Friday, July 29, 2005

More of This, Please

As I have been quite vocal in calling for the Muslim world to condemn terrorism, it's only fair that I acknowledge efforts in that direction. With that in mind, this is most welcome news:

American Muslim scholars who interpret religious law for their community issued an edict Thursday condemning terrorism against civilians in response to the wave of deadly attacks in Britain and other countries.

In the statement, called a fatwa, the 18-member Fiqh Council of North America wrote that people who commit terrorism in the name of Islam were "criminals, not 'martyrs.'"

"There is no justification in Islam for extremism or terrorism," the scholars wrote. "Targeting civilians' life and property through suicide bombings or any other method of attack is haram - or forbidden."

The entire statement (and a list of signatories) is here; I am especially pleased that there don't appear to be any 'yes, but...' clauses aimed at U.S. foreign policy and support of Israel. Now, if only the Saudi Wahabbi authorities would take a similar step, we just might get somewhere...

UPDATE 11:24 a.m.: To say that a substantial percentage of conservatives don't share my view here would be an understatement; see this post by Michelle Malkin for a list of all those who view this declaration as a sham, insufficient, or insincere. I can't buy that...all of those things may be true, but they are speculation, not fact. The fact is that the statement is unequivocal. Read it for yourself...people are bringing their own preconceptions to the table when they take issue with this statement.

To be sure, some of the organizers and signatories have pasts that are clearly associated with terrorism, and the fact that the statement doesn't 'name names', so to speak, is disappointing (particularly in light of the fatwa issued against Salman Rushdie), but if the statement is incomplete, it is nevertheless an unequivocal denunciation of terrorism, and extremism. How can that not be a good thing?

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