Tag Archives: Fatwa

A Fatwa Too Far

A Court in Bangladesh has outlawed punishments handed down by islamic clerics who issue fatwas concerning the treatment of women in the county. The nation’s High Court made clear its concern about fatwas that justified beating and degrading women or even going so far as to have them killed for the manner in which they dressed or their behavior toward men. According to the High Court, “any person who issues or executes such an extra-judicial penalty must be punished for committing a criminal offence.” Among the most outrageous examples of such fatwas was the case of a 16 year old girl who was raped, and for the “crime” of getting herself assaulted was flogged a hundred times! This feudal mentality is too often found in villages in which a group of men decide what is correct behavior on the part of women.

We all too often forget that planet Earth contains billions of people living in a post industrial society while also giving home to a few billion who would be more comfortable being in the year, 1510.

Fatwas To End All Fatwas

The lack of a central hierarchy within the Muslim religion has led to an infinite number of men capable of issuing a Fatwa about this or that which might be accepted this person or that person. Several recent Fatwas issued in Saudi Arabia have created some confusion, particularly after Sheikh Abvdul Mohsen Al-Obeikan issued a Fatwa which claims a man can be considered the son of a woman who breast feeds him. Many women rights activists regarded his comment as ludicrous. But, when Abdel Al-Kalbani, a Riyadh cleric who is the first black imam at the Grand Mosque in Makkah issued a Fatwa that music is OK and there is nothing in Islamic scripture that makes music, haram, forbidden. Obeikan also raised some hackles by saying compulsory midday and mid-afternoon prayer sessions could be combined to help out with hot weather conditions.

The Fatwa wars have begun. Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Sheikh warned the people of Saudi Arabia against “abnormal fatwas which have no support from the Quran.” These wars may reflect an ongoing conflict between those seeking to transform the Muslim religion into one which takes into account the year is 2010, not 810.

A Statue Too Far In Senegal Arouses Muslims

I confess to not being a Muslim, but like many, I attempt to comprehend how another religion views the world, but sometimes, what concerns others baffles me. An important imam in Senegal issued a fatwa against a new statue which celebrates the “African Renaissance” because the construction depicts a human form in some form of worship. The statue will be higher than the Statue of Liberty and the man, woman and child will sit on a hill overlooking the capital city of Dakar. According to imam Massamba Diop, who issued the fatwa and urged that it be read in mosques in an effort to “ask Allah to preserve us from the punishment this monument of shame risks bringing on Senegal.”

I gather this means Mohammad or God or some figure in the sky will halt whatever is on his mind and rush to Senegal, take one look at the monument, heave a sigh of anger and send a thunderbolt of anger to smash it to pieces. How about a fatwa against poverty or persecution of young girls who are forced into marriage?

Suicide Bombers–Virgins Or Digging Coal?

A Muslim scholar currently residing in London will shortly issue a fatwa that unequivocally condemns terrorism and warns anyone who wants to place bombs around his tummy and blow himself up that his destination will not be the warm heaven of dozens of gorgeous women, but the dark damp hot climate of Hell where on spends days shoveling coal for the Devil. Pakistani born Shaikh Dr. Tahir ul-Qadri will send out the fatwa for English speaking Muslims as part of his effort to demolish terrorist arguments that one must die in the name of Allah. The good doctor is well known within the British Pakistani community and it is doubtful if any terrorist will be stripping off a chest load of bombs because someone in London says to kill is against the teaching of Allah.

His fatwa will state, “it can in no way be permissible to keep foreign delegates under unlawful custody and murder them and other peaceful non-Muslim citizens in retaliation for interference, unjust activities, and aggressive advancdses of their countries.”

His comments are merely one shot in the fatwa wars of circulating statements to justify or not justify behavior.

Suicide Bombing Violates Muslim Religion

In recent years, the concept of suicide bombing has been linked to the Muslim religion although at other times in history, suicide bombers were prevalent in western society. A recent conference of leading clerics in Pakistan examined the issue of suicide bombing as it pertained to the basic values and beliefs of their society. They concluded that only a State, not an individual has the authority to call for jihad(holy war). The conference also confronted the issue of suicide bombing and issued a fatwa(edict) forbidding it. The Muttahida Ulema Council(MUC) was concerned about recent suicide attacks in Pakistan which have resulted in the death of hundreds of people. The MUC declared suicide bombing un-Islamic, and urged the government to cease military operations in the Tribal Areas and conduct negotiation with the people in those regions.

The conference of Islamic clerics demanded the government reveal any secret agreements made by their government with the United States an urged closer relations with Iran which they believe will be a firmer ally of their nation than the United States. The Council expressed concern that India had received special treatment pertaining to their nuclear program and Pakistan should be accorded similar rights.

Norwegian Islamic Council Considers Death For Gays

The Norwegian Islamic Council has requested advice from the European Fatwa Council before it decides whether or not it is in favor of the death penalty for homosexuals. Asmeth Rasmussen, a Lesbian activist, expressed horror at the fact the Norwegian Islamic Council even asked for an opinion from another Islamic group before stating bluntly its opposition to such ridiculous ideas as advocating death for gays and lesbians. “It’s wrong of the Norwegian Council to wait for the ‘verdict’ from the Fatwa Council in such an important case. By not saying ‘no’ to death penalties for gays, it shows attitudes that conflict with both democratic and humanitarian values.” Ms. Rasmussen is the only openly lesbian Muslim in Norway.

The Islamic Council, which represents 60,000 Muslims in Norway, insists it needs “the attitude of authority” before declaring what it believes. The Norwegian Islamic Council should recognize it is presenting living in a society which regards archaic and medieval ideas such as killing those who are homosexual to be without any foundation in human decency.