On December 27, 2003 Al-Jazeera reported, "Iraqi Shia clerics have called for a boycott of French products in protest at France's move to ban Islamic headscarves from schools. Influential cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called for the boycot during his Friday sermon in Kufa near Najaf. 'I suggest that a fatwa (religious edict) be issued by (Shia religious scholars in the Iraqi holy city of) Najaf, (the Iranian Shia religious centre of) Qom and al-Azhar (the Sunni Muslims' highest religious authority) ordering a boycott of French products,' he said. 'If we cannot reach such a decision, we should at least threaten to do it.' Silence would encourage other countries, such as Germany, to follow in France's footsteps, al-Sadr warned. A similar call was made by a Shia cleric in Baghdad on Friday."