From the BBC Quick Summary: The Askariyah shrine, sacred to Shiiites, honours 3 Imams or holy descendants of the Prophet: they are Ali al-Hadi, Hasan al-Askari, and his disappeared son Muhammad al-Mahdi. Thousands of Shiiites demonnstrated in Samarra and in East Baghdad, against this desecration. Also Ayatollah Sistani has declared 7 days of mourning for descration to the shrine. Possible consequences: 1) Definite increase in Shiite and Sunni tensions - forget the American hope to widen the national government - this will solidify sectarian divisions in the short term. 2) Everyone favourite Iranian - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is heavily influenced by Shiite millenarian thought and could use the outrage to stir up further trouble in Iraq. 3) Have no doubt the allies will get blamed for this in some way. 4) The stock of Moqtatda al Sadr will continue to rise.