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Differences in Yemen Gives Political Sides Chance to mix its Cards
  Written By: Hasan Al-Zaidi ( YEMEN POST STAFF)
  Article Date:
August 04, 2008



There has been feverish competition to benefit from the different problems the country has been facing. This competition involves governmental parties, tribes, and Salafi doctrine followers.

Al-Shar’e weekly newspaper entitled its news story about the holding the meeting of Virtue Authority in mid July under the coalition of traditional forces ‘Tribal and Salafi Islamists, hinting that it is part of the institutional coalition that implies security and political agenda.

Political powers represented in Joint Meeting Parties resorted to silence of such coalitions; however, Islah Party adopted the idea while other parties refused the idea and accused the authorities of providing the funds.

At the meantime, there is no clear vision as for the bilateral problem of religion and politics or that of state and religion, and every party has its own idea; however, all parties, with their clashing ideologies called for having a joint theatrical stance of the authority.

When viewing the proposals set forth by some political forces, a modern vision adopted by Yemen Sons League Party (YSL) was liked by some observers. The party is led by renowned politician Abdul Rahman Al-Jifri.

The vision was announced at the start of the current year in an effort to resolve the problem between religion and state, especially when the wrong employing of the matter resulted in Sa’ada War between Houthi followers and state.

It has been clear that sectarian differences and religious scholars will be involved in the political struggles. Such a vision was adopted by politicians like Mohammed Abdul Malik Al-Mutawekel, with Zaidi background, who described employing the relation between religion and state to be new, especially when it tries to get in-between those who want religious ruling, and those who ask for separating religion from state.

In return, YSL’s vision lies in its view for the modern civilized state like those adopted by western civilizations in their incessant experiences that make them come to the existing state of civilization.

Though there had been some eras of intellectual and political deterioration where calls for enmity and boycotting existed, the form of the civilized and modern state is the best for making a balance between authority components and society elements.

The party sees that the three pillars of the civilized modern state (equality, development and democracy), which are jointly linked with state, come in line with the moderate Islamic tendencies.

It also stresses that the problem is not that of legislations and holy teachings, but rather with our understating for the nature of the current phase as well as the circumstances and mechanisms that lead to a shortcoming in the name of the religion.

The problem lies in having the authority of fatwa, legislation, decision taking, and implementation in the hands of religion scholars, and not that of legislation.

The party stresses the importance of separating state authorities and religious scholars because scholars enjoy high social rank and their political involvement puts their religious status in the place of competition.

However, it is the religious scholar’s right to vote and express his own opinion and to choose his representatives in different state authorities along with accepting posts that come under their scientific specializations.

Further, YSL stresses the necessity for accepting the other within the frame of religious toleration, recognizing others and freedom of religion as well as protection of minorities and foreigners.

The party’s view as for the participation in decisions and creating balance lies in putting into practice the concepts of the Islamic Shoura system, which has its own mechanisms as per the eras and places.

However, the party’s vision, as viewed from an Islamic perspective, is based on the following rules:

1. Equality in wealth distribution among society members.

2. Democracy through participation in decision making with effective, balanced, and tangible means.

3. Development: making real development that raises the level of citizens living, and increases their income and creates more job opportunities.