American Thinker: The Deobandi Fatwa Against Terrorism Didn’t Treat the Jihadi Root
The fatwa has two main targets:
Create a separation in the eyes of the public discourse between Islam (as a religion) and terrorism as an illegal violent activity.Such a move is legitimate and to be encouraged as it diminishes the tensions towards Muslims in non-Muslim countries, particularly in the West, as some are claiming that the Islamic religion is theologically linked to the acts and statements of the Jihadists. The logic of “we are Muslims and we are against Terrorism,” helps significantly the disassociation between the community and the acts of violence. However, without criticizing the ideological roots of this violence, the fatwa seem to state a wishful thinking, not an injunction. A more powerful fatwa should have openly and expressly said: “we reject the calls for violent Jihad regardless of the motives.” For the followers of Jihadism do not consider their Jihad as “terrorism.” Their answer has always been -to these types of fatwas- “but we aren’t performing terrorism, we are conducting Jihad.” Thus, at this crucial level, the Deobandi fatwa missed the crux of the problem.
Deny governments the ability to use the accusation that Islam condones Terrorism to oppress Muslims.
The fatwa is concerned with geopolitics more than theological reform. Concern for the safety of one’s co-religfionists is of course legitimate and should be addressed. But Jihadism, the legitimizing root of political violence, cannot be ignored in any effort to protect the lives of Muslims.
(…)Who is “innocent”?The fatwa defined terrorism as violence “targeting innocent people.” Such a definition is not new and doesn’t set clear boundaries. For the question at hand is what does “innocent” mean? On several web sites and on many shows on al Jazeera television, Jihadi apologists often use the Arabic term“bare’e” for “innocent” and assure the audience that Jihad cannot target the latter.But Usama Bin Laden and Ayman Zawahiri, and to some extent Hassan Nasrallah, all claim that innocence is relative.(…) In short, the status of “innocence” doesn’t overlap fully with the status of “civilians.” It is a matter of discretion in Jihadi warfare. Hence, to claim that Terrorism is defined as targeting innocent people is to claim that not all civilians are innocent, and that not only breaches international law, but gives credence to Jihadi violence.Who is a “terrorist”?Moreover, still the fatwa doesn’t identify al Qaeda, or any other similar group, including the Taliban, as Terrorist organizations. And as of now, no subsequent fatwas based on this Deobandi fatwa have done so yet. Therefore, in terms of identification of terror entities, the edict has failed to show its followers who is the terror perpetrator.This text simply doesn’t bring novelty to the debate about Jihadi-rooted Terrorism. For years, particularly since 2001, Islamist ideologues and militant groups have refrained from simply naming those terror groups as such. Spokespersons have constantly repeated that condemning terrorism in general is enough.If the Muslim scholars followed this logic on the question of occupations, then neither Iraq nor Palestine should be specifically mention. But that is not the case.
People who thought Deobandis have changed are veeeeeeeery wrong…