This is not the text of the fatwa that was issued today, but it is a “Declaration of Support and Action Against Terrorism” signed by numerous American Muslim leaders. I expect it is similar to the fatwa, although we shall see. From the Muslim American Society’s site (thanks to David Ouellette), with my comments interspersed:
Declaration of Support and Action Against Terrorism
We, the undersigned, Imams and community leaders, are responding to the call made by the Muslim American Society to purge Islam, our community, and the issues we advocate from the stigma of terrorism.
As those who have firsthand experience as victims of terrorism and its repercussions (bigotry, Islamophobia, dehumanization) we are determined to lead our community out of anxiety and beyond condemnations. We will increase our efforts to immunize our community against extremism.
We reiterate that terrorist acts are utterly criminal, totally reprehensible, and absolutely un-Islamic. There can never be any excuse for the taking of innocent life, and terrorism has absolutely no sanction in Islam. Nor is there any justification whatsoever in our noble religion for such evil actions. Our message is unambiguous: the authors of terrorist attacks and bombings are criminals, and we should not accept their justifications, whether ideological, religious or political. Our position has been consistent; it is anchored on solid religious, moral, and civic grounds. The Qur’an clearly declares that killing an innocent person was tantamount to killing all mankind and likewise saving a single life was as if one had saved the life of all mankind. (The Qur’an, Al-Maidah 5:32) This is both a principle and a command.
Once again, this does not address the Islamic perspective that denies the existence of civilians as a category, or which declares that civilians in countries considered to be at war with Islam are not innocent.
We recognize we”ve got to work better at combating terrorism. We believe that a collaborate efforts on the part of our government, media, faith communities, and civic society can reduce the likelihood of terrorist acts.
We are faced with a complex and dangerous phenomenon and a deadly vicious cycle perpetuated by people who are both fanatic/misguided and desperate, and others who are simply bigot. We need a comprehensive multifaceted approach/strategy and coordinated efforts to break this cycle and proactively and effectively combat terrorism. We recognize that injustices like erosion of civil liberties, backing of corrupt and oppressive regimes in the Muslim world, complete reliance on security and intelligence, shallow public relations efforts, and inflammatory/inciting statements in the media, by some religious leaders, or even public officials play well into the hands of extremists. And this too must be rejected. However, we are committed to be more vocal and more active in our attempt to isolate terrorists and terrorism, deny them recruits, sympathy, and any religious or political legitimacy.
All within our society should be united against terrorism and work together. Therefore, we call upon our government to address genuine grievances being exploited by the terrorists, engage the American Muslim community and leadership and moderate Islamic groups abroad, and aggressively promote human rights and democracy in the Muslim world. The media, for its part, needs to be more aware and objective in its coverage of Islam and Muslims. Islam-bashing fuels hatred and plays into the hands of terrorists.
I don’t know what they mean by “Islam-bashing,” but I suspect they would consider any discussion of how the jihadists use the Qur’an and Sunnah to justify their actions would fall into that category. If that is so, how can they hope to achieve genuine reform?
As Islamic religious leaders, we are well-positioned to fulfill the role of a goodwill bridge between our country and the greater Muslim world.
We are determined to solidify the prevailing moderate and mainstream orientation of our community, and do whatever it takes to leave no chance for terrorists and their views to creep into our community, leaving no ambiguity when it comes to the Islamic position on terrorism.
They haven’t done that yet.
We will intensify the personal development of our youth and inculcate in them the proper understanding of Islam, help them develop a genuine American Muslim identity and aid them in fulfilling their potential, keeping them from falling into the grasp of extremism and moral vice.
We are determined to partner with people of faith and conscious in order to confront the problems that may possibly be alienating our youth, driving them towards a path of anger and desperation.
We will continue our efforts and collaborate with others to work towards a just and lasting peace in the world’s areas of conflict, and address the grievances that seem to nurture violence. We will vindicate the Islamic concepts that are abused by terrorists, and channel the frustration from domestic and foreign policies into active participation in national debates.
OK. Show us, please.
We will step up our outreach efforts in order to speed up the integration of our community, demystify Islam and Muslims, and deny the terrorists the opportunity to hijack our religion or speak on behalf of the one and a half billion Muslims worldwide.
Finally, we reiterate our belief that nations and groups should maintain relationships on the basis of universal brotherhood, fairness, respect and mutual understanding, and that individuals should pursue their interests through civic engagement.
We call upon our community not to be beaten into retreat from its mission by current events. We must not remain withdrawn. We no longer have the luxury of simply complaining, even justifiably, that we are mistreated. Our mission is to preach the message of Islam courteously and wisely, to advocate justice, and enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong, through engagement with society. Our central goal should be to put our grand values and principles into action and make a contribution, making a lasting impact on this nation and the World.
Their mission is to preach the message of Islam. I wish them well in their efforts to eradicate terrorism from Islam, but I wonder how much attachment to Sharia is contained in that message they wish to preach.