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July 11, 2005



You would not believe how many times I hear people saying "well howcome we never hear any of 'those people' condeming it?!" [its always 'those people' - hard to believe this is the 21st century], next time I do I'm gonna print out that unc page, ball up however many pages come out [I expect a lot] and stuff it down their throat.


Lamont: They still have a point. Even if it's happening, we never hear about it. It never reaches the media that the average person pays attention to/has access to.

I think in some sense there's a bit of a rather arrogant assumption made by those who read this blog (including me), that most people can or would go to the level of depth we would.

Actually, no. Most people are entirely too busy for that, and a 10-minute newsradio cycle, plus reading the paper, is maybe all they're going to get in terms of news consumption on a consistent basis.

Let's face it. By the time someone is reading this blog, they already have a fair degree of knowledge about the region...Which isn't what most people can say.


All true, Penta, but let's also admit that people outside the US pay more attention to US politics and govt statements than the reverse. Bush and Rumsfeld's speeches are always aired on Al Jazeera, for example. People seek out the information they want and are often content to just reinforce their stereotypes, and that, I suspect, is more responsible for the lack of knowledge in the US about the Qaradawis of this world than 10 minute news cycles.


The Amman declaration is not as straightforward as Zakaria makes it out to be. As part of the (positive) affirmation of Shi'ism, etc. as legitimate, the Conference goes on to declare that "it is not possible to declare whosoever subscribes to true Salafi thought an apostate. Equally, it is not possible to declare as apostates any group of Muslims who believes in Allah the Mighty and Sublime and His Messenger (may Peace and Blessings be upon him) and the pillars of faith, and respects the pillars of Islam and does not deny any necessary article of religion."

This acknowledgement of Salafism as a legitimate madhdhab and the recognition that any proper adherent to the five pillers constitutes a fairly wide door for hardline Salafists to walk through. The further comment that "No one may issue a fatwa without the requisite personal qualifications which each School of Jurisprudence defines. No one may issue a fatwa without adhering
to the methodology of the Schools of Jurisprudence," while also a positive statement, allows great varience. The neccessary methodologies of the Hanafi or the Maliki or the Ja'fari madhdhabs are clearly articulated traditions, but taking the earlier statement regarding Salafism and mere adherence to the five pillars, it seems as though here again the Conference allows a vaguely defined grey area for tafsir.

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