[ExI] whose fatwa? what ruler?

Stefano Vaj stefano.vaj at gmail.com
Sun Mar 15 15:11:38 UTC 2009

On Sun, Mar 15, 2009 at 3:29 PM, Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com> wrote:
> Ben now cites another fatwa from a newspaper article that seems to confuse
> the relative power and station of these two men, which is bad enough--but
> also (it seems to me, no scholar of Islam) to misunderstand the nature of
> fatwas. These are *opinions*, not ex cathedra pronouncements from some seat
> of absolute authority.

In fact, they are "legal opinions", deriving - exactly as it used to
happen the common law tradition -  *some* normative power only from
the cogency of their arguments and the relative authority of their

So, one may consider them as the political-theological equivalent of
the comfort letter one obtains from a prestigious law firm before
embarking in the infringement of somebody's patent. :-)

Stefano Vaj

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