For the OSCE, the Gate of Ijtihad Closed in 2002

Sunni Islamic Law is a compendium of rulings that enjoy the consensus of the scholars — that is, the interpretations of the Koran and the sayings of Mohammed that comprise the body of the Sharia, and that were agreed upon by all the major judicial scholars during the classical period of Islam.

The interpretation, or ijtihad, of Islam’s sacred texts by legal scholars ended about a thousand years ago. “The Gate of Ijtihad is closed”, as the saying goes — all that could be learned about Islamic law was discovered by that time, and no further interpretation is allowed. The Sharia is now set in stone. The modern Islamic jurist has only to apply the law in a thorough and rigorous fashion. Innovation, or bid’ah, is not permitted.

As you may remember, during last month’s OSCE conference in Warsaw various Counterjihad activists who read out interventions that criticized Islam were rebuked by the moderators, who said it was the “consensus of the participating States” that such intolerant speech would not be permitted.

The frequently-repeated assertion of “consensus” reminds me of the consensus of the scholars that set Islamic law in stone a thousand years ago.

In her report on OSCE Warsaw, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff noted:

The decreed truth for the OSCE since 2002 has been that its member states strenuously reject identification of terrorism and extremism with a particular religion. Ergo, there is no discussion and the problem is solved — that is why Europe is incapable of putting a stop to the terrorism coming from just one particular group.

So it seems that the Gate of Ijtihad closed for the OSCE in 2002 — a millennium after it did for Islam, but better late than never!

In the video below Christopher Hull, who was a member of the Counterjihad team at OSCE Warsaw last month, appears on Liz Wheeler’s program on OAN to discuss the sharia-compliant behavior of the staff and leadership at the OSCE:

For links to previous articles about the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, see the OSCE Archives.

3 thoughts on “For the OSCE, the Gate of Ijtihad Closed in 2002

  1. As effective moderators and potents on civil behaviour the easiest, least complicated route, is to assign individual responsibility to actions by any person, so reducing the argument to direct use of force, with which they hope to hold the superior hand.

    Now why they would miss, overlook, incitement to violence, is hard to understand, given that its expression by other western groups is closely monitored and acted on. That the original source is historic text is beyond the point. If any book, and let us put aside the religious argument for once and all, were being published and distributed in the west , that called for violence or genocide against ethnia or sectarian groupings, it would be banned.

    Now, you can only hypothesise that a certain act was caused by a text, even if the culprit openly admits so, so there is no point in directly attributing a religion, which may be reduced philosophically, rightly or wrongly, to a metaphor. The only consistently valid approach is to ban text which condones or incites violence. That would include instructions to a cause that propose violence as a means.

    Clearly the west is hypocrytical in this regard, we let our governments wage wars on our behalf, the text being followed being media exageration, hypothetical self defense, pre-emptive action based on arbitrary opinion, in the name of whatever cause may prove justifiable. Democide I think describes this.

    That is to say we are no better, but as civilian population it is our duty to make sure the misdeeds of our leaders are not allowed to manifest as accepted protocol within our own nations. In other words, we are not prepared to have their foreign wars translated and expressed at ground level to our nations, nor to accept their reasoning by allowing similarly inspired text to circulate protected within our societies, as it is a corrupting justification of their own means being fed to us by version of a tolerance that they would have apply to themselves.

    • Huh?

      May I remind you that the OSCE intervenors in question did not try to stifle anyone’s freedom of expression or advocate suppression of any speech. They did not push for the censorship of Islamic texts.

      They tried to engage in free debate and open criticism of Islamic doctrine. They tried to throw the discussion of Islamic theology into the public domain. It was the leadership and moderators of OSCE panels that tried to suppress any discussion of Islam or expression of alarm at Islam’s spread in Europe.

      To the extent that you are advocating the suppression of a point of view you consider dangerous, I disagree with you.

      The intervenors featured on Gates of Vienna are the best people I can imagine, but I still don’t know why they don’t write off what is obviously an organization captured by the people it is supposed to protect against.

  2. let alone the content of the interview: Liz Wheeler is a clear 10, but I wonder if she would have made a speakers career in the radio days.
    No harm intended.

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