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TERRORISM IS ANTI-ISLAMIC, A declaration by 10,000 Clerics

I am pleased to see this statement aka Fatwa by one of the World's largest Islamic learning centers. It is good to see the establishment take action. I welcome this wholeheartedly.

Bush's war on terrorism is a dismal failure because it does not target the individual criminals who can be reached, accessed and punished. Instead he blames the religion, which is intangible, meaning cannot punish the religion, as it is not a target, or gives birth to terrorists. He and his advisors fail to understand that it is not the religion, it is the individuals that need to be targeted, then we will have success. (article on why the war on terror failed http://mikeghouseforamerica.blogspot.com/2007/05/laser-barking-at-terrorists.html )

The President and his men, do not have the guts to deal with issue head on, i.e., going after the terrorist individuals, instead they run amuck, blazing the gun in every direction hoping something will come in its way and gets killed. On the other hand the declared war on terrorism may be a sham, it may be really a war to control the energy resources, we are the beneficiaries not doubt, but I would rather focus on alternate sources than have the means on some one else's blood.

Mike Ghouse

The Deoband Declaration on Terrorism: Why Now?

Dost Mittar March 10, 2008

http://www.chowk.com/articles/13709

Darul Uloom of Deoband is the second most important institute of Islamic learning in the world after the Al Azhar University of Cairo. On February 25, 2008, it held a large “All India Terrorism Conference” in its hometown, which was attended by over 10,000 Islamic clerics, scholars, muftis and teachers of Madrasas owing allegiance not only to Deobandi but also Barelavi and Shia schools of Islamic thought. The conference issued a statement that included the following declaration:

"Islam is the religion of mercy for all humanity. It is the fountainhead of eternal peace, tranquility [and] security. Islam has given so much importance to human beings that it regards the killing of a single person [as] the killing [of] the entire humanity, without differentiation based on creed and caste. Its teaching of peace encompasses all humanity. Islam has taught its followers to treat all mankind with equality, mercy, tolerance [and] justice. Islam sternly condemns all kinds of oppression, violence and terrorism. It has regarded oppression, mischief, rioting and murdering among [the] severest sins and crimes.
"This All India Anti-Terrorism Conference, attended by the representatives of all Muslim schools of thought, organised by Rabta Madaris Islamiah Arabia (The Islamic Madrasas Association) Darul Uloom Deoband, condemns all kinds of violence and terrorism in the strongest possible terms.
"The Conference expresses its deep concern and agony [over] the alarming global and national conditions [presently prevailing in the world], in which most of the nations are adopting an attitude against their citizens - especially the Muslims - that cannot be justified in any way, in order to appease the tyrant and colonial master of the West. It is a matter of [even] greater concern that the internal and external policies of our country are becoming heavily influenced by these forces. Their aggression, barbarism and state-sponsored terrorism - not only in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan, but also in Bosnia and various South American countries - have surpassed all records known to human history. Our great nation, [on the other hand], has always been known for impartiality and [for] its moral and spiritual values.
"Now the situation has worsened [to such an extent] that every Indian Muslim - especially those associated with madrasas, who are innocent with good record of character - are always gripped by the fear that they might be trapped by the administrative machinery anytime. Today countless innocent Muslims are spending their lives behind bars, and are forced to bear many intolerable tortures. [At the same time], those spreading terror, attacking police stations, killing police [officers] in broad daylight and [carrying] illegal arms are roaming about freely, while the government takes no effective and preventive steps to check their acts of terrorism and violence.
"This [discriminatory] attitude has put a big question mark on the secular character of the government, posing a great threat to the country. The All India Anti-Terrorism Conference strongly condemns this attitude, expresses its deep concern [over] this partiality of the government officials, and declares its continuous joint struggle for [rule] of law, justice and [secularism].”


The above declaration does not refer to specific acts of terrorism, such as against the World Trade Centre or the Indian Parliament and the emphasis seems to be on the effect of negative publicity against Muslims in gerneral and on Indian Muslims in particular. It has been hailed as a strong condemnation of acts of terrorism in the name of Islam by the authoritative religious body. Leaders of both the Congress and the BJP parties have praised this statement.

