Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri:
I just want what’s best for Islam
and for my wallet
[TEHRAN BUREAU] In a very important development, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, the most senior cleric living in Iran, and one of the top two* marja’ taghlid (source of emulation) in Shiite Islam, issued a series of Fatwas, calling the Supreme Leader illegitimate and saying that he was working with the government against religion. Montazeri has called on people to take action against this injustice, even if they have to pay a heavy price for it.
Ayatollah Motazeri, who has long been one of the most outspoken critics of Iran’s hard-liners, issued the Fatwas in response to a letter that Dr. Mohsen Kadivar, a progressive cleric and a former student of his, wrote asking for answers to several pointed questions. (Dr. Kadivar was jailed a few years ago for his outspoken criticism of the hard-liners and now lives in the United States.)
The letter congratulates the Grand Ayatollah on the occasion of last week’s anniversary of the birth of Imam Ali, the Shiites’ first Imam, and a cousin and a son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammad. The letter says that the anniversary has fallen at a time when peaceful protests against rigged elections have been met by injustice by the government, which has resulted in tens of deaths, hundreds of injured, and thousands of arrests — all carried out in the name of Islam and Shiism by those who use Imam Ali’s name but take the path of his enemies instead.