Tag: Blasphemy

Blasphemy and Apostasy in Islam: Debates on Shi’a Jurisprudence | Book Review

Beginning with a genealogy of religious freedom in contemporary Islam, this book presents a back-and-forth debate between modern two Shi’a jurists (one conservative, one reformist) that locates the exact points of controversy surrounding apostasy and blasphemy. The author explores the subject of blasphemy and apostasy from the perspective of Shi’a jurisprudence to articulate a polarization between secularism and extremist religious orthodoxy. In a series of online exchanges, he debates the case with the son of Grand Ayatollah Fazel Lankarānī who issued the fatwa pronouncing the death penalty on Rāfiq Taqī.

Free Speech and Critique of Religion in Contemporary Islam

While the Qur’an and the practical tradition of the Prophet strongly support freedom of expression and critique of religion, serious obstacles to the realization of freedom of expression and critique of religion are not easily deniable in the hadiths, conventional Islamic sciences, and the lived experiences of Muslims throughout the history. There is no red line or any restrictions for a scholarly critique of Islam in academic circles, while for the mass audience, there are restrictions that will not shake the faith of people due to weak public information.

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.”