Top cleric refuses envying Taliban's brand of Islam
Shiraz, Iran, Sept 7, IRNA -- An influential cleric in this southern Iranian city has rejected Taliban-style brand of Islam and security, noting that one should not envy them for their adopted form of Islam.
Addressing the worshipers gathered for the weekly congregational Friday prayers in Shiraz, Ayatollah Mohieddin Haeri Shirazi said the brand of Islam propagated in neighboring Afghanistan by the hardline ruling Taliban is based on the personal viewpoints of the Afghanistan rulers and not based on the true Islam that the Almighty God want the human beings to observe.
The Taliban have contributed to the illicit drug trafficking which, he said, is the most detrimental thing to the humanity and use the drug money for promoting their beliefs, he said adding that this could not be correct according to the genuine Islam.
However, he called for implementing the punishment determined in Islamic sharia publicly. He said the judges should act cleverly and not be under the influence of certain elements.
The head of the Tehran Administrative Court, Qorbanali Dorri- Najafabadi, told worshipers attending the weekly Friday Prayers in Tehran last week: "The Taliban, which we always curse, have managed to give security to their people. Why can we not do the same?"
In like manner, Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati said he believes that Iran should follow Saudi Arabia's example because "the conservative Arab state's strong-arm tactics against crime have paid off."
Iran has often condemned extreme measures resorted to by the Taliban, such as its recent destruction of two ancient Buddha statutes in Bamiyan, saying they hurt Islam's image.
The move was part of a holy war being waged by the hardline Afghan militia in Afghanistan to establish a purist Islamic state.
Recent public floggings in Iran, numbering some 200, have created renewed debates among political and religious figures.
Judiciary officials and conservatives in government insist they are an inseparable part of Islamic doctrine and are justified as a means of deterring rising criminality and breaches of Islamic teachings.
Public flogging, used in ancient societies to punish social or moral derelictions, was rarely imposed in the country even before the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
President Khatami has also denounced the punishments, saying, "In a society where discrimination, poverty and graft abound, you cannot expect youngsters not to break the law and stay on the right course...With tough punishments you cannot remove social corruption."
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