Following are excerpts from an interview with Dr. Muhammad Salim Al-Awa, secretary-general of the International Union for Muslim Scholars, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on October 3, 2006.
Dr. Muhammad Salim Al-Awa: The Muslims who fight the Zionists in the West Bank and Gaza - in Palestine - have begun to use young women as [human] bombs in self-sacrifice operations, in which a person blows himself up in a Zionist crowd of soldiers or policemen, and so on. One [sheik] ruled that this is forbidden. Why? He said: "Because Allah created women for pregnancy and childbirth, so if you send her to explode, or convince her to blow herself up, you prevent the will of Allah from being fulfilled, because this woman will never marry, get pregnant, or give birth." Well, what if she dies in a car crash or a plane crash? What if she dies a natural death? What if she never gets married? What is this nonsense? What is more important: The right of countries to be liberated from the colonialists, or the right of a woman to get married and give birth? If this can be called a right at all, because it may or may not happen... This fatwa had a negative effect in Palestine, I'm sad to say, because many mothers - good, dear mothers – began to fear that if their daughters did this, they would be committing a sin, so they told them that this sheik forbade it. A long debate ensued, but, Allah be praised, eventually people ignored this fatwa.