The Freedom of Thought and Religion in Islam

“Freedom of Religion and Belief in Islam,” in Mehran Kamrava (ed.), The New Voices of Islam: Reforming Politics and Modernity – A Reader, London, I. B. Tauris, 2006, pp. 119-142 Freedom of Religion & Belief in Islam One of the assumptions in the dialogue of the civilizations is accepting the variety of ideas and religions. The civilizations are based on different cultures and different cultures have been found on the basis of various schools of thought and religions. Dialogue of civilizations and cultures is not possible without freedom of religion…

Khorasani’s Political Philosophy

   Mullā Muhammad Kāzim Khurāsānī (1839-1911), also known as Ākhund Khurāsānī (the cleric from Khurāsān), is one of the most outstanding scholars of the world of Islam in recent century. Over one thousand jurisprudents (mujtahids) have been trained in his classes in the Holy city of Najaf. His book Kifāya al-Usūl has so far been the most reliable book in the methods and principles of jurisprudence (usūl al-fiqh) in the Shi‘ite seminary schools and the most important text book in this area. Khurāsānī has proposed a number of new and…

A Cleric Steeped in Ways of Power

TEHRAN, Sept. 3 — As Iran defies the West over its nuclear program, the public face of the nation has become the outspoken president,Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But it is the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who by most accounts has been the primary architect of Iran’s combative foreign policy, and the force behind the president’s own power. Cloaked in religious robes, with a black turban signaling that he is a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, Ayatollah Khamenei delivers the same blistering anti-American, anti-British, anti-Israeli message as the president. His political evolution charts his own…