What’s up, al-Sistani? Holla At Me!
I thought that Sistani was supposed to be a super laid-back kind of guy, who returns e-mails personally by scanning a hand-written letter and then e-mailing that to the questioner, or something along those lines. Right?
Well, neither he nor anyone from his office has responded to this question yet:
Many people see Grand Ayatollah Sistani’s views on Democracy as an encouraging sign for Iraq. A friend of mine is under the impression that the Grand Ayatollah “believes that religion and politics should not mingle.” I, therefore, have a question about the Grand Ayatollah’s views regarding Islam and the law.
Would Ayatollah Sistani support Iraqi laws which supersede and may even contradict Islamic teachings, especially those teachings which give Muslims a higher social status than non-Muslims?
Now, it may be that the Latin ‘Salvete’ (which translates to “Greetings”) threw him off, or it could be the fact that the email was coming from an address such as mine, i.e. Mr. President (konservo[at]hotmail[dot]com)
For whatever reason, I still have not received a response, but if he’s anything like the some of the guys in the clip below, it’s a safe assumption that his answer is ‘no.’
Muslim Scholars Debate Apostates in Islam
Click on Screen Cap. to See Clip
Here’s the transcript:
Following are excerpts from a debate on apostates in Islam, which aired on Al-Risala TV on November 5, 2007.
Sheik Tareq Al-Sweidan: We have a question for the viewers at home, not in the studio, and they can respond with a text message. What is the best way to deal with apostates who converted from Islam? You have three possible responses. The first is through dialogue only. The second option is killing them, and the third option is to leave it up to the legal system. Enter your votes, send in your answers, and the results will appear on the screen. As for the young people with us in the studio, you can participate in a survey on which we will base our discussion with our guests. You’ve heard one opinion, and my question is very simple: Does a Muslim have the liberty to change his religion or not? Does a Muslim have the liberty to change his religion?
Al-Sweidan: If a person converted out of conviction, should he be declared an infidel?
Abir: First, he should be allowed to repent. We should explain his error to him, and if he is adamant on rejecting this and insists on his interpretation, he should be allowed to repent and have the opportunity to…
Al-Sweidan: And afterwards, he should be pronounced an infidel?
Abir: I believe he should be.
Al-Sweidan: Thank you, Abir. Let’s move to Fatima. What’s your opinion?
Fatima: In my opinion, he should be declared an infidel. Why is there a problem with declaring people to be infidels?
Al-Sweidan: I’m not saying there is, I’m just asking a question.
Fatima: He should be declared an infidel. The Koran divided people into Muslims, infidels, and the People of the Book. So there is a group of people who should be declared infidels.
Gamal ‘Allam: With regard to matters of faith, the Sunni scholars have agreed that some acts lead to the excommunication of a person. If a person commits any of these acts, he is considered an infidel. The first case is denying something that is irrefutably part of Islam.
Gamal ‘Allam: Another case is when a person forbids something that is irrefutably permitted. If Allah permitted something, and along comes somebody and forbids it…
Al-Sweidan: For example, some Muslim countries forbid polygamy.
Gamal ‘Allam: Someone who forbids polygamy is an infidel, who should be excommunicated, because he is defying Allah in his right to forbid and permit.
Gamal ‘Allam: Whoever rules according to a law other than the law sent down by Allah, and who does so out of full awareness and conviction…
Gamal ‘Allam: If he believes that his law is equal to the law of Allah, he is comparing Allah to human beings, and thus, he is an infidel. If he believes his law to be better than the law of Allah, then he prefers the creature over its Creator, and thus, he is an infidel.