God mandates moderation in faith and in all aspects of life when He states in the Qur'an: "We made you to be a community of the middle way, so that (with the example of your lives) you might bear witness to the truth before all mankind." (Qur'an, 2:143)
In another verse, God explains our duties as human beings when he says: "Let there arise from among you a band of people who invite to righteousness, and enjoin good and forbid evil." (Qur'an, 3:104)
Islam teaches us to act in a caring manner to all of God's creation. The Prophet Muhammad, who is described in the Qur'an as "a mercy to the worlds" said: "All creation is the family of God, and the person most beloved by God (is the one) who is kind and caring toward His family."In the light of the teachings of the Qur'an and Sunnah we clearly and strongly state:
1. All acts of terrorism targeting civilians are haram (forbidden) in Islam.
2. It is haram for a Muslim to cooperate with any individual or group that is involved in any act of terrorism or violence.
3. It is the civic and religious duty of Muslims to cooperate with law enforcement authorities to protect the lives of all civilians.
We issue this fatwa following the guidance of our scripture, the Qur'an, and the teachings of our Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. We urge all people to resolve all conflicts in just and peaceful manners.We pray for the defeat of extremism and terrorism. We pray for the safety and security of our country, the United States, and its people. We pray for the safety and security of all inhabitants of our planet. We pray that interfaith harmony and cooperation prevail both in the United States and all around the globe.
FIQH COUNCIL OF NORTH AMERICA
1. Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi
2. Dr. Abdul Hakim Jackson
3. Dr. Ahmad Shleibak
4. Dr. Akbar Muhammad
5. Dr. Deina Abdulkadir
6. Shaikh Hassan Qazwini
7. Dr. Ihsan Bagby
8. Dr. Jamal Badawi
9. Dr. Muhammad Adam Sheikh
10. Shaikh Muhammad Al-Hanooti
11. Shaikh Muhammad Nur Abdallah
12. Dr. Salah Soltan
13. Dr. Taha Jabir Alalwani
14. Shaikh Yahya Hindi
15. Shaikhah Zainab Alwani
16. Dr. Zulfiqar Ali Shah
17. Dr. Mukhtar Maghraoui
18. Dr. Nazih Hammad
WASHINGTON: The leading US council of Muslim scholars on Thursday issued a fatwa against terrorism, in the latest bid to distance the American Islamic community from extremism following the London attacks.
"All acts of terrorism targeting civilians are haram (forbidden) in Islam," said the fatwa edict made by the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA), a group of scholars which interprets Islamic law. The order was endorsed by most US Muslim groups.
"It is haram for a Muslim to cooperate with any individual or agroup that is involved in any act of terrorism or violence," it said. "It is the civic and religious duty of Muslims to cooperate with law enforcement authorities to protect the lives of all civilians." Their move follows signs of frustrations from US Muslim leaders that repeated condemnations of terrorism in the wake of the London attacks. afp
A council of Muslim scholars in the United States has issued a religious ruling, or fatwa, against terrorism and extremism.
The Muslim scholars released the ruling during a press conference in Washington, saying that Islam condemns terrorism, religious radicalism and the use of violence.
The scholars serve on the Fiqh Council of North America, an association of Muslim jurists who interpret Islamic law.
The council's chairman, Muzammil Siddiqi, read the fatwa, which says "targeting civilians' life and property through suicide bombings or any other method of attack is forbidden, and those who commit these barbaric acts are criminals, not martyrs."
"All acts of terrorism targeting the civilians are haram, forbidden in Islam. It is haram, forbidden, for a Muslim to cooperate or associate with any individual or group that is involved in any act of terrorism or violence," he said.
The fatwa also says it is the "civic and religious duty of Muslims to cooperate with law enforcement authorities to protect the lives of civilians."
The Islamic scholars say the fatwa was prompted by a similar ruling from the Muslim Council of Britain, following the July 7 terrorist attacks in London.
U.S. Muslim groups have frequently condemned terrorist acts, but the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Nihad Awad, says issuing a fatwa is the strongest statement that can be made by the Islamic community.
"This is the heaviest weight any opinion can be given. The reason I am saying this is because those who commit acts of terror in the name of Islam try to misinterpret and misuse certain issues in Islamic jurisprudence and they have no authority or qualification except their anger. These legal Muslim scholars come to say we are the authority on this subject and we are the ones who determine how to interpret Islam. Therefore, I don't think any person in the globe can quote the Koran or the traditions of the Prophet [Muhammad] to justify the harming and the killing of innocent people," he said.
