“Terrorism,” of course, is a tactic, and as liberally as the term is applied in common usage, condemning it doesn’t tell us a whole lot. After all, nobody likes terrorism. It will, of course, be instructive to see how Qadri defines “terrorism,” and for that matter, “innocent people.”
But here, as ever, the question remains: What about jihad? Without addressing the ideology and its roots in the Qur’an, ahadith, and Sira, acts of violence in the name of jihad — offensive or “defensive” (jihad in search of an excuse) — remain untouched by this edict. Thus, even despite the ruling on suicide attacks, this fatwa is not a game-changer, so to speak. There is more than one way to wage a jihad.
“Islamic Scholar Issues Anti-Terrorism Fatwa,” by Mark White for Sky News, March 2 (thanks to all who sent this in):
A prominent Islamic scholar will use a speech in London to issue a 600-page religious edict, denouncing terrorists and suicide bombers as “unbelievers”.
Muhammad Tahir ul Qadri is a leading figure who has promoted peace and interfaith dialogue for 30 years.
He said he felt compelled to issue the fatwa because of concerns about the radicalisation of British Muslims at university campuses and because there had been a lack of condemnation of extremism by Muslim clerics and scholars.
Ul Qadri says his fatwa, which is aimed at persuading young Muslims to turn their backs on extremism, goes further than any previous denunciation.
“This is the first, most comprehensive fatwa on the subject of terrorism ever written,” said ul Qadri, who has written about 350 books on Islamic scholarship.
He is a scholar of Sufism, a long tradition within Islam which is widely seen as focusing on peace, tolerance and moderation. […]
Government officials will be among those joining ul Qadri for the launch of the fatwa in central London.
The Muslim Council of Britain, an umbrella organisation representing some 500 Islamic groups, has welcomed the fatwa.
Ul Qadri will tell his audience: “The reality is that whatever these terrorists are doing it is not martyrdom. All these activities are taking them to hellfire.” […]
Ul Qadri said he is confident his edict will have a significant impact because he has drawn on classical teachings and authorities acceptable to all sects of Islam.
“I will say more than 50% will change their way, they will be influenced,” he said.
“Of the remaining 50% at least some of them, half of them, will become doubtful about their life, their terrorist activity,” he said….