Blogistan : Further thoughts on Qadri fatwa

A couple of weeks ago I posted an entry about Dr Tahir ul-Qadri’s fatwa condemning suicide bombings. It seems to have provoked the biggest debate of pretty much any recent post on here since I introduced moderation a number of years ago. However, much of it was about matters which I really wasn’t concerned about in writing the entry, such as whether it is legitimate to have more than one caliph. To ordinary Muslims, that really should not matter as you obey the laws of whatever country you are in, particularly if it is an Islamic state.

My concerns were that Dr Qadri was being presented by a newspaper with a history of Islamophobia, complete with an appreciation from Douglas Murray, as some sort of great hope, a Muslim scholar who will at last condemn suicide bombing unequivocally, when in fact Islamic scholars had been doing this for years, largely unacknowledged by the media who have continued to demand such condemnations since 2001. He did so with a broad-brush slur against other parts of the Muslim community, accusing them all of being terrorist sympathisers — thus further endearing him to people like Douglas Murray and his supporters.

Besides which, why is a fatwa against suicide bombing significant in a British context now? We have not had a successful attack since 2005, and the people who carried them out never belonged to movements which never recognised Qadri’s authority anyway. It was condemned at the time, much as the 9/11 attacks were. Whatever its significance in Pakistan, its importance in this country was overstated.

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