We Must Think Before We Act; September 11 Was a Gift to the U.S. Administration

Husain Fadlallah Sayyid Muhammad

in Islam in Transition: Muslim Perspectives

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195174304
Published online November 2007 |
We Must Think Before We Act; September 11 Was a Gift to the U.S. Administration

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He was born in Najaf, Iraq; Fadlallah's father was a prominent Shiite scholar. In 1966, after twenty-one years of studying in Najaf, Muhammad Husain Fadlallah went to Lebanon in 1966 to work in East Beirut. When the Lebanese civil war forced him to leave the area, he moved to the southern suburbs. In 1983 he achieved notoriety as the spiritual father of Hizballah and was the target of an attempted assassination attributed to the CIA. Fadlallah founded the Mabarrat Association (orphanages, social and medical centers, schools, and mosques). He also opened a religious school in the Sayyida Zainab neighborhood in Damascus, where he teaches regularly. Fadlallah, a prolific author, is among the leading yatullhs of the Shiite community, an advocate of interreligious dialogue and Shiite institutional reform.

This selection from the leader of Lebanons Shiites deplores violence in the name of Islam. He does connect such violence to imperialism in the Muslim world, but he suggests that vehement attachment to ideas, rather than recourse to violence, is the proper response. He warns against the romantic elevation of leaders as perfect embodiments of Islamic verities, specifically mentioning Osama Bin Laden in this connection. Further on in the interview, given in 2001, Fadlallah tries to put in proper context scriptural verses bearing on the conflict with Islams enemies and concludes that fighting in the Qurnic text is not in the sense of attacking. He characterizes the passages of the Qurn that deal with the relationships between Muslims and the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) as couched in the logic of conviviality and reconciliation. Moreover, he declares that identifying Americans with the American government is contrary to Islamic legal principles, which hold responsibility to be individual, not collective; one person may not be held responsible for anothers criminal behavior.

Chapter.  5641 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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