Relevant Links

Your Ad Here

A fatuous fatwa [updated]

From the Globe and Mail:

In an unprecedented move, 120 Canadian imams and other Islamic religious leaders from across the country will release a statement today denouncing terrorism and vowing to confront religious extremism.

The declaration, co-ordinated by the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN), will be released at a news conference at a downtown Toronto mosque following noon-time prayers. Imams from Calgary, Newfoundland and Toronto will attend.

A positive development, I suppose. But really, when a statement declaring terrorism as bad makes the front page, it tells you lot about the people making the statement, and how little we've come to expect from them.

The religious edict from the Sunni Council in Britain called the suicide bombings an act against Islam, declaring that any type of suicide attack is against the Koran. The fatwa said: "The attacks in London have no Islamic justification, are totally condemned and we equally condemn those who may have been masterminding these acts."

This week, the Canadian Islamic Congress endorsed that fatwa, calling it "Islamically sound" and describing the bombings as a work of "perverted ideology" contrary to Islamic teachings.

Notice what is missing? No call to actually do something about it. The fatwa, as decribed in the paper, does not call on Muslims who have knowledge of terrorist plots to go to the authorities and reveal what they know, to name names, to point fingers and save lives. Maybe the full text of the fatwa will be different, but I doubt it.

You might say that squealing on a terrorist guarantees a quick death.


Just promise eternal life to anyone who dies trying to do the right thing and stop the terrorists. You can do that in a fatwa. Here's the fatwa that sent Salman Rushdie into hiding:

In the name of God Almighty. There is only one God, to whom we shall all return. I would like to inform all intrepid Muslims in the world that the author of the book entitled The Satanic Verses, which has been compiled, printed, and published in opposition to Islam, the Prophet, and the Qur’an, as well as those publishers who were aware of its contents, have been sentenced to death. I call on all zealous Muslims to execute them quickly, wherever they find them, so that no one will dare insult the Islamic sanctions. Whoever is killed on this path will be regarded as a martyr, God willing. In addition, anyone who has access to the author of the book, but does not possess the power to execute him, should refer him to the people so that he may be punished for his actions. May God’s blessing be on you all. Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini.

Seems like a good start. Has some real teeth in it. Just needs a few changes to a few bits here and there. Change Rushie to terrorists, change publishers to supporters, change "execute them quickly" to "turn them in to the authorities immediately" -- you get the idea.

Anything less is just public relations.

Update: The fatwa has been made available. Here are the relevant statements regarding how the Muslim leadership will confront terrorism, and how they expect faithful Muslims to respond to terrorists in their midst:

We have opposed, and will continue, to oppose all extremism, hate and terrorism.

We will confront and challenge the extremist mindset that produces this perversion of our faith.

We remind Canadian Muslims that no injustice done to Muslims anywhere can ever justify the taking of innocent life. All life, whether here or abroad, is sacred: And whoever saves a life it is as though he had saved the lives of all humankind.

As religious leaders, we echo the exhortation of the Koran for Muslims to be firm advocates for justice, even if it be against their families, their communities or themselves and to insist on Islam as a lived reality that is compassionate, tolerant, just and life sanctifying.

Unfortunately, there is no direct call for Muslims who have knowledge of the identity of terrorists or terrorist supporters, or who have knowledge of terrorist plans, to turn over what they know to the Canadian authorities immediately. The closest that the fatwa comes to that is in the last quoted portion, in which Muslims are called to be "firm advocates for justice" even in the face of opposition from fellow Muslims.

But as it is, it is a weak statement, since the events since 9/11 and even before demand that the Muslim community, from which the terrorists have come from (including the 9/11 hijackers and the 7/7 bombers), make a special effort to purge itself of these elements, and hand over those that have done, or would do, harm to the police.

[Captain Ed reports on a similarly weak fatwa coming out of the US]

Your Ad Here
Relevant Links

Your Ad Here

Create Commons License 2.5
Angry in the Great White North by Steve Janke is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License. Based on a work at
Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict
[Valid Atom 1.0]
Valid CSS!