Ayatollah issues fatwa on terror against Canadians

A Canadian Muslim leader said Wednesday that Iraq's top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, had called on his Canadian followers to abide by a fatwa or religious edicts barring them from acts of terror or violence against innocent people. The announcement by Imam Nabil Abbas, a Canadian representative for al-Sistani - one of the world's most influential Shiite clerics - reflects efforts by the country's mostly moderate Muslims to stave off a backlash in the wake of the June 2 arrest of 17 Muslims on terrorism charges. Abbas told a news conference in Montreal that he had asked for guidance from the ayatollah and received the fatwa from al-Sistani on Tuesday evening. "Any Muslim man or woman must act in the best interests of his or her country of residence by protecting it from all acts that might put this country in jeopardy," Abbas said, reading from what he said was the fatwa, a ruling issued by an Islamic scholar.