Monday, March 17, 2008

Soroush awaiting Salman Rushdie’s Fate?

‎Following the recent remarks of reformist intellectual Abdolkarim Soroush on the effects ‎of the prophet’s personal characteristics on development of the Koran, Ayatollah Hossein ‎Nouri Hamedani, a grand ayatollah residing in Ghom, said that “Soroush’s writings are ‎worse than Salman Rushdie’s.” Ayatollah Hamedani added, “Abdolkarim Soroush’s ‎religious theories have undermined the roots of prophecy, the Koran and holy ‎revelations.” ‎

According to the religious website “Hoza News,” which is run by the “Ghom Seminary ‎School’s Management Center,” the grand ayatollah told his students, “The Salman ‎Rushdie debacle was limited to insulting the prophet, but Mr. Soroush has undermined ‎the roots of prophecy, the Koran, and holy revelations. If this was intentional, we have to ‎fulfill our duty.” ‎

Ayatollah Hamedani’s reference to “duty” was the religious duty of fundamentalist ‎Muslims to murder those who intentionally deny the Koran or the prophet of Islam. ‎

Though debates are ongoing between Soroush and Shia intellectuals, Ayatollah ‎Hamedani’s remark that “If this was intentional, we have to fulfill our duty,” has ‎effectively paved the way to confront Soroush. ‎

In connection to this story, the Fars News Agency reported, “A number of Ghom’s ‎residents marched in protest to Soroush’s remarks following the Friday prayers. ‎Chanting slogans such as, “Today is the day of mourning, Saheb al-Zaman [last Shia ‎Imam] leads the mourners today,” the protestors asked for the prosecution of Soroush.

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