Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Egyptian Journalists Up In Arms Over Al-Azhar Sheikh's ‘80 Lashes for Slanderers’ Fatwa

by D. Lav and L. Azuri from MEMRI (US: Washington DC)

On October 17, 2007, the liberal Saudi daily Al-Watan published an article by columnist Abdallah Al-Mutairi criticizing Sheikh Tantawi's statement and wrote of the need for comprehensive reform: "In the 1960s, the Catholic Church made peace with modernity and stopped accusing it of apostasy. It recognized all of the Age of Enlightenment's freedoms and accomplishments, and recognized the other religions and freedom of belief ... In the Islamic [world], this development has not been achieved. Perhaps this is because the struggle has not yet reached the level of the Church's struggle with free thought. The events of 9/11 may be one of the forms of this struggle or clash with the world, but the ideological struggle has not yet materialized in a form that can help shatter fundamentalism and as a result develop [new] Islamic thought." ... On October 19, Sheikh Tantawi told Al-Arabiya TV that his comments were not specific to journalists, but against anyone spreading false rumors. He added that that this was Allah's law, not a law of his own invention. Salah Al-Din Muhsin, a liberal secularist Egyptian author who spent three years in prison on charges of offending the religion, wrote on the left-wing Modern Discussion website that there was no sense in blaming Sheikh Tantawi, as the real problem lay in Islamic shari'a and its role in Egyptian public life.

1 comment:

Abu Daoud said...

9/11 was certainly an eye-opener to some Muslims.