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Mehdi Army fighters loyal to Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr march during a parade in Karbala on June 21, 2014.
Mehdi Army fighters loyal to Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr march during a parade in Karbala on June 21, 2014.
(MUSHTAQ MUHAMMED/REUTERS)

Shenaz Kermali

How the Shia world is warily watching Iraq’s ‘sickness’

Shenaz Kermali is a Canadian freelance journalist with an interest in faith and politics. She has previously worked for Al Jazeera English, BBC News and CBC Television.

Emotions are running high across the Shia world.

Within an hour after one of Shia Islam’s most revered clerics called for Iraqi citizens to bear arms and protect Shia holy shrines and cities in Iraq last Friday, a U.K.-based Shia television channel began receiving calls from British viewers asking if they should book a flight to Iraq to join the fight against al-Qaeda-inspired fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, sometimes known as ISIL).