From The National Post
By Charles Lewis
Twenty imams have issued a “fatwa” against any Muslim who would attempt to commit an act of terrorism in Canada or the United States.
Syed Soharwardy, an imam at the Al-Madinah Calgary Islamic Centre, who organized the initiative, said on Friday that any attack by foreign elements should also be considered a direct affront to the 10 million Muslims who call either Canada or the United States home.
“We want Muslims around the world who would dare to commit terrorism on our soil to know that we stand together with all Canadians and Americans.
“We are asking Muslims here not only to condemn terrorism but to also see these events as attacks on themselves.”
Imam Soharwardy said he thought of the initiative just after a Nigerian man was charged with trying to blow up a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day. At that point he began calling religious leaders here and in the United States to join his effort.
Nineteen Canadian imams and one American have signed the fatwa to date.
“The Koran teaches us that we have an obligation to stop violence. We live in a non-Muslim country called Canada where Muslims and others live side by side and this is our country, too.
“Our children are born here. Our future children will live here. That’s why we have to oppose this violence.”
Since the threats against Salman Rushdie several years ago, most people think of fatwas as death threats. But in fact, the imam notes, the vast majority of fatwas are condemnations or even non-binding directives that are meant to teach fellow Muslims the proper religious response to a given situation.
He said many Muslims he has spoken to say there lives have grown miserable and have suffered societal backlash because of the perceived association between violence and Islam.
But since 9/11, he added, it has become imperative for Muslims to vocally condemn violence — even though they have no personal responsibility for those heinous acts.
Muslims who live in this country should also stop fighting the battles that they left behind when they came to live here, he added.
“We are Canadian now. This is where our energy should be directed.”
Read more: http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/holy-post/archive/2010/01/09/imams-issue-fatwa-against-terrorists.aspx#ixzz0c7wnw8jL
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