In an article he published in the London-based daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Iraqi writer and journalist Khalid Al-Kishtainy called to issue a fatwa against terrorism agreed-upon by Islamic scholars worldwide, which will be widely distributed on the media and in public places and taught in religious and educational facilities. He wrote that the responsibility to eliminate Islamic terrorism and the ideology that underpins it rests with the Muslims alone, and that only persistent efforts in this direction will yield the required results.
Khalid Al-Kishtainy (image: Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London)
"On December 21, , the general secretariat of Saudi Arabia's Senior Clerics Council issued a fatwa that denounces as infidels all Muslims who kill their fellow Muslims or [the Muslims'] allies whose blood is protected and who may not be killed [according to the shari'a]. [The fatwa proclaims] that whoever does so commits one of the gravest violations, which cannot be justified in any way, and is barred from entering Paradise. This is a clear message, but sadly it did not gain the distribution and the attention it merited. The fatwa was issued [precisely] at a time when I was thinking about, and calling for the issuing of a global fatwa of this kind, because the terror of Muslim extremists has grown into a monster whose shadow looms over the entire [world], threatening all human societies. Not a day passes without us hearing news of a catastrophe [caused by this terror]; no Islamic country, and no country that is intervening in an Islamic country, is spared [these terror attacks].
"The terror of Islamic extremists has become a well-known [scourge], and therefore requires a resounding response. The other [non-Islamic] countries [of the world] have tried to take various measures in order to monitor these extremist Muslims, hunt them down, raid their hiding places and arrest their leaders and supporters. However, reality shows that these efforts have been futile, since supporters of Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram and their ilk have multiplied and spread [across the world]... Their main weapon is their deviant beliefs... and we must fight them using the same weapon [i.e., religious ideology]... [To this end] we need a global fatwa, agreed upon by all Islamic scholars from all Islamic countries and sects. They must issue a notable ruling that will be distributed in all mosques, schools, prisons, educational facilities and armies, and posted in public places. Teachers and clerics will read it out and explain it from the mosque pulpits and on television, radio, the internet and on [social] networks. It is important to persist in these efforts – for [only by] stubbornly reiterating [the message], again and again, will we attain the desired results.
"We must purge the diseased minds of these baseless and fraudulent beliefs. That is a war that we must wage. The people of the West cannot wage it [for us]; the responsibility lies with us. If ISIS attains its goals by brainwashing youths [and filling their minds] with poison, we must purge [their minds] using the true disinfectant, namely true faith that strengthens one's mind and knowledge."
 Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), January 1, 2017.