Dawn, May 18, 2005
Edict against suicide attacks
By Our Staff Reporter
LAHORE, May 17: A group of 58 religious scholars belonging to all schools of thought issued here on Tuesday an edict (fatwa) against suicide attacks. However, they said that the fatwa was applicable only in Pakistan. The edict was issued by Ruet Hilal Committee Chairman Mufti Muneebur Rahman at a press conference where only some TV channels had been invited.
Mufti Mohammad Khan Qadri, Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal MNA, Maulana Abdul Malik and other prominent clerics were present on the occasion. The edict says that Islam forbids suicide attacks on Muslims and those committing such acts at places of worship and public congregations cease to be Muslims.
The fatwa, Mufti Muneeb said, would apply only in Pakistan, while people waging freedom movements against alien occupation like in Palestine and Kashmir, were exempted of its scope. The decree said that killing innocent people was haram (forbidden) in Islam and carried the death penalty, Qisas and compensation. Killing a fellow Muslim without Islamic and legal reasons was even a bigger crime, it added.
The scholars said that they had issued the decree specifically in the perspective of Pakistan’s situation where over the past few years, suicide attacks had been carried out in places of worship and some elements had been propagating that the bombers had been brainwashed by religious organizations and made to believe that such attacks would take then to heaven.
The propaganda, the scholars said, gave a bad name to Islam and gave an impression that clerics were involved in provoking religious or sectarian killings. Under these circumstances, they said, they felt it their religious and national duty to issue the fatwa to clarify the situation for innocent people to help them avoid becoming a tool in the hands of the enemies of Islam.