Via Mickey Kaus and Instapundit comes a good reason to respect at least one powerful Muslim cleric: "In Iraq, the country's top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al- Sistani, decried the drawings but did not call for protests.
'We strongly denounce and condemn this horrific action,' he said in a statement posted on his Web site and dated Tuesday.
Al-Sistani, who wields enormous influence over Iraq's majority Shiites, made no call for protests and suggested that militant Muslims were partly to blame for distorting Islam's image.
He referred to 'misguided and oppressive' segments of the Muslim community and said their actions 'projected a distorted and dark image of the faith of justice, love and brotherhood.'
'Enemies have exploited this ... to spread their poison and revive their old hatreds with new methods and mechanisms,' he said."