The leader of a Muslim movement with thousands of followers in the UK was Tuesday issuing a fatwa – or Islamic religious ruling – condemning terrorism and warning suicide bombers that they are “destined for hell”.
Pakistan-born Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, founder of the global “Minhaj-ul-Quran” movement, was making the formal UK proclamation of a fatwa, or religious edict, condemning terrorism and suicide bombing at a news conference in London, a spokesman for the group said.
The 600-page fatwa announces that “suicide bombings and attacks against civilian targets are not only condemned by Islam, but render the perpetrators totally out of the fold of Islam, in other words, to be unbelievers”.
According to Sky News, Tahir-ul-Qadri said “he felt compelled to issue the fatwa because of concerns about the radicalisation of British Muslims at university campuses and because there had been a lack of condemnation of extremism by Muslim clerics and scholars.”
Shahid Mursaleen, spokesman for Minhaj-ul-Quran UK, said, “He has hit hard on the terrorists as it prevents Islamists from considering suicide bombers as ‘martyrs’.”
This fatwa aims to injects doubt into the minds of potential suicide bombers.
“Extremist groups based in Britain recruit youth by brainwashing them that they will ‘with certainty’ be rewarded in the next life and Dr Qadri’s fatwa has removed this key intellectual factor from their minds.”
The fatwa has been billed as “arguably the most comprehensive” theological refutation of Islamic terrorism to date by counter extremism think tank the Quilliam foundation.
A Quilliam spokesman said, “Terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda continue to justify their mass killings with self-serving readings of religious scripture. “Fatwas that demolish and expose such theological innovations will consign Islamist terrorism to the dustbin of history.”
The Minhaj-ul-Quaran movement runs courses in combating religious extremism in educational centres throughout Britain including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Dundee in Scotland. There are around 1.6 million Muslims in the UK, the majority from the Indian sub-continent.