Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Fatwa Condemning Terrorism? Apparently

If this is on the level, it's a big step:
"A Muslim scholar has issued a fatwa, or religious ruling, that says suicide bombers are destined for hell.

"Tahir ul-Qadri condemned terrorism and criticized Islamic extremists who cite their religion to justify violence.

"Ul-Qadri's 600-page fatwa is "arguably the most comprehensive theological refutation of Islamist terrorism to date," according to the Quilliam Foundation, a London organization that describes itself as a counterterrorism think tank...."
Sounds nice, and I'd like to believe that what CNN says is the whole story. That's not a criticism of CNN, by the way. Any reasonably short summary of a lengthy document - particularly if the original is in another language, which this fatwa may or may not be - runs the risk of leaving out critical subtleties.

Like the much-vaunted Jihadist reform program run by Saudi Arabia, a few years back. Sure enough: terrorists who went through the program were (probably) convinced that they should renounce terrorism and not commit violent acts. Against the House of Saud. On the Arabian Peninsula.

After those little qualifiers leaked out, we didn't hear quite so much about the program.

In this case, I'd like to believe that the fatwa really says what CNN says it does.

What we read sounds very nice:
"...'Terrorism is terrorism,' ul-Qadri said at a news conference hosted by the foundation. 'Violence is violence. It has no place in Islamic teaching, and no justification can be provided to it ...'..."
Given what we've heard so many times, though: I find it hard to take this at face value.

I hope that "terrorism" is not defined as acts of violence directed against Muslims without the direct approval of an imam; that "violence" is not defined as a destructive act committed by a non-Muslim under the direction of a Muslim - you get the idea.

Am I being overly-suspicious? Maybe. I rather hope so.

I'd prefer to believe that a few Muslim leaders, here and there around the world, are following the example of a mosque in Canada: and stepping into today's society.

For many, whose ancestors had been out of the loop since around the time Abraham moved out of Ur, the change is going to be very difficult. Others, not so much.

I think there is hope that Islam can exist in the Information Age.

That's not just wishful thinking. Quite a few Minnesotans are first- and second- generation Somali immigrants now: going through the same difficult process of putting down roots that many of my ancestors went through, not all that long ago.

Although some have dropped out of sight, to reappear in pieces in Somalia, most are quietly going about the business of making a living and raising a family. Don't expect to read about that in the news, though: that sort of common sense seems to confuse old-school news editors. (More: "Somali-Americans in Minnesota: According to The New York Times" (July 12, 2009))

Related posts:In the news:

1 comment:

Sibtain said...

A gr8 step taken by Islamic Scholar !
No religion teaches terrorism. And the word ISLAM itself means peace. so there can never b any connection between two vertically opposite things.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.