Al-Azhar Endorsed Fatwa on Terrorism
Both major classically-trained Muslim scholars and Western scholars of Islam (like Shaykh Qadri and Professor Esposito in the case of the article below) agree that Jihad does not mean terrorism, and that Islam condemns terrorism as uni-Islamic.
Fatwa on Terrorism is a 600-page (Urdu version), 512-page (English version) Islamic decree by scholar Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri which demonstrates from the Quran and Sunnah that terrorism and suicide bombings are so unjust that their evil is un-Islamic. It is published from London as a book. The English edition was published in the UK by Minhaj-ul-Quran Publications. Qadri released the fatwa on 2 March 2010. This fatwa is a direct refutation of the ideology of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. It is one of the most extensive Islamic anti-terrorism rulings, an “absolute” condemnation of terrorism without “any excuses or pretexts” which goes further than ever and declares that terrorism is kufr under Islamic law. The launch was organised by Minhaj-ul-Quran UK. Qadri said during the launch that “Terrorism is terrorism, violence is violence and it has no place in Islamic teaching and no justification can be provided for it, or any kind of excuses or ifs or buts.”
According to CNN, experts see the fatwa as a significant blow to terrorist recruiting. CNN’s Amanpour show added the fatwa summary to its website and declared it to be fatwa for peace. while the US State Department declares the fatwa to be significant step in taking Islam back from terrorists.
ITV news channel questioned the credibility of the fatwa and asks if it was not by the British government because senior counter-terrorism officials from Scotland Yard and MI5 were present at the launch.
The 512-page English book version of the fatwa — Fatwa on Terrorism and Suicide Bombings — (London: Minhaj-ul-Quran, 2011. ISBN 978-0-9551888-9-3) has a foreword by John Esposito and an introduction by Joel Hayward, both of whom share Qadri’s scholarly assessment that, regardless of any intention, the evil of terrorism remains evil and must be exposed, opposed and condemned.
The Fatwa on Terrorism has been officially endorsed by Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt. In January 2011, the fatwa was discussed at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2011. In June 2011, Pope Benedict XVI received a copy of the fatwa from representatives of Minhaj Interfaith Relations. The Pope reportedly appreciated that it promoted peace, harmony and interfaith dialogue.