(Washington, D.C., 7/28/05) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today offered its support for a fatwa, or Islamic religious ruling, against terrorism and extremism issued by the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) and endorsed by more than 120 U.S. Muslim groups, leaders and institutions. (The term “fiqh” refers to Islamic jurisprudence.) The fatwa, released during a news conference this morning at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., states in part:
“Islam strictly condemns religious extremism and the use of violence against innocent lives. There is no justification in Islam for extremism or terrorism. Targeting civilians’ life and property through suicide bombings or any other method of attack is haram — or forbidden — and those who commit these barbaric acts are criminals, not martyrs. …
In the light of the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah we clearly and strongly state:
1. All acts of terrorism targeting civilians are haram (forbidden) in Islam.
2. It is haram for a Muslim to cooperate with any individual or group that is involved in any act of terrorism or violence.
3. It is the civic and religious duty of Muslims to cooperate with law enforcement authorities to protect the lives of all civilians.
We issue this fatwa following the guidance of our scripture, the Qur’an, and the teachings of our Prophet Muhammad – peace be upon him.”
SEE: “U.S. Muslim Scholars to Forbid Terrorism” (Washington Post)
SEE: “From Muslims in America, a New Fatwa on Terrorism” (New York Times)
In a statement read at the news conference, CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad said: “United, we can confront the terrorists and frustrate their goal of sparking an apocalyptic war between faiths and civilizations … The presence here today of American Muslim leaders indicates the willingness of our community to strengthen national security and to work with policy-makers to gain victory over this international menace to humanity.” CAIR urged that the fatwa be read by Imams, or Islamic prayer leaders, at Friday prayers across the United States.
Awad also announced the release of radio versions of CAIR’s 30-second “Not in the Name of Islam” television public service announcement (PSA) in English, Arabic and Urdu. The PSA campaign ties into CAIR’s “Not in the Name of Islam” online petition drive designed to disassociate the faith of Islam from the violent acts of a few Muslims. To listen to the PSAs, go to: English | Arabic | Urdu | Video
CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.