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In the Name of God بسم الله


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kadhim last won the day on May 3

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    Montreal, Canada
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    Shia Islam

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  1. I mean, you quoted two words out of that, but regarding the usefulness of the ulema as guides and advisors, I didn’t exactly say to take them out behind the woodshed, right? I did describe a role for them that has some precedent behind it. We could talk about that as a more nuanced discussion about it.
  2. I don’t doubt my religion. I doubt people. Except, as already pointed out to Abu Hadi, that’s disingenuous advice because the Iranian government doesn’t let anyone whose opinions stray too far outside the status quo even run for office.
  3. I’m a fan of pure democracy myself. It has its problems, but it’s the least worst of the options. I think the easiest and least jarring fix would be to maybe keep some of the WF structures, but convert it into a “soft power” advisor structure rather than something with hard power. Whatever the WF system has formal power over today, give that to the directly elected executive. WF system gets no veto. This is what should have happened a couple of decades ago, but better late than never. The WF structures can then serve a role as a (hopefully) respected moral voice outside of the dirt of political power, giving moral advice the same way that the Pope does or the way Seestani does in Iraq. The original authentic concept of WF was about scholars stepping in to take care of immature people who didn’t have a guardian to watch over their affairs, to watch over them until they were mature. The Iranian republic and its people are all grown up now. It can stand on its own feet without a “guardian.”
  4. What chutzpah. You two are hands down the biggest bullies on this site. Don’t even start with me with that sort of cynical nonsense.
  5. No. I pray my five daily prayers. I fast my month of Ramadan. Sometimes I’m feeling it. Sometimes I’m not. But I do it, of myself, as part of my relation to Him. And it has (God willing) worth and value because I make myself do it. But if some middlebrow apparatchik from the government came up to me on the street telling me it’s 1:05 PM, zhuhr started at 1:01 PM, you should go pray or asking me whether I’m fasting, I would treat that person with the sort of utter contempt I reserve for border patrol officers, and would be thinking of curb stomping him. Because I’m an adult with dignity. And you don’t govern grown adults like children. If it was me placed into that situation, I wouldn’t blame the religion for it, because I have that long personal experience of the religion as something freely chosen to lean on to separate what the people do from what it actually is. But for a 20 year old who has only known Islam as a corrupt cop’s knee on their neck? I don’t agree with it but I totally understand it. And I’ve said it before, I say it now, and I’ll say it again. It’s really quite precious to see you saying this from the comfort of Dearborn. And especially as a (fellow) convert, as someone who chose this freely, without coercion, and who lives in a country where he can choose it freely every day, you really should know better than to support this sort of nonsense of coerced religious practice.
  6. Oh, hey bud. Did Daddy let you go back online to play with your friends again? That’s awesome bud. You go git ‘em.
  7. I know that, obviously. I’m just being a little cheeky and saying if someone over here thinks the government there is handling things well, they should put their money where their mouth is and unplug their router.
  8. Well, if half of them are only observing it because agents of the state may harass them if they don’t, and all the while they hate it, and resent it, and resent the clerics behind it, and resent whatever makes the clerics force this on them—which the clerics insist is nothing but Islam—then how “Islamic” is that status quo? And how “Islamic” will it be going forward? It’s really quite serious. A lot of the young people are coming to actually hate the religion over this sort of behavior. To you and I, the religion is about positive things; forming a relationship with the maker of the world, being aware of the wonder of creation and feeling thankful, etc. But if for another person Islam is just a boot on their face planted there by people, many of whom don’t seem too pious themselves, then what is that person going to think? I spend a good amount of time (at least online; my IRL Muslim friends are orthodox to conservative) in progressive Muslim circles. And I hear a lot of stories of people there who got burnt out by the rigidity of orthodox Islam, floated on the edges or even left, but then found another way back in. It happens a fair amount these days. Maybe the best thing is to stop worrying “what if” and just release the reins and let the chips fall where they will. In Iran, there is over a millennium of Islamic culture woven deep into the air of the place, and greater Persia was full of artists and poets and mystics and architects and philosophers. If the youth of Iran are burnt out and repulsed by the Islam of the fuqaha, there is still time for them to find one of these other roads back in. But if they just as a generation come to hate the faith, it becomes way harder. This generation of youth—these are the people who will have to raise the next generation after. What do you want these future parents to say to their children about Islam? So if you continue to drive people away, then the whole project will die soon enough anyway.
