Casavaria : Muslim Cleric Issues 600-page Fatwa Outlawing All Bloodshed

19 March 2010 :: staff

A prominent muslim scholar and cleric has issued a 600-page fatwa, or religious edict, drawing from authoritative historical sources and scripture, to rule that true Islam bars any form of bloodshed. Dr. Tahir ul-Qadri, a muslim theologian from Pakistan, who lives and teaches in Britain, said an honest examination of the teachings and doctrines of Islam demonstrates an absolute prohibition on the shedding of blood for political or religious purposes.

In his speech, announcing the fatwa against bloodshed, ul-Qadri said “Whatever these terrorists are doing, it’s not martyrdom”. He sought to illustrate the difference between the kind of holy struggle sanctioned by Islamic teaching and the unjust use of violence for personal or political gain. The scholar said his fatwa has the weight of a jurisdictional finding, and should be taken as direct advice as to the real spiritual meaning of Islam’s treatment of violence.

According to CNN, where he appeared in an interview with Christiane Amanpour:

Ul-Qadri was speaking to CNN just over a week after he issued a 600-page fatwa in London denouncing terrorists as “the biggest enemies of Islam.”

In his fatwa, ul-Qadri also said suicide bombers are destined for hell and strongly criticized Islamic extremists who cite Islam to justify violence.

“Terrorism and violence cannot be considered to be permissible in Islam on the basis of any excuse,” he said.

Ul-Qadri explained that no matter of foreign policy, no act of aggression by a foreign state, no “good intention” could justify terrorism. His fatwa is the most thorough, researched and high-profile such ruling to rule out the possibility of radical terrorists having any legitimate claim to Islam justifying their activities.

He told Amanpour that while the most radical of the violent extremists will likely not accept his finding, he believes that a thorough reading of the document would convince even those on the verge of being “brainwashed” by those violent extremists. He said the most violent and incorrigible of the religiously motivated terrorists are a tiny minority of the global muslim population, even among and widely profiled angry young muslim men.

His aim is to set forth in clear, authoritative, historically founded and spiritually resonant language, once and for all the doctrine that Islam does not and cannot condone violence of any kind.

According to the CBC:

Qadri condemned suicide bombers as destined for hell, a counter to the extremist promise of eternal paradise after death. Qadri said the fatwa outlaws suicide bombings “without any excuses, any pretexts, or exceptions.”

He said he was compelled to issue the fatwa because of concerns about the radicalization of British Muslims at university campuses, most of whom are of Pakistani descent.

The fatwa could be a watershed moment in the struggle for the soul of Islam, across so many denominations where radical fringe elements are trying to radicalize the moderate core population. Ul-Qadri’s finding has been called an “absolute” condemnation of terrorism and bloodshed, allowing for no “excuses or pretexts”.

In 2008, Reuters reported that “An ultra conservative Muslim seminary in India, which is said to have inspired the Taliban, issued a fatwa, or edict, against terrorism during a meeting attended by thousands of clerics and students.” But ul-Qadri’s fatwa is the most sweeping and absolute condemnation of violence within Islam, and comes at a time when there is a proliferation of grassroots protest within Islam against the hijacking of the faith by terrorists and extremists.

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