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Death ruling for the insulters of Holy Prophet (pbuh) in Senat newspaper

News – In response to a letter sent by a number of followers from the Republic of Azerbaijan, Grand Ayatollah Fazel Lankarani called for the death of the individuals who insulted the Holy Prophet of Islam in Senat newspaper.  Text of the letter and the fatwa issued by Grand Ayatollah Fazel Lankarani is as under:

In the name of Allah, the Most Exalted

Esteemed religious authority, Grand Ayatollah Sheikh Muhammad Fazel Lankarani (may his soul rest in peace)

Recently one of the Azeri newspapers named Senat has published an article from Rafiq Tagi, an apostate journalist causing fury and wrath among Muslims of the region. (A translation of his article is enclosed.)  The writer of the article is trying to conclude with his analysis that Europe and its religion, Christianity are superior in all aspects to the Middle East and its religion, Islam. He describes Islam as inferior to Christianity in all aspects. In a section of his article he has insulted the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and ridiculed all sanctities of Islam. And at the end of the article, the writer has declared that he has written the article intentionally, knowingly and with full knowledge of its consequence. He has vowed to write more.
Moreover, this same newspaper has many a number of times attacked, disrespected and desecrated Islamic sanctities and it has even published pages from “Satanic Verses” by Salman Rushdie.
What is the duty of Muslims with regard to this unbearable issue?
Your Followers from

In the name of Allah, the Most Exalted

Such a person is an apostate in view of his confessions, if he is a Muslim.  If he had been an unbeliever (Kafir), he is considered as someone who has insulted the Prophet and in any case, given his confessions, it is necessary for every individual who has an access to him to kill him. The person in charge of the said newspaper, who published such thoughts and beliefs consciously and knowingly, should be dealt with in the same manner.  We pray to Almighty Allah to grant Muslims and Islam protection from the evils of their enemies.

يُرِيدُونَ لِيُطْفِؤُوا نُورَ اللَّهِ بِأَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَاللَّهُ مُتِمُّ نُورِهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْكَافِرُونَ

They want to put out the light of God with their mouths, but God will certainly make His light shine forever - even though the disbelievers may dislike this (61:8).

Muhammad Fazel Lankarani