« AFP Attempts to Justify Terror Attack That Killed Malachi Moshe Rosenfeld | Main | A Word About Mitri Raheb’s Sermon at the UCC’s General Synod »

June 30, 2015

Son of Fatwa? What Fatwa?

The Washington Post has made recurrent references to a fatwa--an Islamic religious decree--in which Iran's "Supreme Leader," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei purportedly ordained that the faith bars Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. U.S.-led negotiations with Iran over the latter's suspected illegal nuclear weapons program make the fatwa's existence, or non-existence, newsworthy.

When the newspaper repeated the fatwa claim recently CAMERA submitted the letter to the editor reproduced below. It appeared, slightly edited, in the June 27, 2015 print edition under the headline "Recalling the Fact Checker's Iran advice."

"The Post’s 'Kerry hints at possible compromise in Iran nuclear talks' (June 17, 2015), claims that in 2003 a fatwa, or religious decree, was 'issued by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that, according to some interpretations, banned the production and use of nuclear weapons as a sin under Islam.' However, as CAMERA and others have noted, there is no written proof that such a religious edict exists ('Fatwa? What Fatwa? Does Ayaltollah Khamenei’s Edict Exist?' Apr. 30, 2015,).

"A 2011 report by Shiite theologian Mehdi Khalaji and Michael Eisenstadt of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy notes that religious edicts in the Islamic Republic are 'grounded not in Islamic law but rather in the regime’s doctrine of expediency, as interpreted by the Supreme Leader….if the Islamic Republic’s leaders believe that developing, stockpiling, or using nuclear weapons is in its interests, then religious considerations will not constrain these actions' ('Nuclear Fatwa: Religion and Politics in Iran’s Proliferation Strategy,' September, 2011, Washington Institute for Near East Policy).

"In fact, The Post previously cited this report—and explored the issue of a 'nuclear fatwa'—in Glenn Kessler’s 'Fact Checker' feature ('Did Iran’s supreme leader issue a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons?' Nov. 27, 2013). This item cautioned, 'U.S. officials should be careful about saying the fatwa prohibits the development of nuclear weapons, as that is not especially clear anymore.'

"Has The Post changed its mind regarding its own advice? Or was 'Fact Checker' advice meant for U.S. officials and not the paper’s own journalists? If Ayatollah Khamenei indeed issued a fatwa against creating, stockpiling, and using nuclear weapons, The Post usefully should translate and print it as a sidebar to its next article on the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the United States and other participating countries."

Sean Durns
Media Assistant
Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America

Posted by ER at June 30, 2015 02:45 PM


The intent is to make Israel appear to be the undisputed super power that wields its power unjustly by trampling the rights of the "Palestinian" people, is the PA and Hamas willing to issue a Fatwa abandoning their intention of a one state governed by sharia? Could they issue such a fatwa or would it be a heretical self-contradiction issued under the guise of committing a deception,taqqiyah to advance the ultimate goals of the faith.
How would we know what a Fatwa means or how strongly it would bind the Ayatollah's and what we are witnessing in Libya, Somalia, Nigeria and Syria is extremists turning on the "moderates a broad range of atrocities committed by religious zealots on the not so Zealot.
In the end it comes down to two things, what one does, did Iran dispose of massive quantities of enriched weapons grade uranium, will they open their society and installations to prove their claims as fact? When are we going to stop "chipping away", like DEBKA claims Egypt is doing with its own Muslim Brotherhood, and other extremist terrorist opposition groups? When is the world going to accept the responsibility for the heinous genocide being taken by Islamic extremists and stop excusing it unjustly as "survival crime"?
The world is what it is until we accept facts to the preferred fictions of what we would like the world to be we are not moving any closer and maybe even losing ground in attempts to idealize world visions.

Posted by: jeb stuart at July 4, 2015 08:08 AM

you may find the fawa here on Khamenei's official site:

Posted by: Aaron at July 8, 2015 10:19 PM

Guidelines for posting

This is a moderated blog. We will not post comments that include racism, bigotry, threats, or factually inaccurate material.

Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)