chapter  XXI
Pages 15

Every effort was made to conciliate the 'Ulama but without success, the fatwas being reissued in June, 1923. It was maintained in British official circles that the only remedy lay in vigorous action against the leaders themselves. Only by their suppression would the opportunity be afforded of intimidating the rank and file to the extent that the elections could be continued without further active opposition. The Prime Minister favoured this policy, but King Faisal continued to hope for conciliation by other methods. When, however, collisions occurred on June 21st, between the police and the inhabitants of Kiidhimain over the posting of fatwas at the door of the mosque and when demonstrations were subsequently organized against the Government in which Shaikh Mahdi al-Khalisi and his family took a prominent part, the Ministers, urged by their Advisers, felt it necessary to take strong action to vindicate the authority of the Government. Armed with an Ordinance, passed on June 9th, giving power to the Government to deport non-'Iraqis for political offences, the Council ordered with the reluctant concurrence of H.M. the King, then visiting Basra, 3 the arrest and deportation of Shaikh Mahdi al-Khalisi, his sons Hasan and 'Ali, and his nephew, all Persian subjects. A demonstration of protest was immediately organized by the religious leaders of Najaf, a group of nine important 'Ulama, also Persian

subjects, with twenty-five followers leaving for Persia as a gesture of their disapproval. The 'Iraq Government, although deprecating the action of these' Ulama, gave them every facility to expedite their departure. 1

which was to represent the nation and guard its independence.