"History is philosophy teaching by example." (Lord Bolingbroke)

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Tuesday, November 30, 2004

It's All About the Fatwas!

I was about to follow the phrase with the familiar word "stupid," but fatwas and those that follow them are not stupid and neither should we be about their deadly intentions.

According to the Free Muslim Coalition Against Terrorism, fatwas are "religious opinions, edicts, rulings and conclusions that incite violence and justify the use of terrorism. These religious leaders are especially dangerous because some of their followers consider their opinions to be gospel. " A famous fatwa is the the edict that instructed Muslims to "execute" the author Salmon Rushdie for the crime of "blasphemy against Islam" for writing the novel The Satanic Verses,criticizing Islam and referring to certain verses of the Koran. Rushdie had to go into hiding for several years until the original fatwa was lifted.

Not all fatwas are matters of life and death, and Muslims seem to spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about whether something is considered Muslim or non-Muslim, and they seek fatwas to give them the answer. There are a plethora of websites and other sources that are only too glad to help them out. For this and other reasons, it is unlikely that practicing Muslims could ever be integrated into a non-Muslim society.

But some fatwas are issued by clerics that advocate violence. Some extremist clerics and send out jihadists to commit terrorist acts using any means possible. Such fatwas are even issued from the pulpit during Friday prayers, using a place of worship is the most abominably for vile purposes. They are advocating murder and are as guilty as any Mafia don that calls for a hit on the enemies of the brotherhood.

How can they get away with it? Radical clerics issue fatwas for religious reasons, claiming that non-Muslims are unworthy of life simply because they are they are not Muslim. It is crucial that these religious leaders be held accountable for instigating violence and convincing their followers that they will go to heaven merely for murdering non-Muslims.

Here is an example of a fatwa that encourages terrorism:

• Sheikh Yousif Al-Qardhawi issued a Fatwa permitting the killing of “fetuses” (unborn) Jews, because (according to him) when Jews are born and grown-up they will join the Israeli army. Furthermore, on September 3, 2004, (at the Egyptian Journalist Union) Al-Qardhawi issued a fatwa to kill all American civilians working in Iraq. And on July 3, 2004, he issued another fatwa permitting the killing of Muslim intellectuals as being apostates, claiming that Islam justifies the killing of such apostates.

These clerics use the umbrella of Islam, citing passages from the Koran and using the life of Mohammed as their inspiration. Although many Muslims today are reluctant to use these verses in their lives, they still accept the Koran in its entirety, refusing to denounce them. Thus, clerics must mitigate the effect of these verses in the same way that Christian ministers do when discussing verses that advocate violence that are found in the Old Testament of the Bible. A Christian minister that would instruct his congregation to explicitly follow these verses would be strictly censured or perhaps prosecuted if found to be have sent out congregation members to bomb and kill. In a civilized world, society should expect no less from Muslim clerics.


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