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Fifty Muslim scholars issue fatwa against Taliban

October 11, 2012

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Members of Sunni Ittehad Council in a meeting - File Photo

LAHORE: At least 50 Islamic scholars belonging to ‘Sunni Ittehad Council’ on Thursday declared Taliban’s attack on Pakistani children’s rights activist Malala Yousafzai as un-Islamic, DawnNews reported.

Sunni Ittehad Council represents 'Barelvi' sect of Islam which is  influenced by Sufism and defends the traditional Sufi practices from the criticisms of Islamic movements like the 'Deobandi', 'Wahhabi' and 'Ahl al-Hadith'.

The scholars issued a combined ‘fatwa’ (Islamic ruling) in Lahore which said that the Taliban’s interpretation of Islam was incorrect and was deviant from the actual interpretation of the Shariah.

The fatwa added that Taliban were misguided and their mindset was driven by ignorance.

“Islam does not stop women from acquiring education and by attacking Malala the Taliban have crossed the limits of Islam,” the fatwa added.

“Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had regarded the sanctity of Muslim’s life and property more important than the sanctity of the ‘Kaaba’ (sacred Muslim place),” adding that the fatwa stated, “Murder of one innocent human being is equivalent to murder of entire humanity.”

The Islamic ruling added that United States was the enemy of Islam and Pakistan; any kind of cooperation with the US was not in compliance with the Shariah.

In response to Taliban’s interpretation of killing females for the greater good of the religion, the scholars said that Islam discourages killing of the females. Adding that, they said, “Even apostate women are not allowed to be killed in Islam.”

The assassination attempt on the life of the young National Peace Award winner has drawn widespread condemnation from the government, political parties and civil society groups, terming it a bid to silent voice for peace and education.

The banned militant organisation Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had issued a statement Wednesday, using Islamic Shariah to defend the attack.

Pakistani Taliban had said that although they do not believe in attacking women, “whom so ever leads a campaign against Islam and Shariah is ordered to be killed by Shariah.”

TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan had argued that it is “not just allowed … but obligatory in Islam” to kill such a person involved “in leading a campaign against Shariah and (who) tries to involve whole community in such campaign, and that personality becomes a symbol of anti-Shariah campaign.”

Malala had won international recognition for highlighting Taliban atrocities in Swat with a blog for the BBC three years ago, when the Islamist militants burned girls’ schools and terrorised the valley.

Her struggle resonated with tens of thousands of girls who were being denied an education by the militants across northwest Pakistan, where the government has been fighting the local Taliban since 2007.