An Iranian Jurisprudential Campaign: To Silence Grand Ayatollah al-Haydari
Rasheed Al-Khayoun

Statements were recently issued by Iranian jurists of the Qom Seminary repudiating Grand Ayatollah Kamal al-Haydari. Born and raised in Iraq to a “fervent and pious” Arab family, al-Haydari studied in Karbala, Najaf, and then in Qom, according to his official website. He rose to prominence through his lectures, which were broadcast on the Iranian public television channel Al-Kawthar TV. The channel stopped broadcasting his lectures, however, due to concerns over dubious research and messaging that was inconsistent with widely held public and private legal knowledge, including legal precedents that serve as a foundation for many major issues of law. Reinterpreting well-established and widely accepted legal precedents was, according to the channel, tantamount to invalidating these sources, and was, overall, destabilizing. After the cancellation of his lectures on Al-Kawthar TV, al-Haydari’s students began publishing them on YouTube, where they became even more popular than before.


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