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Qassim Abdul-Zahra

Qassim Abdul-Zahra is an author at Religion News Service.

All Stories by Qassim Abdul-Zahra

Clashes with cleric’s supporters kill 5 in southern Iraq

By Qassim Abdul-Zahra — November 28, 2020
BAGHDAD (AP) — Following the clashes beginning on Friday, Shiite Muslim leader Moqtada al-Sadr's supporters stormed Haboubi square, and torched tents pitched in the square.

Mideastern burial traditions clash with fears of contagion

By Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Samya Kallub — April 7, 2020
BAGHDAD (AP) — Mohammed al-Dulfi’s 67-year-old father died on March 21 after a brief struggle against the new coronavirus, but it would take nine days for his body to find a final resting place in the Shiite holy city of Najaf in southern Iraq. On two occasions, the family rejected remote burial plots proposed by […]

Aging Shiite cleric a powerhouse in Iraq. What comes after?

By Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Mariam Fam — February 21, 2020
NAJAF, Iraq (AP) — When Iraq’s top Shiite cleric underwent surgery for a fractured bone last month, it sent shivers around the country and beyond. “May God heal Iraq,” read a photo of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani that circulated online. Frantic supporters shared prayers. Anti-government protesters hung photos of the black-turbaned cleric with a long […]
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