Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens & Houriya Ahmed: To be be effective, this fatwa needs to find popular purchase

Share
Related Topics

This is not the first time that such a condemnation has been issued by a senior Islamic authority. Yet there are two aspects to this one which set it apart from the rest.

It is an unequivocal denunciation of suicide bombings and terrorism. Dr Qadri criticises others who condemn acts of terror, while at the same time providing a catalogue of excuses for it. Addressing the audience at the fatwa launch in Westminster he said: "A total condemnation should come from the Muslim world without playing with ifs or buts. No pretext, no foreign policy, no talk of occupation."

Previous condemnations have often referred to terrorism as haram (forbidden). Dr Qadri takes this a step further by comparing today's terrorists to the 7th century Kharijites, who were excommunicated because they permitted the killing of anyone deemed to be an obstacle to 'the rule of God'. Dr Qadri insists that terrorism is not just a forbidden act, but one that leads to expulsion from Islam: "it is an act of kufr (disbelief)".

Dr Qadri's message is expressly non-political. He recognises that terrorism feeds on the politicisation of religion, and he made this clear in his presentation. It is also important to note that Dr Qadri's fatwa is not the product of his own ijtihad (interpretation of religious texts); rather he is relaying previous edicts taken from orthodox and classical Islamic texts - the authenticity of which no Muslim can dispute.

Minhaj ul-Quran is based in Pakistan, and its decision to launch this fatwa in the UK was clearly a symbolic one. Britain is the European hub of international terror, with the majority of British terrorists being of Pakistani descent. This country sees high levels of extremist traffic - British citizens travel to Pakistan to strengthen their ideology as well as receive terror training. They then return to Britain seeking to commit or facilitate acts of terror.

Whether or not this fatwa will be effective remains to be seen, however, this is an important document and its real value lies in whether its intellectual capital is able to find popular purchase.

The writers are from the Centre for Social Cohesion

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Women are working in some of the lowest-paid sectors such as cleaning, catering and caring  

Women's wages have gone backwards. Labour would give women the pay they deserve

Gloria de Piero
 

Taking on Ukip requires a delicate balancing act for both main parties

Andrew Grice
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker