Sometime in the past week the leading scholar Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadiri issued a Fatwa against suicide bombing. I have not read it through yet, but from what I have read and the reports are that the 600 page document takes apart all religious justifications and rationalizations for terrorist activities. In fact, from what I have read it declares that not only are these acts illegal in Islam but that those who perpetrate them are no longer Muslims and after performing their heinous act will go to hell.
It is important to note that this is not the first time an Islamic Scholar (or scholars) have issued similar decisions, but the weight of this particular one is vast. Not only is Dr Qadiri a prolific and well known Pakistani born scholar, but the depth of the condemnations he lists and the horrible consequences to the perpetrator of such actions are more precise. His unequivocal statements against suicide bombing and terrorism are based on his extensive knowledge of Qur’an and Hadith. It is to be hoped that this fatwa will raise serious doubts in the hearts and minds of the men and women that are being recruited for this sort of thing.
Unfortunately, they may never hear about it. The lack of coverage of this fatwa is appalling, and its implications have been basically ignored in the western press. Despite the constant haranguing that is issued by western pundits about how “little” Muslims do to speak out against terrorism, only a paltry few have bothered to cover this fatwa. I have said this in the past, that the reason that westerners do not hear about Muslim voices speaking out against terrorism is not because they are not there, it is because the mainstream media will not give them the time they are due. I have my own ideas about why that is, but that is not the focus of this entry.
What I am saying here is that this fatwa can be as strong a weapon against terrorism as any so-called “surge.” This is because it instills doubt about the things the terrorist recruiters say. It contradicts in the strongest terms, the false information that is being given out in order to perpetuate these crimes. And, very importantly, it comes from a well respected scholar who has been writing and who has been followed and listened to for many years. Dr. Qadiri did not appear all of a sudden out of thin air. He has over 400 writings on many aspects of Islam and Islamic jurisprudence and is an author, speaker and teacher of high repute. So when he says these things, and takes the time to write 600 pages of it, people sit up and take notice.
So where is the western press? Where are the headlines that read “If you kill you are no longer Muslim – Fatwa says” or “No Heaven for Terrorists” or “Suicide Bombing Condemned in Fatwa.” These headlines should be on the front page of all western newspapers. They should be lead stories on CNN, Fox, MSNBC, al Jazeera. But they are not. What little coverage I have seen is in the small national newspapers and blog sites. I want it in bright lights over Broadway, I want it in every single madrassa from here to Timbuktu. I want every single man, woman and child in the Muslim Umma to know. And then they will think twice about joining a criminal organization such as Al Qaeda, and then if they think twice then maybe they wont. And maybe more and more scholars will join in with this fatwa and condemn terrorism. But not without the western press forcing it into the daylight. Not without Katie Couric putting it on the evening news, not without ISNA putting it on their website. Proclaim it far and wide.
Right now this important fatwa is not being heard by those who need to hear it most, it is, as the title of this entry says – The fatwa not heard around the world, but, insha’allah it will be.
I encourage each and every one of you to write to your local newspaper, the New York Times, The LA Times, CNN, Fox, MSNBC, and the national newspaper of whatever country you live in. Tell them to cover this fatwa in depth, to let people know about it and to make sure this fatwa IS heard around the world!
You can read an English summary of the fatwa here.