U.S. Muslims Blast Terrorism In Fatwa
A group of U.S. Muslims have taken an unequivocable stand against terrorism by issuing a “fatwa” — a religious edict — that comes out squarely against terrorism which they urge all Muslims to help authorities combat.
Although these edicts aren’t binding, by the mere fact of issuing their “fatwa,” this group of American Muslims has differentiated themselves from Muslim groups in many other countries (but it is in keeping with fatwas issued by some Muslim groups in Great Britain):
The fatwa was part of efforts by U.S. Muslims to counter perceived links between Islam and terrorism and avert any negative backlash after this month’s bombings by suspected Islamic extremists in London and Egypt.
“Having our religious scholars side by side with our community leaders leaves no room for anybody to suggest that Islam and Muslims condone or support any forms or acts of terrorism,” said Esam Omeish, president of the Muslim American Society, one of the groups which announced the fatwa.
Ibrahim Hooper, spokesperson for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said it was the first time Muslims in North America had issued an anti-terrorism edict, although they had repeatedly condemned such acts of violence.
And it’s of vital importance: it is a clearcut repudiation by these Muslims saying, in effect, Islam is NOT represented by the action of fanatics who are pleased as punch when bombs rip apart innocent men, women and children, or when a group of thugs masquerading as people of religion group-jump a tied up victim and saw the guy’s head off as he screams in unimagable pain and terror. MORE from Reuters:
American Muslims this month launched a nationwide advertising campaign in which they declared that those who committed terrorism in the name of Islam were betraying the teachings of the Koran.
Muslim organizations say they have not so far detected any widespread reaction against their community after the most recent bombings.
Hooper said Thursday’s religious ruling, issued by the Fiqh Council of North America, said: “We clearly and strongly state (that) all acts of terrorism targeting civilians are ‘haram’ (forbidden) in Islam.”
“It is ‘haram’ for a Muslim to cooperate with any individual or group that is involved in any act of terrorism or violence, and it is the civic and religious duty of Muslims to cooperate with law enforcement authorities to protect the lives of all civilians,” he quoted the ruling as saying.
The Fiqh Council is an association of Islamic legal scholars that interprets Islamic religious law. Hooper said it was the only one of its kind in North America. Some 130 North American Muslim organizations and leaders have signed and endorsed the fatwa….
According to Islam, only responsible, religious authorities which are recognized by a Muslim community may issue fatwas. Many Muslims say extremists such as Osama bin Laden have given these edicts a bad name in the West because they have used them without authorization and to call for acts such as murder.
Indeed, their action in issuing this religious edict does several things: (1)It clearly shows that they are not in agreement with terrorists, (2)It enhances their religion’s image, (3)It’s the first step by Muslim moderates to “take back” their religion in terms of how it perceived these days by many in non-Muslim parts of the world. (4)It shows that the Muslim terrorists have gone too far and are not on the ascent since they’ve and started to spark a backlash.