Transcripts cnn : MOHAMMED TAHIR UL-QADRI, ISLAMIC CLERIC: Terrorism is terrorism. Violence is violence. It has no place in Islamic teaching
ZAKARIA: Now for our "What in the World" segment. What caught my attention this week was a fatwa issued by this man, Mohammed Tahir ul-Qadri. It wasn't a fatwa against infidels, against America, against cheeseburgers or against Salman Rushdie's latest book. No, this fatwa was against terrorism.
Now, ever since 9/11 I've asked the question, where are the mullahs, the sheikhs with their condemnation of terrorism and jihad. There have been some increasingly. But never quite like this one. First off, this one weighs in at a hefty 600 pages. While past ones may have hemmed and hawed about where the Koran condoned terror or particular kinds of violence, this one is definitive. It says there is no theological justification for terror in Islam and, indeed, such attacks are condemned. Ul-Qadri says terrorists will be ex- communicated from the religion. And maybe, most powerfully, he says committing a terrorist attack will land the perpetrator in hell. So much for the promise of 72 virgins waiting around in heaven.
Now, while Qadri and his organization say they have hundreds of thousands of followers around the world, most of those are Pakistani, as ul-Qadri is.
So does this mean the fatwa won't have wide reach? It's difficult to tell. He's part of a larger war that is being waged than one in Islamic circles. Pakistan is now a very important place where jihad and jihadis are operating. I call this larger movement a jihad against jihad.
To understand, we have to go back to the days right after 9/11, when the Western world was deeply worried, with justification, that this was just the beginning of a never-ending, intractable and incredibly bloody war with many of the 1.5 billion Muslims on the planet. But that never happened. Instead 9/11 has turned out to be a wake-up call to the Muslim world. It has produced some reflection on the state of the Arab world and Islam. It has also produced a series of attacks by al Qaeda and affiliated groups against Muslims themselves in places like Iraq, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Islam. And these attacks force the leaders in those countries and many others to fight jihadis and to stand up for their brand of moderate Islam.
That has all added up to a backlash against terror in much of the Muslim world. And the polls bare this out and elections bare this out. It is not enough. There are still many deep problems within the world of Islam. And more needs to happen. But let's recognize that we have seen some good news here as well.