Friday, February 22, 2013

Liberal Iraqi Shi'ite Scholar Sayyed Ahmed Al-Qabbanji Calls For Reason In Islamic Discourse and Jurisprudence

Hard pressed to find a Liberal Religionist in the West who gives a hoot about a free thinking Muslim…..

On February 18, 2013, the Iraqi media reported that the liberal Iraqi Shi'ite scholar Sayyed Ahmed Al-Qabbanji had been arrested the previous day in Qom,[1] Iran, while visiting family.[2]

Sayyed Al-Qabbanji's revolutionary ideas, especially his focus in the last few years on the need to rationalize Islamic religious discourse and jurisprudence, have made him the bane of the powerful Shi'ite clergy in Iraq, and have sparked accusations of heresy against him there – particularly in the months prior to his arrest in Iran.

The news of the arrest was received with mixed reactions by the Iraqi intelligentsia. While his supporters and fellow liberal scholars and politicians have called for his immediate release,[3] some among the Shi'ite clergy have demanded that Iran prosecute him for "his violations of the sanctity of his [Shi'ite] denomination."[4]

Following the arrest, Iranian intelligence services deputy director Mohammad Mosajadi was quoted as telling Tehran Radio that Al-Qabbanji was spying for Israel and transmitting "coded information" to it. If found guilty of this, he said, Iran would cooperate with the Iraqi government in carrying out the death penalty.[5]

Meanwhile, in the five days since Al-Qabbanji's arrest, the Iraqi authorities have refrained from commenting on the matter.

The following is a review of the philosophy of Sayyed Ahmed Al-Qabbanji.

Liberal Iraqi Shi'ite Scholar Sayyed Ahmed Al-Qabbanji Calls For Reason In Islamic Discourse and Jurisprudence

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