“He said that while terrorism is destructive, jehad is constructive.”
Much will be made of this declaration in the mainstream media, as was the case with the last one. Still, it contains the same inherent flaws that even the reporter notices in the article below (in spite of the headline calling it a “first”): the treatment of “terrorism” and “jihad” as separate concepts, and the equivocation afforded by adjectives such as “unjust” and “innocent,” where again, the clerics rely on many readers’ assuming their ideas of justice and innocence agree to a meaningful extent with those of the Deobandis.
“Deoband first: A fatwa against terror,” from The Economic Times, June 1:
NEW DELHI: For the first time ever, Islamic seminary Darul-Uloom Deoband issued a fatwa against terrorism on Saturday, stating Islam had come to wipe out all kinds of terrorism and to spread the message of global peace. The Darul-Uloom had denounced terrorism for the first time in February, but had not issued a fatwa so far.
Saturday”s fatwa, signed by Darul-Uloom’s grand mufti Habibur Rehman, asserts that “Islam rejects all kinds of unjust violence, breach of peace, bloodshed, murder and plunder and does not allow it in any form”.
Citing the “sinister campaign” to malign “Islamic faith…by linking terrorism with Islam and distorting the meanings of Quranic Verses and Prophet traditions”, Mahmood Asad Madani, leader of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, had wanted Deoband to spell out the stand of Islam on world peace.
The fatwa, issued before a huge gathering of Muslims in Delhi’s Ramlila Ground for the Anti-Terrorism and Global Peace Conference, went on to say, “It is proved from clear guidelines provided in the Holy Quran that allegations of terrorism against a religion which preaches and guarantees world peace is nothing but a lie. The religion of Islam has come to wipe out all kinds of terrorism and to spread the message of global peace. Allah knows the best.”
The conference was addressed by Jamiat chief and Darul-Uloom’s deputy rector Hazrat Maulana Qari Sayed Mohammed Usman.
He called the conference historic as Muslims of different sects and ideologies “” including Nadwatul Ulama Lucknow, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and All India Muslim Personal Law Board “” ratified the fatwa against terrorism.
The exclusively-male turnout that read an “oath of allegiance” to the fatwa cheered most lustily as speakers attacked the US.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind leader Madani, an MP, stated that the fatwa should be welcomed by the entire Islamic world.
“Killing of innocent people is not compatible with Islam. The biggest challenge faced by us today is terrorism (which) threatens to strike at the very root of the secular structure of our society besides causing irreparable loss,” stated Madani.
Notwithstanding the caveats like “unjust” and “innocent”, which may make it appear falling short of an
unequivocal condemnation of terrorism, the fatwa is viewed by many as a significant step forward towards rallying the public opinion against terrorism.
Coming after the February 25 denunciation, it is seen as reflective of the growing recognition on the part of clerics to counter misgivings about interpretations of scriptures.
Deoband has lately been under intense focus because many of the terrorist groups “” from Taliban to Jaish and Harkat “” are widely perceived to be Deobandi in orientation.
However, it was when the deputy rector of Deoband, Usman, came down heavily on “the dual policy of America” that the massive crowds cheered the most. “Whenever Christian and American interests are hurt in any part of the world, they take prompt action to set things right even at the cost of human lives. They maintain silence though when Muslims are the victims,” he said, further criticizing the US for its support to Israel.
According to Usman, Jamiat recently held a series of conferences and meetings with madrassas in Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Surat, Varanasi and Kolkata to carry forward the anti-terror movement which was initiated at Deoband in February. Usman said that many people, especially in the West, were carrying out a propaganda that terrorism was synonymous with jehad.
He said that while terrorism is destructive, jehad is constructive. “Terrorism is the gravest crime as held by Quran and Islam. We are not prepared to tolerate terrorism in any form and we are ready to cooperate with all responsible people,” he said.
Thus, once again, the fatwa amounts to a condemnation of supposed “terrorism” on the part of the West, and is meaningless where Islamic jihad is concerned.