The Muslim scholars have called for the fatwa to be read during Friday prayers at mosques across the United States.
Salam al-Marayati, the executive director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, says he hopes the message will resonate globally, but also close to home.
"We hope that this would influence other parts of the world, but more importantly I think we are doing this for our children and for our future," he said. "Our children need to be very clear on these matters. There should be no confusion and no ambiguities. As we stand together, tall, as leaders of established Muslim-American organizations, this is a message to our future generation and to our children that this notion that suicide bombing or terrorism has any room in Islam is rejected outright."
The Council on American-Islamic relations has launched public service announcements on radio and television saying that Islam forbids terrorism.
The announcements are in English, Arabic and Urdu, and say those who use violence in the name of Islam are betraying their faith.
*WASHINGTON, July 28 (Xinhuanet) -- For the first time, leading US Muslim scholars on Thursday issued a religious edict to condemn terrorism and religious extremism.
*"Islam strictly condemns religious extremism and the use of violence against innocent lives," said the decree, or fatwa, released in Washington DC by the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA), a group of US Muslim scholars interpreting Islamic law.
*It is the first time Muslims in North America issued an anti-terrorism edict, although they had repeatedly condemned such acts of violence.
*The fatwa has been endorsed by major US Muslim groups.
*In the edict, the 18-member FCNA said people who committed terrorism are "criminals," not "martyrs."
*All acts of terrorism targeting civilians are haram (forbidden)in Islam," and "it is haram for a Muslim to cooperate with any individual or group that is involved in any act of terrorism or violence," declared the fatwa.
*It also said that it is both the civic and religious duty of Muslims to "cooperate with law enforcement authorities to protect the lives of all civilians."
*We pray for the defeat of extremism and terrorism," the scholars wrote.
*Similar anti-terrorism fatwa have been issued by other Muslim communities. After the bombings in London religious leaders from about 500 British mosques issued such an edict and presented it tolocal politicians.
*After the Sept. 11 terror attacks, major US Muslim organizations have condemned terrorism and denied any religious justification for it.
*The anti-terror efforts has been intensified following the July7 bombings in London and the following attacks two weeks later.
*There are some 6 million Muslims living in the United States, according to recent estimates. Enditem
Following deadly bombings in Britain and other nations, American Muslim scholars issued an edict Thursday condemning religious extremism and calling terrorists 'criminals, not `martyrs.''
The 18-member Fiqh Council of North America said Muslims were barred from helping 'any individual or group that is involved in any act of terrorism or violence.'
'There is no justification in Islam for extremism or terrorism,' the scholars wrote in the edict, called a fatwa. 'Targeting civilians' life and property through suicide bombings or any other method of attack is haram - or forbidden.'
Many Muslim leaders overseas have made similar statements in recent weeks, but some have left an opening for violence to be used in certain situations. One group of British Muslim leaders who denounced the July 7 attacks in London said suicide bombings could still be justified against an occupying power - drawing criticism that it invited violence in Iraq, where civilians along with coalition troops have been killed.
However, the U.S. scholars said in a Washington news conference that their prohibition applied to attacks on civilians everywhere. Their fatwa states that Muslims are obligated to help law enforcement authorities 'protect the lives of all civilians.'
'Suicide bombing is forbidden in Islam,' said Muzammil H. Siddiqi, head of the Fiqh Council. 'This is not the solution, it is not the right way of doing things. Occupation is wrong, of course, but at the same time this is not the way.'
Islam has no central authority and the council serves an advisory role for American Muslims, who could number as high as 6 million. But some question whether the panel's statements would sway extremists.
While the Muslim world does not look to America as a center of Islamic thinking, U.S. Muslims wanted to send a message about their faith. Muslim leaders lament that their repeated condemnations of terrorism since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks have been ignored by critics.
The Muslim Public Affairs Council, an advocacy group based in Los Angeles, started the 'National Anti-Terrorism Campaign,' urging Muslims to monitor their own communities, speak out more boldly against violence and work with law enforcement officials.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is running a TV ad and a petition-drive called 'Not in the Name of Islam,' which repudiates terrorism. In New York and other cities, mosque leaders have joined advisory committees created by the FBI to build relations between law enforcement and their local communities.
