Influential Islamic seminary issues fatwa against terrorism
A leading Islamic seminary has issued a fatwa against terrorism, declaring it the "most inhuman crime" at a conference in New Delhi attended by 15,000 Muslims from all over India, dpa reported.
Religious leaders, scholars and various Muslim groups took a pledge to work together to fight terrorists at the Anti-Terrorism Conference organized by Jamiat-e-Ulema Hind, a nationwide council of Islamic clergy, on Saturday, the NDTV network reported.
"In its (Islam's) eyes, on any part over the surface of earth spreading mischief, rioting, breach of peace, bloodshed, killing of innocent persons and plundering are the most inhuman crime," said the fatwa issued by Darul-Uloom Deoband, considered the most influential school for Islamic law in Asia.
Reading out the fatwa, Riyasat Ali Bijnouri, cleric of the seminary, quoted Holy Koran as saying: "Do not mischief on the earth after it has been set in order."
"Islam loves peace. Islam rejects all kinds of unjust violence," the fatwa read. "And does not allow it in any form."
Local media said it was the first time since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 that Muslim clerics in India organized a mass rally against terrorism and issued a fatwa against the tactic.
India, with an estimated 151 million Muslims, is home to the third-largest Muslim population in the world after Indonesia and Pakistan.
In February, the Darul-Uloom Deoband denounced terrorism as "un-Islamic" and against the teachings of Islam.
The Deoband school, located 150 kilometres north of Delhi, was established in the late 19th century and has adherents from Afghanistan, Pakistan and South-east Asia.
The Taliban have often claimed adherence to the Deoband seminary, which has been strongly denied by the scholars there.
"Terrorism is a scourge which must be wiped off from this planet. That is why Darul Uloom Deoband have issued a fatwa against terrorism," Maulana Mahmoud Madani, president of Jamiat-e-Ulema Hind, was quoted by the NDTV as saying.
Conference members also expressed deep concern on the present global condition in which many countries were adopting an adverse attitude towards Muslims.
The gathering condemned attempts to implicate Muslims and particularly religious institutions for terrorist acts.
"The disease (terrorism) has been diagnosed in a wrong way," Madani told the PTI news agency.
"Whenever there is any incident of terrorism, every possible attempt is made to link it to Muslims and particularly who have studied in madrasas and religious institutions. This is totally wrong," he added.