The nights leading up to the fateful day of Ashura are quickly passing, the mourners have gathered in increasing numbers, and the words “Ya Husayn” are echoed far and wide. Millions answer the call of Imam Husayn (as), chanting “Labayk!” every year in the commemorations of Muharram under the guidance of our Islamic leadership.
Fast forward to today: a highly educated scholar of immense dignity and respect has been forced to step down after pressure from the enemies of Islam, following an unearthing of decontextualized statements on Islamic jurisprudence.
Before we continue, let us clarify our position:
At the Islamic Insights team, we wholly stand with Shaykh Hamza Sodagar, Dr. Farrokh Sekaleshfar and any scholar that preaches the tenants and legalities of our faith truthfully.
Shaykh Hamza Sodagar, a scholar that has travelled worldwide to propagate Islamic teachings to thousands of audiences, accepted an invite to speak in London leading up to the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (as). However, due to a concerted and coordinated attack against Shaykh, he has unwillingly been forced to step down from the pulpit. The AhlulBayt Islamic Mission (AIM) did release a statement of support prior to his removal, however, it appears that the enemies of Islam have thwarted their efforts.
We cannot ignore the media’s role in his removal and demand a thorough investigation of Shaykh’s alleged comments to clear his name. Selective coverage of Shaykh’s remarks towards Islamic law and jurisprudence in homosexuality has fueled sensationalism and division. In line with the media’s agenda, news outlets have resorted to targeting our scholars without any moral or ethical restrictions, let alone academic or journalistic integrity.
We cannot remain silent in this case; we will not stand for slander against our scholars and we will dismantle any attempts to publicly humiliate them. We refuse to be intimidated by the enemies’ tactics.
At Islamic Insights, a team dedicated to spreading the true Mohammadin message of Islam, we are disenchanted with the media’s double standards. In attempting to falsely expose Shaykh Hamza as a preacher of hate, they have in fact, exposed themselves as having ulterior motives of backing an Islamophobic narrative and agenda. We witness countless bigots and racists given platforms to speak openly in the name of free speech and democracy while our scholars are demonized for sharing our beliefs.
Today, we demand Shaykh Hamza Sodagar’s immediate right to return to the pulpit of Imam Husayn (as) in time to commemorate the tenth of Muharram.
Imam Hasan al-Askari, the eleventh Imam, (as) said: “The scholars of our followers (Shi’ah) are the guards of the bounds of Islam. Then, anyone of our followers who undertakes this (duty) is superior to the one who fights in the battle against the Romans, (because this one defends the theological bounds of our followers).” (Al-Ihtijaj, vol. 2, p. 155)
Our scholars are the pride and pillar of our community; they dedicate their entire lives to the pursuit of knowledge in order to serve us. They serve sincerely and and illuminate our communities with their presence.
The day of Ashura has come to meet us—we want to ask you, will you stand with those spreading the message of truth? Will you stand with the Husayni soldiers of your time?
Will you stand with Shaykh Hamza Sodagar?
Continue to watch this space for updates about the campaign.
Many thanks to the Muslim youth around the world who contributed towards this statement