May 19, 2006 Special Dispatch No. 1167

Arab Columnist: The Religious Establishment Must Issue Courageous Anti-Terror Fatwas

May 19, 2006
The Gulf, United Arab Emirates | Special Dispatch No. 1167

In a column in the UAE daily Al-Ittihad, titled "The Terrorists and the Final Smile of Death,"Muhammad Al-Hamadi called upon the religious establishment in the Arab world to issue resolute fatwas against terrorism and its supporters. His call came in the wake of the April 2006 terror attacks in the Sinai.

The following are excerpts from his column: [1]

Fatwas Must Be Issued Condemning Terrorism Against Innocent Civilians of Any Religion, Ethnicity, Color, or Origin

"'Can anybody dare to call the terrorist operation committed last Monday evening in the tourist town of Dahab... an act of self-sacrifice or martyrdom?! Can the three consecutive bombings near restaurants, hotels, and tourist resorts, teeming with people be considered an operation with a supreme cause?!

"This [terrorist] operation leads us to emphasize once again the importance of the 'ulama [Muslim religious scholars] acting with honesty, devotion, and conviction, and declaring their position regarding these terrorist acts. They must emphasize that [these operations] have no place whatsoever in Islam, and moreover, that the religion of Islam denounces them, because it is a religion of mercy and guidance for humanity, not a religion of killing innocent people.

"Not only do we need honest fatwas issued by the [Islamic] nation's 'ulama but we also need clear, unambiguous fatwas issued by the great religious institutions, whether Al-Azhar or [the institutions in] Mecca. Moreover, [these fatwas] must be courageous in calling openly upon Muslims to oppose these terrorist operations and to oppose the Islamic groups that support terrorism against innocent civilians, regardless of their religion, ethnicity, color, or origin...

"It is important that these fatwas be issued in a way that will make people relinquish [their] double standards and split personality, and [stop saying] with regard to the deeds of bin Laden and his terrorist followers: 'Thank you for doing to the West what we would like to do but cannot.' It is as if they are saying, through their silence and their unclear stance, 'The world deserves to be harmed by the terrorist operations you commit.' This stance, even if some do not state it publicly, is clear and does not need to be proven. This is why it is important for the religious institutions and the 'ulama, who are fervent in [their adherence to] Islam, to intervene and clarify matters to the public, so that their position will be clear. In the future, they will also play a role in drying up the sources of terrorism once and for all."

"This is a Culture of Killing and Perdition… a Culture of 'Smiling Death'"

"This is a culture of killing and perdition, or perhaps a culture of 'smiling death.' [Both] the suicide bomber and the person who carries out a remote [terrorist] operation go to the scene with full confidence, a smile smeared all over their faces, happy about what they are going to do. The suicide bomber views himself as going to Paradise, and the only thing separating him from [Paradise] is pressing the button - after which he and those around him will blow up, and he will be floating in Paradise, leaving behind this world and its evil.

"The person who carries out a remote [terrorist] operation also smiles, because he thinks he is carrying out Allah's will - just as his leaders misled him to believe. [He believes that] if he kills an infidel, he will be rewarded [in the world to come], and [that] this will enable him to enter Paradise. The killer and his victim cannot meet in the same place, since, after all, one must be in Paradise and the other in Hell. Since the killer is a Muslim, and the other an infidel and a sinner, the former will ensure his entry into Paradise following this operation…

"Another [type of] 'smile of death' is the kind that covers the faces of the leaders, who smile maliciously when they train these people to commit acts [of terrorism]. They sit and watch from a distance, out of harm's way, and make do with counting their walking ticking bombs!

"These are the smiles of death, at a time when there is no longer room for sense, logic, or justice [in the minds of those] who wear these smiles. Therefore, the intervention of the 'ulama has come to be of the utmost importance at this dangerous stage in the history of the [Islamic] nation -when many of its sons have begun to prefer [burial] in the earth to [life] on it because of the failure, the subjugation, and the oppression, and who become easy prey in the hands of those who hold terrorist views, who are willing to do anything to fulfill their destructive plans against humanity."

[1] Al-Ittihad (UAE), April 26, 2006. The article also appeared in the reformist Egyptian weekly Nahdat Misr on May 1, 2006.

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