March 2, 2010

A prominent Muslim organisation in Britain has issued a fatwa on suicide bombings and terrorism — declaring them “un-Islamic”.

Minhaj-ul-Quran, a organisation based on Sufi principles which advises the Government on how to combat radicalisation in Muslim youth, launched its 600-page religious verdict in Central London this morning, condemning the perpetrators of terrorist explosions and suicide bombings.

The fatwa condemns suicide bombers saying that they are destined for Hell, countering extremist propaganda that Islamist terrorists will enter paradise after death.

The document is written by Muslim scholar Dr Muhammed Tahir ul-Qadri, a former government adviser in Pakistan and friend of the former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, and the founder of the increasingly influential Minhaj-ul-Quran movement.

In it, suicide bombings and terrorism are prohibited as “totally un-Islamic”.

The fatwa, first launched in Pakistan in December, uses texts from the Koran and other Islamic writings to argue that attacks against innocent citizens are “absolutely against the teachings of Islam and that Islam does not permit such acts on any excuse, reason or pretext”.

Although the fatwa might carry little weight among some in Britain’s majority Sunni Muslim community, it will have an overall impact because of Minhaj-ul-Quran’s growing influence as a community representative body with hundreds of thousands of followers in South Asia as well as the UK.

It is a strong counter to Islamic schools of thought that condemn unbelievers and call for their subjugation, and will contribute to a climate where all Muslims can speak out freely against atrocities committed in the name of their religion.

Dr Tahir ul-Qadri, who is based in Canada and has written more than 400 books on Islamic law, is recognised in Pakistan as an authority on Islamic jurisprudence.

A spokesman for the counter-extremist think tank Quilliam said:

“This fatwa has the potential to be a highly significant step towards eradicating Islamist terrorism.Fatwas by Wahhabi-influenced clerics and Islamist ideologues initiated modern terrorism against civilians. Terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda continue to justify their mass killings with self-serving readings of religious scripture. Fatwas that demolish and expose such theological innovations will consign Islamist terrorism to the dustbin of history.”

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