Monday, July 18, 2005

British Muslim Group Issues Legal Opinion Condemning London Attacks

Thomas L. Friedman, The New York Times' resident loudmouth and ignoramus can shut up now. The fatwa he so desperately wanted has been issued.

On Monday, July 18, Jama'at e Ahl e Sunna, the United Kingdom's largest Sunni Muslim organization, issued a fatwa (religious legal opinion) condemning the July 7 terrorist bombings in London that killed over 50 people. In their ruling, the Jama'at declared that the attack was not condoned by the Qur'an.

In a strongly worded statement, Mufti Muhammad Gul Rehman Qadri, Jama'at chairman, declared, "Who has given anyone the right to kill others? It is a sin. Anyone who commits suicide will be sent to Hell." The statement reiterates the traditional Islamic theological view that suicide is a sin and is punished by the perpetrator being sent to Hell; this view is not unlike that of Christianity and some Jewish sects. Qadri went on to say, "What happened in London can be seen as a sacrilege. It is a sin to take your life or the life of others."

The fatwa stated, "Leaving aside the atrocities being committed in Palestine and Iraq, the attacks in London have no Islamic justification, are totally condemned and we equally condemn those who may have been behind the masterminding of these acts, those who incited these youths in order to further their own perverted ideology."

Despite its buzzword status in the West, a fatwa is not binding; it is a legal opinion issued by a Muslim religious leader, usually a qadi (judge) or mufti (senior religious cleric.) This is something people like Friedman do not seem to understand.

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