Friday, January 27, 2006

Sectarian Sedition. Grand (not really) Ayatollah Sistani issued a statement yesterday. I don't know the occasion for his pontification, but it contains the most narrow and sectarian opinions. He insists on drawing sharp lines between Sunnis and Shi`ites, and takes pride in Western praise for "Shi`ism" as he implies. He also praises Western distinctions between Sunnis and Shi`ites, in favor of Shi`ites, according to him. This man, who left his house only once in 6 years and who was silent and submissive during the rule of Saddam Husayn when other clerics died fighting against Saddam, is not an authority on Western attitudes to Islam, and not an authority on courage under tyrannical rule, or under foreign occupation. Sistani should go back to the crucial issues that he regularly addresses in his fatwas: whether Muslims should play chess or not.