'We have been speaking repeatedly, clearly, unequivocally for years, even before 9/11,' said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights organization based in Washington. 'But apparently some people have just started to hear us.'
Alan Wisdom, head of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, a conservative Christian group in Washington, praised the scholars for issuing the edict. He said he hoped Muslim leaders would follow up the statement with action, by helping combat 'specific movements that employ terrorism as a basic tactic' in Israel and elsewhere, and by lobbying for religious freedom in Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia.
'We look forward to working with Muslims as they find in their tradition, we hope, the tools to build and work within democratic, pluralist states,' said Wisdom, a leader in encouraging evangelicals to build relations with Muslims.
Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, was especially encouraged that the Fiqh Council said its edict applied in all countries. The term 'fiqh' refers to Islamic legal issues.
'It's always helpful when prominent, mainstream religious leaders are willing to take a unified public stand against extremism,' said Saperstein, a former member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. 'Ultimately, it is Muslims who are going to need to win the battle about the direction and the future of Islam.'
Associated Press Writer Pauline Jelinek contributed to this report.
On the Net: Council on American-Islamic Relations: http://www.cair-net.org
"I think it is the responsibility of the leaderships of mosques to be more connected to the congregations, to make communities safe on an individual basis, and to keep an eye out for people under stress and make sure they channel it in a nonviolent way."
Abdul Malik Mujahid, chairman of the Chicago-based Council on Islamic Relations
People who commit terrorism in the name of Islam are "criminals, not 'martyrs,'æ" according to a powerful religious edict, called a fatwa, issued Thursday by leading American scholars of Islamic law.
Today in Chicago, Muslim leaders from throughout the city and suburbs will underscore that not only is violence against innocents forbidden, it's the duty of Muslim leaders to dissuade, speak out against and even report to police anyone in their community they suspect of inciting violence or preparing to commit violence.
"We go beyond condemnation," said Abdul Malik Mujahid, chairman of the Chicago-based Council on Islamic Relations, which will be leading this morning's endorsement of the fatwa by a host of local mosques and foundations, as well as the civil rights group Council on Islamic-American Relations.
"I think it is the responsibility of the leaderships of mosques to be more connected to the congregations, to make communities safe on an individual basis, and to keep an eye out for people under stress and make sure they channel it in a nonviolent way," Mujahid said Thursday. "It will be the responsibility of the Islamic leaders to recognize this, and it will be their duty to look for formal law enforcement."
He and others said the fatwa and its implications are twofold: First, it's an internal edict to Muslims, but it's also an external message to non-Muslims who may need to hear the strongest possible condemnation of terrorism from within Islam.
"For the non-Muslim community, it's important because I don't believe many Americans realize this is forbidden by Islam," said Arif Hussain, who leads Friday prayers at the Lake County Mosque in Waukegan. "They don't believe the Muslim community in America has spoken out loudly enough against these acts."
Many Muslim leaders overseas have issued similar condemnations in recent weeks, but some have left an opening for violence to be used. British Muslim leaders who denounced the July 7 attacks in London said suicide bombings could still be justified against an occupying power.
Local Muslim leaders say they were troubled by reports that some of the suspected British-raised bombers had drifted from their home mosque and attended talks by Islamic extremists.
"It was shocking to us," said Oussama Jamal, a board member and former president of the Bridgeview Mosque Foundation. "On Sept. 11, we knew it was no one in the community. But it is shocking to see someone who grew up in the UK to take part in acts like this."
Thus, Jamal said, in some ways the American fatwa was a "pre-emptive strike" in the battle for the hearts and minds of American Muslims.
The American fatwa was issued by the 18-member Fiqh Council of North America. The term "fiqh" refers to Islamic legal issues and understanding the faith's religious law.
"There is no justification in Islam for extremism or terrorism," the scholars wrote in a statement that quotes the Quran and accepted statements from the Islamic prophet Muhammad. "Targeting civilians' life and property through suicide bombings or any other method of attack is haram ‹ or forbidden."
Unlike, say, the Roman Catholic church, Islam has no central authority, so voices of local Muslim leaders are crucial, said Habibuddin Ahmed, general secretary of the Forest Park-based Islamic Thought and Science Institute.
"Islamic Foundation in Villa Park has an audience of several thousand people," Ahmed said. "The National Fiqh Council does not have that large an audience, so the local groups must move forward."