Hilzoy sees one coming:
What is true, I think, is that the current events in Islam will force a reexamination of the theological underpinnings of the Islamic Republic. I am not a scholar of Islam, so take what I say with caution (and please feel free to correct my errors), but my understanding is that those underpinnings turn on Ayatollah Khomeini's novel reading of the concept of the Guardianship of Jurists (velayat-e faqih). As I understand it, Islamic jurists (in Shi'a Islam) are normally thought to have guardianship over various rather non-contentious things: things that are plainly within their purview (e.g., religious trusts), people who are plainly in need of guardians (orphans, the insane), and so forth. But within orthodox Shi'a theology, they are not supposed to have guardianship over whole countries. The idea that they should was an innovation of Ayatollah Khomeini's, and in theology, innovation is generally not seen as a good thing.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan