Now we hear that all the hostage-taking in Iraq is “un-Islamic.” Now, on September 6. I just did a quick search of Jihad Watch and found the earliest mention of hostage-taking in Iraq on April 8. That’s at least five months of hostage-taking in the name of Islam that went uncondemned by the Iraqi ulema. Did they have to think it over? Did they have to study the Islamic sources to try to figure out whether it was wrong? Were the hostage-takers in the interim risking “damnation and execution,” or are they only risking it now?
Or did they find, especially in the wake of the Beslan child massacres, that it is doing the jihad more harm than good on the public relations front?
From The Telegraph, with thanks to Uncle Jeff:
Iraq’s most senior Sunni religious body said yesterday it would issue a fatwa outlawing the abduction and execution of any foreigner in the country.
While there have been demands from across the Muslim world for the release of two French reporters who have been held captive since August 20, the edict, due to be signed today, is the most significant so far in the six-month hostage crisis.
At least 102 foreigners have been abducted since April. Twenty-eight have been executed.
The fatwa was issued by the country’s committee of Muslim scholars, or ulema. Although it had called for the release of reporters Georges Malbrunot and Christian Chesnot in the past, it had refused to condemn the kidnapping and execution of hostages from countries that backed the US invasion.
“We are going to issue a fatwa declaring that the kidnapping of foreigners in general is not Islamic and ordering that all hostages be released immediately,” said Sheikh Abdul Sattar Abdul Jabbar, a senior cleric.
Refusing to comply with a fatwa, the most serious command that can be issued in Islam, risks damnation and execution.