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The Ulema Council of Afghanistan is seeking more authority in the establishment of a new Dar al-Ifta – a scholarly institute with the authority to issue binding decrees concerning Islamic law or "fatwas".
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The council discussed their demand with President Hamid Karzai on Friday during a meeting requested by the president at his palace in Kabul.
The holy day of Ashura was not only a day of religious observance for Muslims; Afghan politicians used it as a platform to deliver a political message inspired by the actions of Imam Hussain.
The political leaders noted the philosophy of Imam Hussian – the historical figure whose death is commemorated by Ashura – as one which fought against corruption in the government, and called on those present to do the same.