In “For Muslims, a role in the war on terror” in USA Today (thanks to David Ouellette), Mamoun Fandy outlines what a real moderate Muslim response to Islamic terror might look like. The world has not seen anything like this so far. Now why might that be?
One reason, Ouellette points out, comes from The Montreal Muslim News (MMN), “which posted Mr. Fandy”s article on its website, commented that ‘Muslim scholars must reject the pressure to issue fatwas at the beck and call of non-Muslims as a fatwa issued under such conditions has no meaning’, adding that ‘no matter how many fatwas we issue and no matter how accomodating (sic) we are in responce (sic) to all of their demands they will not be satisfied with us until we leave Islam altogether.'”
This echoes the Qur’an: “And the Jews will not be pleased with thee, nor will the Christians, till thou follow their creed” (2:120).
The time has come to issue a fatwa to excommunicate Osama bin Laden and his followers from the world of Islam. In fact, as terrorism rages, we need a stream of solid counter-fatwas – legal pronouncements in Islam “” from the Muslim community.
Thus far we have heard fatwas, such as the one issued last month by the Fiqh Council of North America, telling us that Islam does not condone violence or that Islam condemns these actions. These types of words are not enough. We need to move beyond abstract condemnations and actually exclude those who give Islam a bad name.
In the same spirit that bin Laden and his group label moderate Muslims as Western lackeys, it is time Muslim leaders pronounce bin Laden by name as non-Muslim. That’s right, excommunicate him. A clear fatwa should come from the centers of theology in the Muslim world “” from al-Azhar University, a prestigious school of Islamic law in Cairo, and from Mecca.
And if a mosque is used as a place to plan attacks or to shield the perpetrators, Muslims should withdraw the name of that mosque, meaning it can no longer serve its holy purpose. It has been desecrated by such evil. The terrorists of Leeds, Britain, allegedly cooked their plots to bomb London inside a mosque, putting signs outside the door that they were praying. Praying for what “” for God or for Satan?
God said that those who spread destruction on earth should be punished and that their hands and legs should be cut off, a metaphor for the severity of the punishment. Yet some Muslims continue to cheer bin Laden. The unspoken message sent to him is that “you are doing to the West what we want done.”
The unspoken message is also that they believe it is the non-Muslim world, not bin Laden, that is spreading “destruction on earth.” Nor is that punishment metaphorical for those who now live under the Sharia that Osama and other jihadists are fighting to impose on the -Muslim world and then on non-Muslim societies. I applaud Fandy’s clear and courageous words. Now I’d like to see him explore why the ulema worldwide, including the sheikhs of Al-Azhar, have not seen fit to take his advice.