Saleh orders investigation into al-Zindani fatwa
Fractured syntax courtesy of Yemen Times. Coffee warning on the last paragraph...
President Ali Abdullah Saleh ordered the general prosecution to investigate into the religious fatwa accusing the socialist leader Yassin Saeed Noman, former speaker of parliament, of being an infidel, reliable sources close to the Yemeni presidency said Saturday. The fatwa which was announced last week has been attributed to Sheikh Abdulmajeed al-Zindani, head of Islah Consultative Council and rector of al-Eman University. The sources added that Saleh asked the general prosecution to investigate into the fatwa which al-Zindani has been accused to have issued on the basis that Dr. Noman used to say when he was running the parliament hearings “the rule is for the parliament members” in figuring out or voting on any issue while, according to al-Zindani, he should have said that “the rule is for God”. The president’s order came out as a result of a complaint filed by the Yemeni Socialist Party.
Well. Yeah. I guess that's good reason to declare him an infidel and have him killed. In Yemen, anyway...
Yemen Times learnt that the denial made by al-Zindani last week was just a political compromise on part of the opposition coalition delegation members who met al-Zindani at his house in the university campus.
"No, no! Certainly not!"
Political sources told Yemen Times that al-Zindani refused to deny the allegation that he has issued the fatwa and told them that was his opinion. But, when they scared him that this would give an excuse for the US to ask for his extradition and trial, he told them that they can deny that he issued the fatwa.
There. That made it all better, didn't it?
However, al-Zindani, who was a member of the Presidential Council after the unification, never asked the media to quote him denying that. The opposition has taken this move in order to avoid any breakdown of their coalition whose main components are the Islah and the YSP. Some time earlier, an American newspaper quoted Judge Hamoud al-Hitar, head of the committee conducting dialogues with al-Qaeda prisoners as saying that the attackers of the USS Cole carried out their operation on the basis of a fatwa issued by al-Zindani. But, al-Hitar later denied he said so. It was also reported that al-Zindani is one of those clerics wanted by the US for their link to al-Qaeda and that his university is producing extremists and fundamentalists.
Oh, go ahead. Deny that, too...
The YSP condemned last week the religious edict or what it said is “this ossified way of thinking and the continuation of these tactics of calling people infidel and assassinations, violence and thought and political terrorism and discrimination that do not accept freedom of opinion of people.” The YSP called on the authorities to shoulder their legal responsibility towards this tendency of naming its prominent leaders as infidel, ending all factors that can destabilize security and peace.
That would be a step in the right direction. No doubt they can't do it for... ummm... religious reasons.
It also demanded that the fatwa issued during the civil war which named all socialists as unbelievers and that all acts against them are legal. It said also that the culture, mobilization and other measures taken on the basis of this fatwa should be abolished, urging all political forces in the country to work against such culture from school curricula, sermons of mosque preachers and mass media, and to enhance tolerance and openness in the society. The assassin of Jarallah Omar, YSP assistant secretary general who was sentenced to death in mid-September said during the tribunal sessions that all socialists and secular people are infidels who deserve death penalty. Ali Ahmad Jarallah based his assassination of Omar on an allegation that Omar demanded the abolishing of death penalty which he described as an abuse to human rights.
So he killed him. That makes sense. In Yemen, anyway...

Posted by: Fred Pruitt 2003-10-20