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Friday, November 16, 2012
Fatwa upon Petraeus
I got in my mail an "explanation" from some "Taliban official" today. This was a guy in one of those Pakistan hinterlands. AFP reported it.
This was the verdict:
I know, I know; the Taliban are not taking this all serious. That's what I'm here for!
The Taliban are "Islamic students"; that is what "Taliban" means. They just by accident of geography happen to have a lot of Pashtuns around the local hills. The Talibs might make allowances for pre-Islamic tribal practice in Pashtunistan, but there is no way they would enforce Pashtunwala upon a foreigner like Petraeus. So that sentence "from a Pashtun point of view" is just an aside. It's that famous Taliban sense of fun again.
Islam is more complicated. From a Qur’anic point of view the adulterer should be flogged (Sura 24); the Prophet, however, employed stoning. There are various arguments in Islam about whether God intended this particular law to be by His Word (the Sura) or by His Example (the Prophet). But even this is binding only upon Muslims. Petraeus is not Muslim.
The Shari`a would classify Petraeus as a Christian. This is a Religion of the Book. The amir of the believers is commanded to pass judgement upon Christians according to the Christian milla. To the extent “Christian law” has meaning, it is the law of the Torah. The Torah prescribes, for adulterers, stoning.
So, by an Islamic standard, it looks like the Talib is right. Not surprising; we did expect that the Taliban know their own legal code.
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