Bonserva Blogs : Moderate Muslim Denounces Terrorism

March 5th, 2010

The so-called war on terrorism will ultimately be won when people stop viewing terrorism as a legitimate tactic in political battles. It would be helpful if the U.S. was not perceived (often understandably if not fairly) as targeting Muslims through its support for repressive regimes and promiscuous war-making. Nevertheless, no grievance can justify attacks on civilians and noncombatants.

Now one Muslim leader in Great Britain has issued a comprehensive fatwa on the issue.

The leader of a global Muslim movement Tuesday issued a rare religious edict condemning terrorism and denouncing suicide bombers as “heroes of hellfire” in an effort to help prevent the radicalization of young British Muslims.

The State Department welcomed the 600-page document known as a fatwa, which was released in London with the British government’s support, as a “very important step” in “taking back Islam” from al Qaeda and other extremist groups.

Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, a former Pakistani lawmaker and a leading scholar of Islam, has issued similar, shorter decrees in the past. But the new fatwa makes the most detailed and comprehensive case against Islamic extremism by a Muslim, diplomats and analysts said.

“Terrorism is terrorism, violence is violence, and it has no place in Islamic teaching, and no justification can be provided for it, or any kind of excuses or ifs or buts,” Mr. Tahir-ul-Qadri said at a news conference in London. “Good intentions cannot convert a wrong into good; they cannot convert an evil into good.”

It was not clear how much influence the fatwa will have in the broad Muslim world or even outside the South Asian community whose members are Mr. Tahir-ul-Qadri’s most dedicated followers.

Much more needs to be done, of course. But a willingness of moderate Muslims to step out and denounced terrorism is a critical step in reducing terrorism.

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