Ever since the September 11 attack on the World Trade Centre, Muslim religious organizations have been under persistent demands by the West to denounce such acts of terrorism. Such Western pressures have been especially intense on Darul Uloom of Deoband as many jihadi organizations have identified themselves as Deobandi. Jamiat Ulema Islami of Maulan Fazalul Rehman owes its allegiance to Deoband and Mullah Umar of Taliban was trained in a Deobandi madrassa. Al Qaida operatives are described as Wahabis who can be described as ideological twins of Deobandis. All these years, the religious leaders of Deoband have resisted the call for a denunciation of terrorist acts committed in the name of Islam. So, why this sudden need to issue this fatwa?

I think that the timing of the statement is related to the internal political dynamics of India. The Deobandis could earlier ignore the Western call for a religious edict against terrorism as Indian Muslims had by and large remained outside the influence of the international Islamic Jihad. On the other hand, they were paraded as an example of how Muslims can be peaceful under a democracy and democracy was prescribed as a cure-all against the influence of Islamic jihadists. Influential writers, such as Thomas Freedman of New York Times, attributed India’s democracy to the fact that no Indian Muslim was found in the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba for the Al Qaida suspects. They were also helped by the fact that Indian governments of all political persuasions routinely blamed Pakistan and Pakistani agencies for all acts of terrorism committed in India.

The situation has changed in recent months. Indian Muslims have been involved in international acts of terrorism, including suicide bombing. The thaw in the Indo-Pak relations has resulted in Indian officials not blaming Pakistan in a routine manner for all acts of terrorism in India. More and more of the recent attacks have been traced to homegrown terrorists and to members of organizations such as SIMI. This has increased pressure of the Indian security agencies on Indian Muslims, leading to the difficult situation of hapless Indian Muslims alluded to in the Deobandi declaration.

Another domestic development is the possibility of a general election for the Indian Lok Sabha. The UPA government has been busy clearing the decks for a possible general election later this year. It has brought in a popular Railways budget which has reduced passenger fares for all and provided free passes and further concessions for students and senior citizens. In a populous general buget, it has waived Rs. 60,000 crores worth of loans to farmers and substantially raised income tax exemptions which affect the middle class.

The Congress Party also wants to be in the good books of Indian Muslims. It is quite conscious of losing its hold on its Muslim vote bank, following the demolition of the Babri Masjid and has been working assiduously in recent years to rehabilitate itself as their natural party once again. It instituted the Sachar Commission to examine the state of Indian Muslims. The Commission came out with a significant set of recommendations to improve the conditions of Indian Muslims and to bring them into the national mainstream. The government has decided to implement many of those recommendations and has set aside a substantial amount for this purpose in the current budget.

The UPA government is also aware of the fact that the BJP is planning to make national security a major election issue in the next election and hopes to repeat the success it had with that issue in the Gujarat state elections last year. To blunt such an attack, the Congress and Left Parties, who are deemed to be friendly towards Indian Muslims, have been pleading with Darul Uloom, Deoband and other Muslim organizations to come out openly against terrorism in the name of Islam. I believe that this conference and its declaration are the result of this pressure. This is also the reason why the statement lays emphasis on the adverse impact of the charge of terrorism on Indian Muslims.

Will there be an election in India this year? I think that the Congress Party has taken the decision to go ahead with the Indo-US nuclear deal despite the staunch opposition to it by the Communist parties who have made it loud and clear that they will withdraw their support to the government in such an eventuality. If the Communists withdraw their support, the government is bound to fall, leading to an election. Another variable in determining the likelihood of elections this year will be the outcome of state elections in important states, such as Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. If the Congress Party does well in these elections, there would be an extra incentive for it to call an election, regardless of the outcome of the nuclear deal.

As a screaming headline in the Times of India proclaimed, All Voting Lines Are Clear! 

Two other articles: http://worldmuslimcongress.blogspot.com/2008/03/terrorism-un-islamic.html

Tags: terrorism , Indian Muslims , Deoband , madrassas , India

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