It is good that Qadri “led all participants at the roundtable to observe silence as a mark of respect to all the victims and survivors of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.” That is a concrete sign of solidarity with the victims, rather than the perpetrators, of at least one jihad terror attack — in stark contrast to the vague denunciations of terror we get all too often from Muslim groups in the West — vague because they don’t specify who the terrorists really are, and leave the door open to the interpretation that what is being condemned is Israeli and American “state terrorism,” not Islamic jihad terrorism.
Still, questions remain. Qadri’s nearly 400-page fatwa against terrorism doesn’t even discuss the verses of the Qur’an that jihadists use to justify terrorism, as I showed in this article. In a response to that article, the Fatwa Against Terrorism site offered Qadri’s fanciful interpolated versions of the verses in question — he added material that made the violent verses relatively peaceful, but his interpolations, unfortunately, have no basis in the Arabic text of the Qur’an or Islamic tradition.
In light of that, he still has not proven that the concept of jihad actually has been hijacked by terrorists. And so he has effectively done nothing to stop the jihadists from continuing to do violence — or from making recruits among peaceful Muslims by presenting themselves as the authentic exponents of the true teaching of the Qur’an and Sunnah.
“Jihad has been hijacked by terrorists, says Islamic scholar,” from the Press Trust of India, January 9:
Renowned Islamic scholar of Pakistani descent Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Mohammed Tahir-ul-Qadri today condemned all acts of terrorism and said the concept of Jihad has been hijacked by terrorists.
Author of the acclaimed book ‘Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombings’, Dr Qadri, who is living in Canada for past few years because of threat to his life in Pakistan, said this while delivering his keynote address via a live video feed at the “People’s SAARC Prayer for Peace”, an interfaith roundtable conference to promote peace, solidarity and harmony in South Asia.
The interfaith prayer meeting and roundtable conference was jointly organised by the Observer Research Foundation Mumbai, a not-for-profit public policy think tank, and an NGO Minhaj-ul-Quran International, India.
Religious leaders representing a cross-section of faiths, who participated in the roundtable, agreed to form an action- oriented Religious High Council to promote peace, solidarity and religious harmony in South Asia.
They also adopted a Joint Declaration to unite to frame a SAARC Charter for Interfaith Peace and Harmony.
The Joint Declaration seeks to make South Asia a region free of wars and militarism with zero tolerance to terrorism and all kinds of violence in the name of religion and create a mutual respect for different religions by maximising people- to-people contacts, promoting democracy and good governance, boosting economic cooperation with a view to remove poverty and unemployment and protecting the environment by promoting the vision of an ‘egalitarian’ society.
Explaining the true meaning of Islam as propounded by the Holy Quran as a religion of peace that professed respect towards all other religions, Qadri came down heavily on terrorists and all acts of terrorism and led all participants at the roundtable to observe silence as a mark of respect to all the victims and survivors of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.