North American Muslims Issue Fatwa against Terrorism

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- North American Muslim clerics issued a fatwa against Islamic terrorism here Nov. 30, hoping to build on the just-completed Mideast peace talks and a Vatican invitation to meet with Muslim leaders.

The Fiqh Council of North America, an affiliate of the Islamic Society of North America, counts support from some 500 Muslim leaders and organizations for its condemnation of violence, chairman Muzammil H. Siddiqi said.

"Targeting civilians' life and property through suicide bombings or any other method of .attack is prohibited in Islam--haram--and those who commit these barbaric acts are criminals, not 'martyrs,' "the fatwa reads.

The fatwa also says Muslims have a duty to alert law enforcement about any threats to human life and must not cooperate with any group or individual involved in terrorism.

The Nov. 30 fatwa follows similar attempts by moderate Muslims, including the Fiqh Council, to denounce violence, Siddiqi said. But both Siddiqi and Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, on hand Nov. 30 to promote the fatwa, said previous calls were "widely ignored."

Recent events worldwide, however, including Mideast peace talks in Annapolis, Md. …