Q: What religion has leaders who use all available media to call for a religious government, and urge those they find most unworthy to be killed?
A: The Christian Religious Right. On the 700 Club on Thursday, August 19, Ayatollah Pat Robertson called for a fatwa on Ayatollah Muktada al-Sadr. His entire quote follows:
Al-Sadr is a rebel whose breaking the law. He’s a murderer, there’s a warrant out for his arrest. He should be killed, it’s just that simple. They should execute him and they should take care of those people. He’s holding up the most powerful army on Earth and he’s thumbing his nose at the authority of the new government, and it’s time the forces took action against him and stop the play. I hope this news says they’re going after him.The news yesterday said, well. he’d agreed to some kind of a deal, but he’s a liar, he’s not going to do a deal and it’s time we move in and do it swiftly and get this sore out of the way.
You can hear it yourself at The 700 Club website. [UPDATE: this broadcast has rolled off the page, as of Sept. 11, 2004l]
A few thoughts on Robertson’s fatwa:
- Making al-Sadr into a martyr would be unbelievably stupid. It would almost certainly condemn Iraq (and the U.S.) to years of war.
- Ayad Allawi, the Prime Minister of Iraq, doesn’t want al-Sadr to be killed. He actually wants him to run for office so al-Sadr can see that the majority of non-extremist Iraqis reject him.
- With this pronouncement, Robertson seems to have lost all contact with the teachings of Jesus Christ.
- Robertson can be quite comfy with killers when he can profit from them. Consider his business relationship with Charles Taylor in creating Freedom Gold through the tax shelter of the Cayman Islands. Taylor escaped from a Massachusetts prison, fled to Libya, instigated an insurrection in Sierra Leone, killed the president of Liberia, and initiated a war taking over 200,000 lives, and has been linked by the FBI to funding al-Qaeda:
Let’s pray for light—for ourselves, for Iraq, and for Pat Robertson.