Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri, head of the Minhaj ul-Quran religious and educational organization, said suicide bombers were destined for hell as he released his 600-page edict in Londonstan. "They can't claim that their suicide bombings are martyrdom operations and that they become the heroes of the Muslim Umma [the wider Muslim community], no, they become heroes of hellfire, and they are leading towards hellfire," he said.

"There is no place for any martyrdom and their act is never, ever to be considered Jihad," he said. At a news conference, Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri said Islam was a religion of peace that promotes beauty, "betterment", goodness and "negates all form of mischief and strife".

A number of edicts condemning extremism have been made by Islamic groups since The 9/11, but Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri insists his is the most wide-reaching. "This is the first, most comprehensive fatwa on the subject of terrorism ever written," he told the Reuters news agency.

Pakistan-born Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri, 59, has written about 350 books on Islam, and is a scholar of Sufism, a Muslim branch that focuses on peace, tolerance, and moderation.

The Quilliam Foundation, a UK counter-extremism think-tank, said the fatwa was "arguably the most comprehensive" theological refutation of Islamic extremism. Tim Winter, a lecturer in Islamic studies at Cambridge University, said while Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri’s step of declaring "miscreants as unbelievers" was unusual, it was unlikely extremists would take notice of his edict.

"Those who are already hardliners will pay no attention at all. But 'swing voters' - poorly educated and angry Muslims, who respect mainstream scholars, will probably take note," he told Reuters.

The Minhaj-ul-Quran movement, founded in Pakistan in 1980, works around the world to promote peace and interfaith dialogue.

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