By Mashari Althaydi
17 January 2018
Will a fatwa (or religious edict) forbidding suicide bombing in the name of jihad actually stop these satanic acts?
Theologians affiliated to terrorist outfits base their thoughts on a number of arguments and a collection of text, whether they are Qur'anic or prophetic, or from the sayings of the ancient Salafis to give their actions the required religious cover.
This arena has been a battleground between clerics and official and semi-official religious institutions and theorists or “legitimate men”, as the terrorist groups call them, such as al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Ansar al-Sharia, Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, ISIS, the Libyan Islamic Fighting group, Egypt’s al-Takfir wal-Higra, Saudi’s al-Mohtasaba group and the Juhayman group.
In other words, we know that the sheikhs in Egypt’s al-Azhar and the Council of Senior Scholars in Saudi Arabia issued many Fatwas against al-Qaeda, ISIS and the like. However, it did not yield the desired results.
So does this mean that the official fatwa men should stop their efforts in this regard, or continue? Of course not. First of all, it is a religious and obligatory duty, and second, it is a frontline in the intellectual and moral struggle against these killers.
Pakistan’s 1,800-year-old fatwa
Days ago, Pakistan celebrated a government-released book unveiling a 1,800-year-old fatwa by the country’s religious scholars disproving suicide bombing. Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain said, “this fatwa is a strong base for a stable Muslim community.”
Pakistani fatwa scholars said, “No group or individual has the right to announce their jihad. Suicide bombings go against fundamental Islamic teachings and are therefore a sin.”
The book was published by the Islamic International University of Pakistan and was to be released in Islamabad in a ceremony attended by the Pakistani president.
But will the killers of Haqqani, the Taliban of Pakistan, the Taliban of Afghanistan, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba and others stop suicide bombings because of this fatwa?
And are suicide bombings the only problem, or is it the mind of a boy who is ready to kill himself and others by detonating a belt?
In other words, the real problem is not only in Pakistan, but in the minds that feed these people, and some mosques, schools and houses, which influence the minds of young men and women. This is the origin of the disease.
Any effort to curb extremism is with no doubt appreciated and commended, but we should not exaggerate. With all what is happening, we are only hovering around the symptom and haven’t even tackled the real sickness yet.
Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Althaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists.