YSP denounces fatwa accusing Noman an Infidel [Archives:2003/677/Front Page]

October 16 2003
Sheikh Abdulmajeed al-Zindani
Sheikh Abdulmajeed al-Zindani
By Mohammed al-Qadhi
Yemen Times Staff

The Yemeni Socialist Party (YSP) condemned Monday a religious edict or fatwa naming Dr. Yassin Saeed Noman, a prominent YSP leader as an infidel and is attributed to some group at al-Eman University headed by Sheikh Abdulmajeed al-Zindani.
The YSP said in a press statement that the “fatwa had been issued under political motivation, describing Dr. Yassin Saeed Noman who recently returned home from his exile in the UAE since the 1994 civil war as an infidel.” It pointed out that discussions and religious sermons had been held to issue the fatwa. “The Politburo of the YSP denounced this fossilized way of thinking and the continuation of these tactics of calling people infidel and assassinations, violence and thought and political terrorism and discrimination that do not accept freedom of opinion of people,” the statement said. The YSP demanded the authorities to take its legal responsibility towards this tendency of naming its prominent leaders as infidel, ending up all factors that can destabilize security and peace. It also demanded that the fatwa issued during the civil war which named all socialists as unbelievers and that all acts against them were legal. It said also that the culture, mobilization and other measures taken on the basis of this fatwa should be abolished, urging all political forces in the country to work against such culture from school curricula, sermons of mosque preachers and mass media, enhancing tolerance and openness in the society.
Political sources at the opposition told Yemen Times that Abduljabar al-Marani and Abdulsalam al-Hariri, both are sons-in-law of al-Zindani, informed the committee concerned with the follow- up of the assassination of Jarallah Omar, assistant secretary general of the YSP that a fatwa calling Dr. Noman, first Parliament speaker after unification in 1990, an infidel has been issued. The two guys were afraid to be arrested as they were interrogated after the assassination of Jarallah Omar whose killer, Ali Ahmad Jarallah, was a former student of the al-Eman university. The killer of Jarallah who was sentenced to death in mid- September said during the tribunal sessions that all socialists and secular people are infidels who deserve death penalty. He based his assassination of Omar on an allegation that Omar demanded the abolishing of death penalty which is an abuse to human rights.
On his part al-Zindani, head of the Consultative Council at the Islah party, denied that he had issued such a fatwa against Noman. Al-Sahwa website reported that al-Zindani told a delegation of the opposition parties’ coalition at his university that he did not issue the fatwa and told the opposition representatives that allegations with regard to the fatwa were baseless and very untrue.
Intellectuals and writers feel afraid to pronounce their ideas and express their views freely because of the existence of such groups which still paint those who oppose their thoughts of blasphemy and infidelity.