I’ve been reading some of the material on the Aqoul blog, and came across this discussion of the meaning of ‘fatwa’.
Very interesting, and more informative, I believe, than what I’ve read in the newspapers.
I hasten to add that the criticism’s there of Wafa Sultan in regard to the issue of ‘fatwa’ may or may not be valid, but anyone who goes in front of a Middle Eastern audience through al-Jazeera (even from the distance of L.A.) and says the things that she said with such obvious conviction has to know that she’s risking herself, and I do not believe a sane person would do that unless she or he was profoundly convinced that it was the right and moral thing to do. I can’t buy the idea that this woman would take such a risk with her life and her family’s lives simply to gain fame and a career boost, as some of the people writing at Aqoul believe.
Whether or not Wafa Sultan correctly interpreted what her adversary said regarding her heresy/atheism – whether or not Dr. al-Khouli meant it as a call to get her knocked off or was simply making a statement that there was no use arguing with her, because she is a blasphemer – we all know that there are those fanatics in the Muslim realm who would take the charge of blasphemy as a signal that Dr. Sultan deserves to die.
But then, such murderous monsters would not have to depend on what Dr. Ibrahim al-Khouli may have said about Dr. Sultan. What Dr. Sultan said about Islam would be enough for the dogs to prick up their ears in her direction and bare their bloody fangs.