A fatwa is a legal pronouncement citing Islamic rules on a certain case or action set by an Islamic scholar who specializes in Islamic laws. We keep hearing that a fatwa has been issued against a person or a group by the clergy usually to oppose a seemingly shameful act that allegedly shames the Islamic community.
It is a matter of debate on how logical it sounds to us but citing rules in Islam, fatwas can be issued and have been happening more often then we get to know.
Supreme Court has declared that the Sharia Courts are not sanctioned by the law of the land and issuing fatwas has no legal stand. Now, this has us caught at difficult crossroads where the Constitutional Law and Islamic Law seem to not run parallel but go up against each other.
Let’s look at some of the fatwas that have been issued which clearly defy logic-
1 Salman Rushdie’s book, The Satanic Verses, led to many angry protests but an Iranian revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa against the writer claiming that Salman Rushdie should be killed and his book should never be read. The fatwa enraged Muslims against Salman Rushdie all over the world with attacks on publishers and booksellers leading to the death of Hitoshi Igarashi, a Japanese translator.
2 Mickey Mouse was also on the fatwa bounty list when he was declared to be ‘one of Satan’s soldiers’. The fatwa claimed that all household mice should be killed and it also asked that ‘Jerry’ from ‘Tom and Jerry’ be killed.
3 In 2001, a fatwa was issued against the Egyptian version of the UK show, ‘Who wants to be a millionaire?’ terming the show with nothing but ‘un-Islamic’. Without a doubt, the fatwa was challenged and revoked as the was educating people while serving as a means of entertainment.
4 Persian rapper, Shahin Najafi, was at the wrong end of a fatwa when the clergymen not only issued a fatwa against him but also put up a bounty on his head of $100,000 to have him murdered for mocking the Tehran regime and the tenth imam.
5 Gadaffi, is well known for the crimes that he committed, but an Egyptian cleric went as far as issuing a fatwa against the Libyan dictator. Now, this may not seem wrong considering the 42 years of terror he wreaked over Libya but should an Islamic cleric inspire others to violent ways not knowing how many innocent people may get entangled during the attack?