The Press Association UK : Muslim leader to condemn terrorists
09:15 GMT 02 March, 2010
The leader of a worldwide Muslim movement with thousands of followers in the UK is due to issue a fatwa - or Islamic religious ruling - condemning terrorism and warning suicide bombers that they are "destined for hell".
Pakistan-born Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, founder of the global Minhaj-ul-Quran movement, will make the formal UK proclamation of a fatwa, or religious edict, condemning terrorism and suicide bombing at a news conference in London.
The 600-page fatwa announces 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".
Shahid Mursaleen, spokesman for Minhaj-ul-Quran UK, said: "He has hit hard on the terrorists as it prevents Islamists from considering suicide bombers as 'martyrs'. This fatwa injects doubt into the minds of potential suicide bombers. 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."
The fatwa has been billed as "arguably the most comprehensive" theological refutation of Islamic terrorism to date by counter extremism think tank the Quilliam foundation.
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."
Communities Minister Shahid Malik, whose Dewsbury constituency was home to 7/7 bomber Mohammad Siddique Khan, welcomed the fatwa. "It is incumbent on Muslims to stand up for their faith - when 7/7 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.
"A clear and unequivocal message must go out that Islam teaches that these four are not martyrs going to heaven but sinners going somewhere very different indeed. Hence, I very much welcome the work of Dr Qadri in helping reinforce this most crucial of message to Muslims and non-Muslims alike."
The Minhaj-ul-Quaran movement runs courses in combating religious extremism in educational centres throughout Britain including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Nelson, Walsall, Glasgow and Dundee.
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, then Supreme Leader of Iran, on the grounds that his book, the Satanic Verses had "insulted" Islam.