• Marccooper5_1

Back To Home Page

« Get Out Of Iraq By Following Through? | Main | Leaderless »

Sunday, April 11, 2004



Actually, compared much in the Old Testament, Sistani is not the least bit whacked.
Take, for example, the non-scaly sturgeon and caviar issue that captured your attention, Marc: Leviticus 11:10, is in a state of near apoplexy regarding all sea food sans fins and scales, which it clearly labels an abomination---period, end of story. (This is, of course, quite a bummer for those of us fond of Cioppino.) I was also saddened to note that Leviticus 19:19 frowns on wearing garments of mingled thread (meaning all those cute little cotton/rayon/spandex summer t-shirts are completely out), whereas if Sistani says anything on fabric content, I completely missed it. Yet, on the wet nurse question, he seems fairly sensible. I mean, hey, if your wife is charging you bigger bucks for breastfeeding the kid than the wet nurse charges, your beloved S.O. may be trying to tell you something that you’ve heretofore been too dense to hear in terms of her need for you to take a larger co-parenting role. Either that or we’re talking a BIG, red flag in terms of mother-child bonding. Whichever, the dude’s got it right.

BLOG on, Ayatollah.

Marc Coooer

Rosedoggie: talking of big red flags... might I suggest you pay another visit to our Brother Sistani's website and pay special attention to his wisdom on the issue of "kinds of blood seen by women." Quoting Sistani: "If a woman with a fixed habit of time sees blood for more than ten days, and is unable to determine the nature of blood as explained in rule no. 495, then she will be free to decide upon any number of days which she feels could be her days of Hayz. It is recommended that she fixes seven days, and in so doing she must keep in mind her habit of commencement, as mentioned in the foregoing rules."

Don't u get the feeling that if Iraq goes secular and he finds himself out of the Ayatollah racket, Sistani would make a great insurance claims litigator? Or an HMO administrator?

Jason M

Wow! They should have called on Sistani to replace Dear Abbey! I can see it now..,
"Dear Ali.."

Nell Lancaster

Should we look next for your hilarious take on
the Catholic Ask Father Question Box?* Or the Orthodox Union's Ask the Vebbe Rebbe?**



wonder what sistani thinks about today's wall street journal article on the rebellion winning support across Iraq today.

Ricky Vandal

I'm of the opinion this Al Sistani is an assett for the US in Iraq. I'm worried though. Just look at the site and the whole oraganisation. Shia Islam is like the Catholic Church. It has a clergical hierarchy. I wrote a post on this on my blog. I think there is a struggle going on between Al Sistani and the supreme leader of Iran ayatollah Khamenei over who is the Shia "pope". Enter Al Sadr. He is financed by Iran to destroy Al Sistani. I think this is the reason why Sistani is with us.


I think you guys are viewing him through an unfair
Western viewpoint.

Odd diet questions and sex questions aren't much different from what a Rabbi might have to put up with or even a Catholic Priest....

He seems to be concerning himself with non-political stuff and matters of his faith, which is the best place for a religous body to be.


I wonder what Bush's thoughts or Ashcroft's thoughts are on masturbation? homos? anal sex?
their ministers' thoughts on the matter?
*now*, *that* would be significant, far more significant than Sistani, since the former two are from a very very economically and technologically advanced nation...

Marc Cooper

Aha! a veiled suggestion that OUR fundamentalists are the same as THEIRS. These are two fundamentally different societies (no pun intended) and our religious extremists are different, thank God.

Sean O'Hara

In other news, Ayatollah Sistani has been signed to write sequels to Frank Herbert's Dune series. "After reading his website, we realized he has exactly the same style as Herbert," the publisher said.


uhm, no marc, the point that you missed is far more than what you picked up. our fundies who surround our president and his buddies are actually way more backward than sistani. sistani's fundie views are at least more understandable in the context of a society in a state of economic seige. on the other hand, in a society that is technologically hyper-advanced and economically numero uno...it's really remarkable that such types can have as great an impact on political leadership that they have...

now, that's a sign of backwardness if there ever were one!


I've read a lot of his site and find him to be a very interesting, open person. The laws that he are interpreting are similar to Christian and Jewish laws that make a similar lack of sense in the modern world. His writings are definately opener than the pope's!

Consider: the rule he states about oral sex not including passing fluids is similar to a lot of "rules" regarding non-transmission of AIDs. And while his rule is derived from a holy book, why do you think it was there in the first place.

Consider: read a fwe of the rules about temporary marriages... I could use a temporary marriage or two.

Consider: just because something uses a work you don't know (e.g. "haram" doesn't make it funny).


