Morning Star Online : Muslim chief issues terror fatwa

By Paddy McGuffin
Tuesday 02 March 2010

The leader of a global Islamic organisation has used a press conference in London to issue a fatwa condemning terrorism and suicide bombing.

Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, founder of the Minhaj-ul-Quran movement, stated 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, in other words, to be unbelievers."

While the word fatwa is often associated with the Ayatollah Khomeni and his call for the death of Salman Rushdie, a fatwa can be an edict issued by a leading Muslim scholar on any facet of Islamic life.

Minhaj-ul-Quran UK spokesman Shahid Mursaleen said: "Extremist groups based in Britain recruit youth by brainwashing them that they will 'with certainty' be rewarded in the next life and Dr Qadri's fatwa has removed this key intellectual factor from their minds."

Communities Minister Shahid Malik welcomed the proclamation.

"It is incumbent on Muslims to stand up for their faith," he said.

"When 7/7 (the London terrorist attacks of July 7 2005) occurred, those four evil young men killed themselves and over 50 innocent people because they followed a twisted and perverted interpretation of Islam which told them by doing so they would go to heaven," he said.

The fatwa was described by counter-extremism think tank the Quilliam foundation as "arguably the most comprehensive" theological refutation of Islamic terrorism to date.

A Quilliam spokesman said: "Terrorist groups such as al-Qaida 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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