  9. Salams. Quick question to the pro-government folks who are posting the last few days. What are you folks doing online? The government shut down most of the internet in Iran the last few days. Rehbar has spoken, folks. Time to log off. NOTE: If you respond to this, you hate the revolution. /s
  10. Because the unfortunate effect of this is to actually push people away from the religion. That’s a reasonable thing for a Muslim to be concerned and vocal about. This is something that needs to be understood. Not all of those who oppose enforcing it have some issue with hijab. I don’t have an issue with hijab. My wife observes it for example. I have my own views about the wajibat of it, but I respect those who think differently. It’s not about the hijab itself. It’s about the fact that enforcement doesn’t work for something like this. It has to come from within. And not only does it not work. It actually does damage. I can’t approve of things that do damage to the faith. I don’t know what that means. Does it mean, they’re at such a level of spiritual advancement as a nation that they can think of doing this? Because that’s not really true. I’m not saying that to be mean, but it’s not true. Does it mean they’re at a level where they’ve mastered the big stuff of steering the state so well that they have time for polishing little details? Because that’s not true either. The reality is they are enlisting police to arrest people to try to force them to do a thing Muslim women volunteer to do in “The Great Satan” and other “Western Imperialist powers.” I don’t understand how that’s something to be proud of. I just don’t. Right now the nation that is supposed to represent the brave Husseini spirit ready to take on the superpowers of the world and show a better third way … has unplugged the country from the internet because it’s afraid of Instagram. Again, what’s to be proud of here? Some lazy minds are going to say I’m saying this because of some seething hatred for Iran. When this is the farthest thing from the truth. I love the Iranian people so much. Their potential as a nation is just off the charts. Their depth in the arts, in philosophy, in spirituality, in engineering and science. They are just on another level from other nations in the global Islamic world. These people should by rights have the world in their hands. And the thing is, I believed in the power of the Iranian revolution. I truly believed that it had the potential to be a moment in Islamic history on the same level as the American revolution was on the level of Western history. But then it just … stalled. It stopped growing, stopped developing. It froze and never moved to that next level. And it breaks my ******* heart. The powers that be in Iran need to have the confidence to relax control and just let the nation evolve naturally to the next step if anything that was good in the original spirit of the revolution is going to survive.
  11. The site is sadly far off its prime, but there is still a lot of brilliant content on the site.
  12. Well there is Kamal al-Hayderi for example. He has a somewhat different view on this. Again, not to open the subject as a tangent, but simply to document to supplement what you put forward. That’s a little disingenuous though, isn’t it? Especially the political candidates part. Given that the government doesn’t let candidates even run unless they toe relatively closely to the status quo. Hell, didn’t they block Ahmadinejad from running a few years back? I mean, come on… This is one reason why people might feel pulled toward more extreme actions, that the government cuts off these sorts of channels where they normally might have a chance to advance their views. That said, I generally disavow violence in such situations, other than self-defense to repel an immediate physical threat to your safety.
  13. The local custom seems like a reasonable standard. It allows flexibility for different peoples, different climates, and such. These differ from place to place, but most cultures in the world of whatever persuasion sort of agrees at least on covering breasts and privates as a bare minimum. Which, interestingly enough, are the only body parts that 24:31 of the Quran explicitly commands a woman to cover. There’s actually a pretty reasonable argument that the relative vagueness of passages like 24:31—beyond clear requirements to cover the most intimate body parts—with language like “and don’t display your ornaments except what is normally apparent” are meant to leave the details of what exactly minimal modesty means up to local custom. By this argument the more detailed explanation elaboration of things to cover in the hadith are just the local custom in that context. And then those who want to cover more for their own personal convictions can do so. Everyone is happy. It’s an interesting argument a few scholars put forth. That’s a bit of a tangent though, so I won’t get too much into the details. But just to say, setting aside the question of what the ideal of hijab looks like in this day, when it comes to reasonable law of the land standards that are enforceable legally, common custom seems like a reasonable standard to go by. Again with a few hard minimal limits that everyone basically agrees on anyway.
  14. The thing is, even accepting this sort of precedent at face value, ta’zir is discretionary according to matters of expediency. Discretionary means it has to be handled with discretion. So that what is enforced and how is handled intelligently so that you don’t end up doing more harm than good. Enforcing things like hijab and prayers tends to fail this sort of test. It’s an excessive level of intrusion for modern people.
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