Daring article in Saudi Newspaper: Stop Terror Sheikhs, Muslim Academics Demand
- Stop Terror Sheikhs, Muslim Academics Demand
Arab News, Jeddah
NEW YORK, 30 October 2004 Over 2,500 Muslim intellectuals from 23
countries have signed a petition to the United Nations calling for an
international treaty to ban the use of religion for incitement to violence.
It also calls on the Security Council to set up a tribunal to try the
theologians of terror. The petition is addressed to Secretary-General Kofi
Annan, and to all members of the Security Council and its current chairman.
There are individuals in the Muslim world who pose as clerics and issue
death sentences against those they disagree with, says Shakir Al-Nablusi, a
Jordanian academic and one of the signatories. These individuals give Islam
a bad name and foster hatred among civilizations.
Nablusi said hundreds of Arab writers and academics were collecting more
signatures and hope to have tens of thousands by next month. Among those
collecting signatures are Jawad Hashem, a former Iraqi minister of planning,
and Alafif Al-Akdhar, a leading Tunisian writer and academic. Most of the
signatories are from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states plus Iraq, Jordan
The signatories describe those who use religion for inciting violence as
the sheikhs of death. Among those mentioned by name is Yusuf Al-Qaradawi,
an Egyptian preacher working in Qatar. The signatories accuse him of
providing a religious cover for terrorism.
Last year Qaradawi raised a storm when he issued a fatwa allowing the
killing of Israeli pregnant women and their unborn babies on the ground that
the babies could grow up to join the Israeli Army. Last September, Qaradawi
in a fatwa in response to a question from the Egyptian Union of Journalists
said killing all Americans, civilian or military in Iraq was allowed.
We cannot let such dangerous nonsense to pass as Islam, Nablusi says.
The petition also names the late Egyptian preacher Muhammad Al-Ghazzali who,
in 1992, issued a fatwa for the murder of Farag Foda, an anti-clerical
writer in Cairo. Within weeks of the fatwa, zealots murdered Foda in his
Other sheikhs of death mentioned include the Yemeni Abdul-Majid
Al-Zendani, and the Saudis Ali bin Khudhair Al-Khudhair and Safar Al-Hawali.
The two Saudis have described the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks against the United
States as retaliations, and thus justified under Islamic law.
Issuing murder fatwas has a long story.
In 1947 the late Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against Ahmad Kasravi,
one of Irans most prominent lawyers. A few weeks later, six men stabbed
Kasravi to death in a court of law. In 1951 a group of mullas issued a fatwa
for the murder of Irans Prime Minister Haji-Ali Razmara. He was shot dead a
few days later. In 1989 Khomeini issued a fatwa for the murder of the
British novelist Salman Rushdie.
The signatories of the petition also want the UN to order its member states
to stop broadcasting the mad musings of the theologians of terror.