From the skeptical side of the house, these pearls of Sistani’s wisdom, including this latest raving about the appropriate Islamic response to gay sex, cannot be blithely disregarded as, to borrow Rich’s [Rich Lowry, that is] phrase, “beliefs that seem bizarre to a Westerner” “” as if the problem here is our alien ear rather than Sistani’s seventh-century mind. Sistani is not merely saying homosexuality is condemnable, a view shared by many a religious tradition. He holds, authoritatively within his tradition, that those who engage in it should be brutally murdered.
It is neither naÃ¯ve nor reflective of a “lack of imagination” to observe that Sistani’s fatwas are powerfully indicative of a coarse view of human life. In fact, they are powerfully indicative of a view that rejects the very humanity of those who do not adhere to Islam (indeed, Islam as Sistani rigorously construes it).
That view is a sine qua non of terrorism. It matters little that Sistani, in the fashion of lip service, is, as Rich observes, “consistent in condemning terrorism.” He is a central influence in the Islamic world. That is the world which is, undeniably, the font of virtually all modern terrorism. How surprised, then, should we be to find him giving animating voice to beliefs integral to the pathology that is spurring global barbarism? The pathology that says there is an us and a them, and the them is a sub-human species, not fit to be touched and, at least occasionally, worthy of being “killed in the worst manner possible.”…
The only democracy the United States should be building is one based on liberty, equality, the inherent dignity of all human beings, and the conviction that authority to rule is reposed in the people rather than in some external theological or political force….
But when we accept Sharia in our newly-minted “democratic” states, we are not building that kind of democracy. In fact, we are building its mortal enemy.
Read it all.