The Razing and Preservation of Historical Sites

The current Custodians of the Sacred Sanctuaries consider it necessary to expand the Mosque of the Sacred Sanctuary in order to accommodate the projected quantities of future Pilgrims. They have decided to raze several historical mosques and sites in order to carry out this expansion.

There has been a lot of heated discussion concerning the issue. So far I have not seen solid, shari‘ah-grounded justifications from either side which is binding upon their disputant.

I personally am against razing the buildings for various reasons and would rather see them left alone or somehow preserved within the expansion. Unfortunately, none of these reasons is so compelling that it would require an opponent to change his mind. Some of these reasons include:

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What’s missing from discussions concerning the UAE fining a maid for attempting suicide

Today’s UAE news includes reports of a maid who was kicked out of her job on September 10 which still being owed three months of back pay. After being kicked out on to the streets, she had no place to go, and she couldn’t remember the location of villa where she had been working nor the identity of the employment agency that handled her contract. The difficult state she was in prompted her to attempt suicide by standing in the middle of traffic. A policeman intervened, talking her out form the middle of the street. Today a court has fined fined her the equivalent of USD$272 for attempted suicide.1

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A Discussion: Regulating Public Fatawa

Several weeks ago I wrote articles in response to Imam Hashim Islam’s anti-protest fatwa (“What is a fatwa? Who can issue one?”) and the fatwa sanctioning the destruction of structures associated with graves in Libya (“Libyan graves”). Since then, clips from the “Innocence of Muslims” film have gone viral, prompting a flurry of “death fatwa” aimed various people involved in the film. A Google search for fatwa "innocence of muslims" returns 317000 results. Restricting the search to news sources alone returns 2190 results.

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