What is it about the late Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlalah that makes some media lose all sense of reality? It was the Hezbollah founder’s death that prompted CNN’s Octavia Nasr to Tweet her regrets and respect for the extremist – an action that with a bit of a push from HonestReporting cost Nasr her job.
Aside from his role as a founder of a vicious terrorist organization, Fadalah also supported suicide bombings and terror attacks inside Israel, engaged in Holocaust denial and, according to Reuters, at the hospital when a nurse asked the ailing cleric what he needed, he replied: “For the Zionist entity to cease to exist.”
Yet, Time Magazine saw fit to honor Fadlalah with a fawning obituary in its “Fond Farewell” section of its People of the Year 2010.
Fadlalah is described as “an intellectual pioneer of militant Islam: a brilliant jurist and tireless organizer”. According to the writer:
by the time of his death (of natural causes), Fadlalah had broken with Hizballah and the toxic legacy of his early edicts. He criticized Iran’s clerical rule, supported women’s rights and insisted on dialogue with the West. When I interviewed him, he was a soft-spoken and gracious host who enjoyed debating policy and philosophy. His passing marks a step backward for reform in the combustible world of Islamist militancy.
As Con Coughlin of the Daily Telegraph notes, one of Fadlalah’s final acts was to issue a fatwa in support of suicide bombings, which puts paid to the notion of breaking with a toxic legacy. We are left to wonder just what passes for reform within Islamist militancy.
Ask Time Magazine why it feels that Ayatollah Fadlalah should be given such a “Fond Farewell” – firstname.lastname@example.org