April 29, 2004


Via IslamOnline comes the news that

An all-inclusive world union of Muslim scholars across the globe is to be created soon, with the aim of preserving the Islamic identity, promoting religious awareness, confronting "destructive trends" and giving advice to leaders of Muslim countries.

Prominent scholar Sheikh Youssef Al-Qaradawi has finished the draft of the envisaged world union of Muslim scholars, 24 years after the idea was first floated by then Bahraini education minister Ali Fakhro.

In exclusive statements to IslamOnline.net, Sheikh Qaradawi called on Muslim scholars from the four corners of the universe to join the new body.

He said the union would be as independent as broader in orientation and scope "grouping scholars of all different sects and serving Muslims worldwide".

"It would be an international, popular, independent, scientific and moderate Islamic establishment," asserted the moderate scholar.

In and of itself, it's not a terrible idea -- a moderate group of intra-Islamic ecumenical scholars advising governments, and presumably individuals as well, to avoid "destructive tendencies" would be welcome. If only what passes for moderation in a scholar at IslamOnline was actually moderate...

I remembered the name, vaguely -- google refreshed my memory:

Are they martyrs or murderers? If we are talking about people who are our brothers and our sons in Palestine who are defending their country, people like Hamas and Jihad and al-Aqsa brigades, they are not murderers, they are not killers and it's a transgression against them to call them so and label them so. They are people who are defending their homeland and their holy rights, which were attacked and transgressed against. This happens every day; every day they are hit with airplanes and tanks and Apache helicopters. Their sons and daughters and women are killed, their houses are destroyed, their farms are destroyed. They have every right to defend themselves and to stick their necks out for the sake of their freedom.

People who call them suicides are committing a transgression against them. This is a wrongful description. They are not suicides. They are the furthest away from the concept of suicide. The psychology of a suicide is totally different. A suicide is someone who is desperate and gives up hope on life and God and does not believe in the mercy of God. They are totally against that. These are people who can never be called murderers.

Yes, it's true sometimes children are killed as a result of their actions but this happens not intentionally but unintentionally and it's part of collateral damage in a situation of war.

"Collateral damage" -- that's the line Timothy McVeigh used when dismissing the 19 children killed in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City. Disgusting as I find McVeigh, morally objectionable as I find his casual dismissal of those 19 victims, morally objectionalbe as I find the murder of the other 149 individuals -- federal workers and mere visitors with business to transact in the building -- at least I can note that if his objective was to kill federal workers, then the majority of those he killed were federal workers. The suicide bombers do not approach army barracks, or government offices, or police stations. They look for restaurants, for buses packed with school kids, for university cafeterias. They aim at non-combatants, at old ladies and kids and college students. These victims are not "collateral damage" -- they are the targets. Not even McVeigh would have been brazen enough to suggest that the federal workers he tried to kill were collateral damage.

Incidentally, I note that this new "moderate" scholars conclave will be hosted in that bastion of Islamic rectitude, Ireland...

The body would reportedly be headquartered in Ireland, where laws allow the establishment of such bodies.

Mohammad Salim Al-Awa, a veteran Egyptian Islamic thinker close to the project, had told IOL that efforts to have an Arab country host the body were unfruitful.

Posted by Ideofact at April 29, 2004 10:46 PM

Ireland? that's so funny somehow.

I wonder why their efforts to have an Arab country host the body were unfruitful? a state control issue?

Posted by: Troy at April 30, 2004 12:03 AM

Dr. Qardawi is "likely the most renowned Salafi scholar of the 20th century".


His name is mentioned within "Al-Albani unveiled"


I doubt this is an actual legitimate attempt at unifiying scholars. The Wahabi's and the Traditionalists cannot agree on how to best advise government.

It's just another excuse for another organization and another label.

Posted by: optics at April 30, 2004 08:55 AM