Express UK - Cleric issues Fatwa on Suicide Bombers

Wednesday March 3,2010

By Martyn Brown

SUICIDE bombers are going to hell and have no place in Islam, a highly respected Muslim leader said yesterday.

Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, who issued a fatwa, or religious ruling, on the fanatics, called on Islamic leaders to convey the message that acts of terrorism cut people off from their religion.

He told MPs, representatives from the police, charities, think-tanks and other groups: “They can’t claim that their suicide bombings are martyrdom operations and that they become the heroes of the Umma, the wider Muslim community. No, they become heroes of hellfire and they are leading towards hellfire."

“There is no place for any martyrdom and their act is never, ever to be considered jihad (struggle).”

Pakistan-born Dr Qadri, who spoke in English and Arabic, said his fatwa was an “absolute” condemnation of terrorism without “any excuses or pretexts”. “Good intentions cannot convert an evil into good,” he added.

“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.” He insisted that Islam was a religion of peace that promoted beauty, betterment, goodness and “negates all form of mischief and strife”.

The 600-page fatwa by Dr Qadri, founder of the Minhaj-ul-Quran movement, which has thousands of supporters across the world, will be translated into English in the coming weeks. His talk will also be made available online in an attempt to counter extremist versions of Islam available on the internet.

The fatwa has been billed as “arguably the most comprehensive” theological refutation of Islamic terrorism so far by the counter-extremism think-tank the Quilliam foundation.

Dr Qadri’s Minhaj-ul-Quran movement runs courses in combating religious extremism in educational centres throughout Britain including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Nelson, Walsall and Glasgow.

Scholar Shaikh Mohammed Hisham Kabbani, of the Centre for Spirituality and Cultural Advancement, welcomed Dr Qadri’s fatwa.

“This scholarship is a landmark in enabling Muslims living in the UK to be able to silence the small minority of people who think it is OK to commit violent acts in the name of Islam,” he said.

“We are happy and honoured to be working with Dr Qadri to support the UK Muslims in countering the radical Islamist rhetoric.”

Communities Minister Shahid Malik, whose Dewsbury constituency was home to London suicide bomber Mohammad Siddique Khan, said: “It is incumbent on Muslims to stand up for their faith. I very much welcome the work of Dr Qadri in helping reinforce this most crucial of messages to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.”

The word fatwa became known in the West in 1989 after Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie received a death threat from Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeni.

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