Any man who kisses the Qur’an is a friend of Al-Sadr. From AFP, with thanks to Ali Dashti:
Radical Shiite Muslim cleric Moqtada Sadr invited Pope John Paul II to solve the conflict between his militia and US-led Iraqi government forces in the Iraqi holy city of Najaf, a spokesman said Tuesday.
“We welcome the offer from the pope at the Vatican and we invite him to solve the crisis,” Sadr spokesman Ahmed al-Shaibani said….
“If asked, John Paul II would gladly accept a mediation role,” the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, told Italian public radio.