A video has emerged on social media that shows the lawyers’ syndicate in the Iraqi Shia city of Najaf putting a formerly powerful caliph on trial for murder and sentencing him to death. This caliph is, of course, not the pretender caliph of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. No, they decided to put on trial Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik, an Umayyad caliph who has been dead for almost 1,300 years, a news report published in The Arab Weekly.
A roomful of some of the legal profession’s supposedly most educated men gathered witnesses to give testimony against the alleged murder of Zayd ibn Ali (RA), an important figure to both Shias and Sunnis, that happened well over a millennium ago.
“After much careful deliberation about a man who, in effect, ruled from Damascus and therefore fell outside Iraqi jurisdiction (let alone modern Iraq’s historical era), the judicial panel decided to sentence Caliph Hisham to death. This can only be described as peak live-action role-playing, or LARPing as it is known among its highly imaginative proponents,” the report said.
“The trial involved witnesses, including a journalist who, presumably, would have either been alive in the early half of the eighth century and witnessed the events or gone through a wormhole and turned up in the 21st century to help throw the book at the caliph. The trial was so ridiculous that the Iraqi judiciary had to issue a statement distancing itself from it and arguing that the ‘court’ was acting only symbolically and not trying to offer judicial opinions on events from the very distant past,” the report added.