In Iran, it is controversial when your president says that “the police are not tasked to enforce Islam but their duty is to enforce the law,” according to the responses of the country’s top Islamic clerics.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani faced harsh criticism from three senior clerics for asking police officers to enforce the law, Rudaw reports.
Ayatollah Makarim Shirazi, said that Rouhani was violating Islamic law by making his aforementioned statement.
“This kind of speech means that our laws are anything but ‘Islamic,’” said Shirazi. “But in reality everything is taken from Islam and our police forces are obliged to enforce these Islamic laws.”
“Our leaders should be more careful and not say things that would upset our faithful people,” said Ayatollah Safi Golpayegani, a cleric who has previously served on Iran’s Council of Guardians, whose members are arguably more powerful than Rouhani.
Iran’s rules regarding law and conduct are based on the Sharia, an Islamic system of law and governance.
Shirazi has previously issued a fatwa (Islamic legal edict) banning women from attending soccer matches. He has asserted that death by stoning and other appropriate “methods of punishment” should be considered for those who have committed adultery. In 2010, the powerful Grand Ayatollah said that the Holocaust was a made-up event that is “nothing but superstition.”
A third cleric, Ayatollah Nuri Hamadani, said that Rouhani’s comments were against Islam, which he said calls for Muslims “to promote virtue and prevent vice.”