Qadri fatwa gains worldwide support
Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri’s fatwa, prohibiting terrorism and suicide bombing, has received support from Muslims across the world. The 600 page fatwa is arguably the most comprehensive theological refutation of Islamist terrorism to date and includes a point-by-point theological rebuttal of every argument used by AQ inspired groups. It has been welcomed by Islamic scholars worldwide, including in Pakistan where Qadri’s reputation and the growing anger against terrorists because of their indiscriminate violence against Muslims and mosques has given the fatwa a genuine chance to marginalise extremists.
UAE/SOMALIA: Anti-terrorism declaration for Somalia by leading global Islamic Scholars
A group of renowned Muslim scholars have issued a comprehensive religious declaration categorically condemning terrorism in Somalia and calling for peace and reconciliation in that war torn country. The conference was convened by the Global Centre of Renewal and Guidance (GCRG) under the auspices of the Islamic scholar Shaykh Abdallah Bin Bayah and was attended by Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, the President of Somalia, the United Nations Special Representative to Somalia, Ahmadou Ould Abdullah, and Abdullah Alim, Deputy-Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Conferences (OIC). Prominent international Islamic scholars and figures also in attendance included Amr Khaled (the foremost anti-extremist tele-preacher in the Arab world), Shaykh Habib Ali Jifri and Dr Abdullah Omar Nassief.
The religious declaration is significant because:
· The scholars represented at the conference have global Islamic influence representing major Muslim organisations and movements with millions of followers across the world.
· The declaration emphatically condemns all forms of terrorism including the horrific inter-Muslim violence in Somalia. It makes unequivocally clear that terrorists are destined for hellfire.
· It is a religious obligation to recognise the legitimate authority of the government. Any legitimate dissent must be through dialogue and discussion. Islam categorically condemns dissent through any form of violence, murder and subversion.
· The current violence in Somalia is against the Somali people and its government and cannot be considered to be a jihad.
A spokesperson for the conference said:
“This declaration is groundbreaking and is a highly significant move towards eradicating the religious justifications by Islamist extremists used not only to destroy Somalia but to murder civilians across the world. Extremist clerics have supported killing of civilians without impunity. We have seen the result of this extremist religious discourse in the havoc and destruction in Somalia. We are confident that today’s religious declaration by leading mainstream global Islamic scholars and figures will emphatically challenge and undermine the religious justification used to murder civilians and which has brought instability to countries such as Somalia.”
SOURCE: Hiiraan website, 15 Mar 10
MAURITANIA: Dialogue campaign to counter extremism launched
An initiative has been launched in Mauritania to facilitate dialogue among Islamic scholars and young prison inmates in order to counter extremist ideas. The scholars are discussing topics around misinterpretations of jihad and Islam’s legal position on the killing of non-Muslims on Muslim soil.
SOURCE: Al Arabiya, 17 March 2010
MALI: Mali‘s Islamic Council mulls talks with jailed radicals
The leader of Mali’s Islamic Council, Mamadou Diamoutani, says his organization intends to contact terrorists held in the country’s jails in order to engage in a religious dialogue similar to the one opened with radicals imprisoned in other nations of the region, according to a Madrid daily. It says he also called for the release of Westerners being held hostage in the zone, while urging the West to stop attacking Muslims and be “more responsible” in its relations with Islam. The following is the text of the report by the Spanish popular liberal newspaper El Mundo website, on 17 February; subheading inserted editorially:
Bamako: Hunt down the terrorists and put them in prison certainly, but not without the West’s commitment to “stopping the attacks on the Muslim people” – that is the message of Mamadou Diamoutani. This Malian citizen aged around 50 and who was educated in France in physics and applied mathematics receives El Mundo in the ancient building of the Islamic Council of Mali in Bamako, of which he is secretary-general.
Highly respected, he is also the imam of the Magnamaougou mosque in the capital. Diamoutani says that the problems with the terrorists, “such as the cases of the kidnappings [of Westerners]”, are recent. “Nor has it been that long since Mali has been detaining Salafists and until now we had not considered engaging in a religious dialogue with them as in other countries of the zone such as Morocco or Mauritania”.
However, he tells this newspaper that in the next few days the Council will submit to the Malian government a request to be able to contact the prisoners and try to convince them that Islam, “like any other religion”, does not incite violence, says the secretary of the Islamic Council.
That dialogue was opened a few weeks ago in Nouakchott, led by a commission of imams who described the process as a real success after just three of the 68 radicals being held did not show their willingness to lay down their weapons.
In spite of the fact that Mali did not begin to lock up Islamist prisoners more regularly until 2008, since then the country’s specialized forces have struck the radicals hard on more than one occasion. Being held in Kati prison are the four terrorists (an Algerian, two Mauritanians and a Burkina Faso national) who Al-Qa’idah in [the Land of] the Islamic Maghreb (AQLIM) is demanding be released before this Saturday [20 February] in exchange for not killing the French hostage Pierre Camatte.
While this religious leader calls for the release of Camatte, the Italian [Sergio] Cicala and his wife [Philomene Kaboure] and the three Spanish aid workers – Alicia Gamez, Roque Pascual and Albert Vilalta -, he also asks the international community to look back “to understand the causes of the situation we have arrived at now”. “The Western countries have been the first to assault us and have made some rise up in arms”, he maintains.
He highlights the peaceful nature of Malians. “We are mostly Muslims (more than 80 per cent), but there are also animists (16 per cent) and Christians (2 per cent) and we have always respected one another. We are very tolerant with all religions, but there are more and more Muslims who are contacting the Council to express their anger and frustration with the Western world”.
Aggressor and aggrieved
In the opinion of the imam, “one must ask who is being attacked and who the aggressor is”. He says: “When Iraq is bombed, who has gone to whose home to kill their people? Many innocent people have died in that war”. And he goes on: “If you do not want more Spaniards to be kidnapped in the name of Allah, you must stop attacking Muslims and not send more troops to Afghanistan”.
There, says Diamoutani, “Muslims live according to their convictions, with a different civilization and culture, with their way of life. Who has the right to object and, what’s more, with weapons? Who is the murderer?”.
The imam pauses and says that he defends the values of peace and justice, but for everyone, not just for a few. “If the Americans bomb us, they must know that all Americans are threatened; if I could free the hostages, I would free them; but their countries, their leaders, must be more responsible from now on”.
Source: El Mundo website, Madrid, in Spanish 17 Feb 10