Monday, September 12, 2005

Grand Ayatullah Sistani Grand Ayatullah Sistani

Grand Ayatullah al-Sayyid Ali al-Hussani al-Sistani is the leading Shiite cleric today in Iraq, and one of the preeminent clerics in all of Shiite Islam. Of all those involved in the democratization of Iraq, he is probably the most important Iraqi. Without his support, we would have no chance there.

On his website, he has a Q&A section that includes his views on a number of subjects. I found the questions and his answers quite interesting, esp. as to answering questions of how Shiites should live in, and adapt to, the modern world.

Of particular note to me as an intllectual property attorney were his answers on Copyright questions. He states, for example, "Copying or duplicating a book or software without their owner's permission is not permissible" in response to a question about copying Islamic books subject to copyright. Quite the modern answer.

As a note, he requires on his web site (persuant to his copyrights) that the information there can be used, if properly attributed. In deference in particular to his modern answer on copyright, I shall do that now - the information I am discussing here and in subsequent posts is derived from his web site, www.sistani.org.

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