Iraqi system, that is to say the specific weight of the Shiite component, from an historical point of view represents an anomaly that underlines even more the importance of the position taken by al-Sistani in these years . Until 2003, in fact, the relationship between the leaders in power and the highest Shiite authorities was marked by the submission of the latter to the former and by a strong opposition: for Baghdad, the guides of the 'atabats (Shiite holy places, Editor's note) they represented alternative power centers potentially capable of undermining its hold on the territory; for Shiite religious leaders, however, political leaders were considered inherently hostile, as well as largely illegitimate
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] The centrality of the Great Ayatollah 'Alī al-Sistani in the Iraqi system
Original languageItalian
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • iraq
  • sciiti


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