LETTER:Islam's views on terrorism

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The Independent Online
From Ms Frances D'Souza

Sir: Iran's Foreign Minister, Dr Ali Akbar Velayati, is right to condemn the premature and false reports that Iran was involved in the Oklahoma bombing ("Velayati offers no word of hope for Rushdie", 31 May). However, Dr Velayati's claim that the Iranian fatwa against Salman Rushdie has, or ever had, the support of the Islamic Conference Organisation (ICO) was categorically refuted at that organisation's December 1994 summit.

The precise words of King Hussan, host to the 52-states meeting in Casablanca on 13-14 December, were as follows:

No person and no authority can entrust to themselves what Islam has not entrusted to them, such as embarking on the road of terrorism, resorting to aggression in thought and practice, passing rulings of infidelity on Muslims, excluding them from the fold of Islam and delivering a fatwa or launching a jihad against them.

The King then added that the behaviour of certain groups whose attitudes are at variance with Islamic tolerance has caused a frenzied campaign against Islam.

This opening speech was broadcast live on television and later adopted as an official document of the ICO at which Iran was a participating member.

Yours faithfully,

FRANCES D'SOUZA

Director

Article XIX

London, N1

5 June

The writer is chairperson of the International Rushdie Defence Committee.

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