Saturday, August 27, 2005

Some Good News

This is part of my new attempt to stop seeing the world through dung-colored sunglasses only, to look for the silver lining etcetera. Here is a tiny silver lining for you to enjoy with the still-threatening cloud of terrorism:

Dubai - A prominent London-based militant Islamic scholar has issued a fatwa, or religious edict, banning suicide operations of the kind carried out by followers of the al-Qaeda network.

"To my mind, these operations are closer to suicide than to martyrdom-seeking, and they are taboo and not permissible" for a number of reasons, wrote Syrian-born Abdul Menem Mustafa Halimeh, alias Abu Baseer al-Tartussi, on his website.

The Saudi-owned pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat, which reported Tartussi's fatwa on Saturday, described him as a top ideologue for Islamist militants and said his edict had provoked angry reactions on Islamist websites, with some accusing him of letting down al-Qaeda followers.

Tartussi, who adheres to the rigorous fundamentalist Salafi school and is the author of several theoretical works, said he was publishing his edict in response to repeated queries over where he stands on suicide attacks.

'These operations are closer to suicide than to maryrdom-seeking'
Among the reasons listed by Tartussi for his stance was that suicide operations "necessarily mean a person killing himself, which violates dozens of (Islamic) religious texts".

They also most often entail "wrongfully killing innocent and sacred souls, be they Muslim or otherwise", he said.

In addition, a "mujahed", or holy warrior, who is prepared to sacrifice his life is "invaluable" and "should not be condemned to death, through a bombing operation, as soon as he sets foot on the arena of jihad... as this heartens the enemies," Tartussi said.

Not how I would have phrased it but then I'm not a prominent radical Islamist thinker, and at least he condemns the killing of innocents. That his statement caused angry reactions is a good thing, too, because it means that the relevant individuals are actually reading what this man says. Every little bit helps. Or at least doesn't hurt.