Category: Pieces

Condemning the attack on Rushdie

I strongly condemn today’s bloody attack on Salman Rushdie, the author of Satanic Verses in New York. Based on Islamic and Quranic teachings, this illegitimate attempt is condemned. The way to deal with false thoughts is scientific criticism, not physical elimination. “The bloody fatwas against Kasravi, Taha, Fawda and Taqī, as well as the legal rulings to kill Rushdie and Abū Zayd, must be publicly condemned to prevent their recurrence, for they only weakened and harmed Islam. Issuing such fatwas is a sign of the inability to provide a rebuttal.”

Three Big Questions on Secularism

The first question arises when the non-Christians or non-Western societies want to apply secularization in the processes of their modernization: ‘what is the precise meaning of secularization? or what are its major connotations?’ Is non-secular modernization possible, without a decline in religious beliefs and practices, without privatization of religion, and even without separation of church and state? Is secularism an end in itself, or is it a means to some other end? Which kind of religion do humans need? By whom are the categories of religion and the secular defined?

Ayatollah Khomeini’s Political Theory & Public Interest

Ayatollah Khomeini expanded the domain of fiqh and Shari’a to include all political, social, economic, personal, public, cultural, and even the military affairs. He thought that fiqh had a comprehensive capacity to promote the jurist to the position of an absolute ruler, who is the final decision maker after consulting with experts. He tried to compensate the shortcomings of fiqh by adapting the public interest. We may reverse his theory, and appoint the elected experts as the final decision makers who consult the jurists! Jurisprudence doesn’t have such big capability.

Liberalism in the West, Suspicion in the Rest

I am from the Rest and now I am speaking in the West. Human rights and democracy for the others (the Rest) are not the first priority from Western perspective. We cannot generalize our understanding of Western white Christianity for all religions in the globe. Isn’t liberalism an ideology itself? we can have different approaches to religion. We need to be accepting of diversity, pluralism, existence of the others (tolerance) and equal rights. The Rest are in the margin, while the West are in the center and more equal!

Islamic Political Philosophy after 40 years

Khomeini’s political theory of the absolute appointive guardianship of the jurist council was based on several problematic prerequisites or hypotheses: 1) The teachings of Islam could not be practiced completely unless political power was held by the jurists. 2) The establishment of an Islamic State as the necessary premise of implementing Shari’a. 3) Shari’a as Islamic law as state law. 4) Jurist ruler can make any law or suspend any law including Shari’a rulings for the purpose of public interest or regime protection. It is absolutely wrong theoretically and practically.

Islamic Governance in Theory and Practice

This is a narrative of an ‘insider’ of the revolution of 1979 and in the Islamic Republic of Iran. “What went wrong in Islamic Republic of Iran?” is the major question that I am trying to answer. My response is ‘theocracy’, which entails an ideological understanding of Islam, misunderstanding of the key-concept of law, replacing it with decrees of jurist-ruler, implementing sharia as state law, having the dream of “Islam is the solution”, and ignoring modernity. My presentation is rooted in my personal experience of the revolution and Islamic Republic.

Soleimani’s assassination: a dangerous mistake

General Qassem Soleimani is worthy of appreciation for Iranians because of his courage in the battle with ISIS. This conservative politician as the head of Iran’s Quds military force was the executor of Khamenei’s adventurous policies, which have structural problems and should be criticized. His assassination by Trump administration is wrong, problematic, and risky It will put more strains on the democracy and human rights in Iran. Assassination and bullying will never contribute to the establishment of human rights, democracy, and rule of law. Instagram has completely removed my page!

Theology, Ethics, Politics: Three Challenges for Islamic Reform

How should Islamic teachings relate to the specific conditions of modernity? Islamic Reform is the effort of Muslims to reconstruct Islamic teachings and practice in modern times. This lecture addresses the challenge of reforming Islamic doctrines in three related areas: theology, ethics and politics, with special reference to Shi`ism. It will be illustrated by critical reflections on concepts of religious authority (the position of the Imams), shari’a as an ethical tradition in dialogue with modernity, and the necessity of secularism in terms of separation of mosque and state.

The Complexity of Leadership of Islamic Republic of Iran

Hashemi Rafsanjani made a huge mistake by helping Khamenei to power, but he did initiate an important innovation in the IRI in regards to the succession of leadership. The leader should have administrative experience in a larger arena than religious knowledge: minimum religious knowledge with maximum administrative experience. The best candidates for leadership are the clerics that have the experience of presidency or of being the head of the judiciary on their résumé. This means that the new leader of Iran after the death of Khamenei will be among four.