Examiner : Pakistan born Muslim scholar issues edict against al-Qaeda
March 2, 8:36 AM
Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, founder of Minhaj-ul-Quran movement Tuesday issued an Islamic edict condemning terrorism and suicide bombings and challenged “al—Qaeda’s violent ideology.”
Pakistan born Muslim scholar with a large following in Britain made his formal proclamation of a fatwa, or religious edict, at a news conference in London.
The 600 page fatwa described the al-Qaeda movement as an “old evil with a new name.” Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri believes that the overwhelming majority of young Muslims in Britain have not yet been radicalized and would “think again” after reading his proclamation.
Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said 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.”
Qadri said those who have already been “totally brainwashed” would not listen, but others would have “doubt” sewn in their minds.
“You don’t become a terrorist overnight. It is a journey ... Many are already on that road but they have not yet arrived to become suicide bombers,” Mr. Qadri told journalists.
He developed the document, which challenges the religious motivation of suicide bombers, in response to the rise in suicide bombings in Pakistan.
He said he hoped his arguments would attract the attention of politicians and security services in western nations.
Dr Qadri says that Islam forbids the massacre of innocent citizens and suicide bombings and his movement, Minhaj ul-Quran International, has now drawn the interest of policymakers and security chiefs.
Shahid Mursaleen, spokesman for Minhaj-ul-Quran in the UK, said the fatwa was hard-hitting and would "inject doubt into the minds of potential suicide bombers."
The document is not the first to condemn terrorism and suicide bombings. Following the terrorist attacks in London during July 2005 many scholars came together to denounce the bombers and urge communities to root out extremists.
A fatwa, an edict issued by a learned Muslim scholar, may concern any aspect of Islamic life. The term became famous in the western world in 1989 after the author Salman Rushdie was forced into hiding following a “death fatwa” issued by Ayatollah Khomeni, the then Supreme Leader of Iran, on the grounds that his book, the Satanic Verses had “insulted” Islam.