|April 19, 2005|
|Dr. Salah Sultan|
In his turn, Dr. Salah Sultan, member of the Fiqh Council of North America, member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, and member of the International Association of Muslim Scholars (IAMS), invites Tariq Ramadan, an Islamic thinker, to reconsider his call and to give up any further approach to such an issue.
Sultan maintains that tackling such an issue might increase the disagreement and dissension among Muslims regarding something which is not one of the Ummah’s priorities for the time being. On the other hand, approaching such an issue may give a chance to secularists and anti-Islamists to move to attack Islam itself as a result of the wrong perception of some Muslims, as stated by the Islamic thinker Dr. Fahmi Huwaidi.
Sultan said, “I may agree with Tariq Ramadan that during the application of the Islamic legal penalties in a certain country, there could be injustice to the poor, for penalties might be applied to the poor whereas the rich, the rulers and the oppressors are excluded.” He added, “When things are upside down in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Kashmir, and other places, we cannot make the wrongdoing of some Muslims in applying Islamic rulings a reason or justification for making it a worldwide issue of public opinion.”
Sultan invites Tariq Ramadan to “reconsider his call and to refer it first to the International Association of Muslim Scholars or the European Council for Fatwa and Research or the Fiqh Council of North America. He advises him to consult trustworthy Muslim scholars such as Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi and Dr. Taha Jabir Al-`Alwani so as to consider all aspects of the issue. Sultan also asks Tariq Ramadan to consult trustworthy Muslim scholars in Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and other Muslim countries where Islamic legal penalties are still being applied, as they are more aware of them. Sultan also stresses the significance of realizing the consequences of approaching such an issue.
Dr. Salah Sultan is the president of the American Center for Islamic Research, Columbus, Ohio, and member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research.