Democrats & Liberals Archives

Repudiation of Violence is Welcome News

Whether it comes from the Irish Republican Army or American Muslim clerics, clear statements repudiating violence as a means of achieving ends are always welcome.

The IRA story got a lot of media attention yesterday and today, but the fatwa against suicide bombing issued by two prominent American Muslim organizations, got far less attention than I would have expected.

The Fiqh Council of North America wrote: "There is no justification in Islam for extremism or terrorism. Targeting civilians' life and property through suicide bombings or any other method of attack is haram - or forbidden."
There may be justifiable skepticism that the word of American Muslims will carry much weight in the Middle East. However, many Muslims have spoken unequivocally against violence, plainly decrying the silence or complicity of putatively peaceful mainstream Islamic leaders who won't speak more plainly against violence in front of Arab audiences used to a steady stream of anti-Western rhetoric. Columnist Amir Taheri writes:
The London attack is not the work of a small group of people. It is the bitter fruit of a religion that has been hijacked by a minority of extremists, while the majority looks on in concern and amazement. Until we hear the voices of the Muslims condemning attacks of this kind with no words [of qualification] such as 'but' and 'if,' the suicide bombers and the murderers will have an excuse to think that they enjoy the support of all Muslims. The real battle against this enemy of mankind will begin when the 'silent majority' in the Islamic world makes its voice heard against the murderers, and against those who brainwash them, believe them, and fund them.
Another article can be found here. The extent to which this latest fatwa may bring more such discussion to the fore in the Islamic world is certainly in question, but we can welcome it without reservation. Certain principles cry for support without equivocation - no 'buts' or 'ifs'. Decent humans regardless of their political or religious persuasions should stand against torture, against slavery, against the murder of innocents, against oppression, and against terrorism - period. Here is the honor roll of Muslims from the second article who have courageously taken their stand against violence:
  • Mashari Al-Dhaydi, Saudi columnist for London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat
  • Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed, director general of Al-Arabiya TV in UK
  • Hamad bin Hamad Al-Salami, Al-Jazeerah columnist who outed extremists
  • Mun Al-Tahawi, Egyptian columnist for Al-Sharq Al-Awsat
  • Dr. Mamoun Fandy, Egyptian scholar & columnist
  • Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi, former editor Saudi daily Al-Watan
  • Sheikh Abd Al'-Aziz bin Baz - Salafi school
  • Muhammad bin 'Athamin
  • Mufti Sheikh Abd Al'-Aziz Aal Al-Sheikh
  • Sa'ad Allah Khalil
  • Majed Al-Gharbawi, Iraqi researcher
  • Amir Taheri, columnist
  • Dr Kazem Habib, Iraqi commentator & human rights activist
Posted by Walker Willingham at July 30, 2005 2:15 AM