Iraq's top Shiite cleric urges tolerance towards Christians
Iraq's top Shiite Muslim leader has condemned plans by a pastor in the United States to burn copies of the Koran, but urged Muslims not to be provoked and called for tolerance of Christians, DPA reported.
Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, in a statement released Thursday night, said: "While we denounce the assault on the Holy Koran and stress the importance of not letting this occur, we urge Muslims, whereever they are, to exercise the utmost restraint."
"Do not do what would hurt the followers of the church," he said.
Al-Sistani said the call by Florida pastor Terry Jones for the Koran-burning on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the US, was not compatible with the task of religious leaders to "promote tolerance and peaceful coexistence."