Fatwa 17

-- by Rachel du Pre

We live in a world facing an ever increasing fear of random acts of terrorism and the violence of war as epitomised by the tragedies in Syria and Iraq where ISIL/ISIS, a terrorist mercenary army are committing atrocities while encouraging acts of murder on the vulnerable and the innocent in democracies across the world. 

In the face of such outrage, the Charter for Compassion seeks to balance their terror with our quest for peace, their violence with our non violent protest and we are proud of the massive response we saw on two days organised by the UN (for Peace and for Non Violent Protest) which saw many events organised under the various wings of the Charter.

But ISIL continue and they do so because they hide under the banner of Islam, a religion which by tradition has always harboured my brothers and sisters even when known to have committed terrible crimes, and a religion increasingly developing a reputation for extremism, for being oppressive, antiquated and not to be trusted.

Muslims have rightly been criticised for our failure to oust ISIL members. Just as Al Qaeda were found to be hiding in Pakistan, so ISIL are known to have had Turkish aid to enter Syria and Iraq.  Where is peaceful Islam?  Where is the counter to ISIL within the Muslim community?

In 2014 several thousand Imam and Islamic scholars, myself included, signed an open letter condemning ISIL's violence. It was ignored.  Since then 16 leading academics or Imam, all lawyers such as myself, have issued fatwa (legal rulings) condemning ISIL but none went far enough, always stopping just short of what has always been needed.

And so, as part of my own contribution to the Day of Peace and the Day of Non Violent Protest, I have issued the 17th fatwa against the evil that is ISIL.  One that does four things:

1) condemns all acts of terrorism against the vulnerable and the innocent as contrary to the Quran no matter what the belief of the victim

2) declares ISIL members and supporters as non believers (kafir) and thus outsted from Islam

3) calls on all true Muslims to turn in any member or supporter of ISIL into the authorities that the rule of law may prevail and

4) offers ISIL's leadership one last chance to agree peace and to return to the fold of Islam by rejecting the false ideology of al Baghdadi

The fatwa is lengthy because it also justifies the above rulings drawing on the Quran while meeting the claims within the false ideology of al Baghdadi (a form of salafism).

I bring the fatwa (Fatwa 17) to your attention as an opportunity first that you may challenge those Muslims in your community and ask do they agree with the ruling and will they abide by it policing your communities to keep them safe from any threat of Islamic terrorism ever again?

But second I do so because the more public the fatwa becomes the more effective it will be.  It is the nature of fatwa that they are only followed if heard and 16 fatwa drew resounding silence.  Will the 17th meet the same fate?  That is in your hands as much as mine, perhaps more so? 

All fatwa are advisoryand there is no single place they are published; rather they ripple through communities like wind through the reeds.  If you feel that to oust ISIL in this way is something that we should be encouraging in the hope of world peace then place Fatwa 17 in your community newsletter or parish bulletin,talk of it to friends, at work, spread the word.  Fatwa 17 (the 17th to condemn ISIL) is out there but it will only make a difference if we use it

As salaam alaykum

Peace be with you all"

{Rachel is a polymath, the Imam of a small community in France, a doctor in theology, master in chemistry, a graduate in law, Member of the European Institute of Industrial Engineers, Member of the Royal Society of Economists, a muhwada and Sufi seer}


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