When I was living in Riyadh, there was a column in the local paper, the Arab News, that had an imam answering questions like this. The longest running commentary with pro and con positions by various imams concerned whether Mohhammed (PBUH) would have used a flush toilet. There was no question at all that he would Not have used toilet paper, but the flush toilet question was never quite answered with finality.

no wonder Marc is down on Sistani:

NAJAF, Iraq - The sons of Iraq's top Shiite cleric and two other grand ayatollahs met Monday with radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, telling him they oppose any U.S. assault to capture him, a man who attended the meeting told The Associated Press.

Okay, just to be clear. I’m not making fun of Sistani who, all kidding aside, is an essential voice of reason in a situation that spins increasingly out of control. In fact, one more element added to the growing pile of disastrous miscalculations wrought of the Bushie/neo-con’s we-get-it-and-you-don’t arrogance, is their unwillingness to accord Sistani more respect and a larger role in this whole nation building catastrophe into which their rush to war has thrust us. In their fear of Sistani as a Muslim cleric (Oooohhh, scary! Never mind that he has long been open in his criticism of the Iranian model of a religious state), and their early misapprehension of the significance of his position in the hearts and minds of many Iraqis, Bush and company displayed their usual allergy to facts.

Oh, wait a minute, I forgot. There are those OTHER pesky facts---like the fact that Sistani still views the UN as relevant, thinks the Iraqi’s ought to have direct elections, and does not cotton to the so-called provisional constitution, a wonderfully divisive little document ensuring no strong central government that the CPA and the IGC have cooked up without popular support. What was I thinking? Let’s DO make fun of the guy after all.

(Hey, if I’m making fun of anybody, it’s the far right Christian wingnuts who attempt to use absurd Biblical references to highjack both Christianity and “decency” to serve their own odiously narrow purposes.)

PS: Word is that an important statement is to be issued tomorrow by Sistani on behalf of the Hawza alilmiyyah (the other three leading Shi’ite clerics in Najaf) that warns coalition forces about attacking Najaf or arresting Al-Sadr.


Meant to sign the above. Sorry about that.

Marc Cooper

well.. hell. ** I ** was surely making fun of the Ayatollah. Im an equal oppty basher of all things religious-- and Popes and self-proclaimed fundamentalist Ayatollas are favored targets. On a poltical plane, I am also serious. This is our key ally and it ought to give us pause. He may indeed be a more reasonable and savvy element that a guy like al-Sadr but he hardly seems a central building block of a truly democratic society.

Dr. Jon

The ayatolla has a better "position" on anal sex than the Pope or the Chief Rabbi of Israel.


Yeah, but here's the good news, despite his views on caviar, et al, he doesn't seem to think said views should be calling the shots when it comes to rules of government.....unlike, say, oh, the current POTUS and his Old Testament avenger AG….?

I've just gone to my (snail) mail box and notice that Fareed Zakaria wrote in this week's Newsweek, "Grand Ayatollah Sistani....was also a longstanding critic of the Iranian model and argued that clerics should not participate in politics."

Could do worse.

On the other hand, equal opportunity fun-making is assuredly a must---a survival technique, in fact. I'm always a devout fan of your skill at that particular activity.

And I like the idea of Sistani as an HMO administrator, if the Ayatollah thing doesn't work out.

Pious Agnostic

So, if Sistani has "argued that clerics should not participate in politics" does that mean that he isn't interested in participating in politics?

If he isn't interested in participating in politics, then isn't the CPA simply taking him at his word if they don't make him central to their plans?

Bill Bradley

I'm comfortable with our ayatollah's position on anal rape. The oral intercourse thing, though. Since he is advising the brother on sexual relations with his SO, the position seems too safe sex-oriented to me. Now if he talking about a hook-up situation, that's another thing. But I'm gathering he is not advocating a libertine lifestyle ...


Compared to Khomeini, he's an 'ally', but as an Islamic fundamentalist who is anti-Israel (just google him!), he really is not. The better of two evils, yes, but we have better allies like in Britain and in Israel.

Why not just call him a sand nigger, like so many of your friends do of Arabs and Muslims generally, and get it over with, Marc?


Guys, As an Iraqi, I sould tell that it is hard to find such a moderate and tolerant cleric through out the Islamic world of crazy terrorist clerics. Compare him to supereme cleric of Iran, or Al-Sadar, or Osma bin Laden. This man is peaceful and got interesting views. We should thank him for that!

Ubeyd el Turki

Ma'azallah !!!

Neither anal nor oral sex is not permitted in İslam of ahle sunnah vel jamaah...

Shia is ahle bidah. ( innovators ) Most of them out of the fold of İslam...

That's why they easily make agreements with USA.
Even Iran's problems with Usa is just fake.
As their semetical beliefs.

The comments to this entry are closed.