Right to be : Fatwa Declared Against Terrorism and Violence
March 2, 2010
A Fatwa is a ruling or pronouncement by an Islamic scholar. Unfortunately many people in the west have come to associate the term with a death sentence after the Salman Rushdie story of some years ago. In fact, this particular use of a Fatwa is extremely rare and the default association of the two is actually quite offensive to Muslims.
Putting the Fatwa in a completely different light, and hopefully dispelling the common western misconception, Dr Tahir ul-Qadri, a prominent Islamic scholar has issued a comprehensive six hundred page ruling that says that Islam forbids the massacre of innocent people under any circumstances.
Dr Qadri has specifically set out to counter all of the documents and arguments that purport to justify violence and terrorism in the name of Islam. In its depth and coverage the new ruling closes loop holes and rules out exceptions that have been used in the past to justify violence.
The particular Islamic organisation that Dr Qadri leads is called Minhaj ul-Qur’an International or the way of the Qur’an. From their web site – “The Qur`anic way is the path of peace, progress, prosperity and welfare. In fact, it is the secret of success both in this world and in the Hereafter.”
“While most Muslim scholars denounce terrorism, Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri goes that crucial step forward and announces categorically that suicide bombings and attacks against civilian targets are not only condemned by Islam, but render the perpetrators totally out of the fold of Islam, to become unbelievers in the divine, pristine message of Islam. This empowering, unprecedented fatwa strengthens troops and civil society bodies that are engaged in counter terrorism operations, and expels terrorists from within Islam.” – from the Minhaj-ul-Quran web site.
Law and Order
Around most of the world societies have formed and creates rules and laws that allow them to function effectively and to more or lesser degrees, fairly. Based on underlying values of respect for each other’s rights and freedom most people follow their respective laws so that they can live in a society of safety and security for their families and friends.
In most respects the social progress and globalisation have created societies that trade and cooperate with other for their mutual safety and welfare. The world is by no means perfect but the number of wars around the globe, and the deaths from them, have been in decline for some years now. There are still tensions around the world, as we were reminded recently by the diplomatic war of words between the USA and China over but the Dalai Lama’s meeting with Obama, but hopefully the days of major world conflict are behind us.
We may yet again fall into conflicts as the world’s resources become ever more scarce over the next few decades but we can hope, and strive for, more diplomatic progress and integration within and between cultures that will allow us to overcome these issues productively.
Why is This Significant
Unfortunately, despite the progress made in the world since the last global conflict, there are, of course, still elements of all of our societies that do not prescribe to law and order. Made up of individuals who values are still based on power and fear these elements seek to take control for themselves, often by attempting to destabilise order in their own countries and beyond.
In extreme cases individuals and organisations resort to violence and even terrorism.
But, these extreme cases are not supported by the vast majority of their own people and societies around the world.
I welcome Dr Qadri’s Fatwa that makes it clear that Islam is a peace loving religion. His ruling undermines the efforts of terrorists and extremists around the world to recruit new members.
I hope that the British and other peoples around the world see this Fatwa as a declaration of non violence for all and a step towards even greater global peace. If we can put out our hands in friendship and mutual respect for our fellow global citizens then together we can stop terrorism and its associated atrocities wherever we find them in the world.