McClatchy reports: The Islamic State’s executions of 13 Sunni Muslim clerics last month in Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, were a move by the radical Sunni movement to silence moderate voices among Iraq’s Sunnis, and they deserve greater attention than they’ve received, the top United Nations expert on religious freedom said.
“Here a Sunni movement is executing Sunni religious leaders. That should make us think,” Heiner Bielefeldt, the U.N.’s special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, told McClatchy. “It’s important to focus more attention on these particular killings, because here we are not talking about Sunnis versus Shias. This is a very clear case of atrocities committed against their own people, against religious leaders from Sunni Islam who probably have a less simplistic understanding of what Islam means.”
The executions are particularly poignant after the appearance Friday of the Islamic State’s leader, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, leading prayers in Mosul’s Great Nurridin Mosque. One of the first clerics executed in Mosul, according to the United Nations, was the imam of that very mosque, Muhammad al Mansuri. [Continue reading…]