Thursday, March 10, 2005
A Fatwa on Bin Laden
The fatwa said that according to the Quran "the terrorist acts of Osama bin Laden and his organization al-Qaida ... are totally banned and must be roundly condemned as part of Islam."
It added: "Inasmuch as Osama bin Laden and his organization defend terrorism as legal and try to base it on the Quran ... they are committing the crime of 'istihlal' and thus become apostates that should not be considered Muslims or treated as such." The Arabic term 'istihlal' refers to the act of making up one's own laws.
Escudero said a fatwa can be issued by any Muslim leader who leads prayer sessions and as he serves such a role, he himself lawfully issued the edict.
He called it an unprecedented condemnation of bin Laden. "We felt now we had the responsibility and obligation to make this declaration," he said in an interview.
"I hope there is a positive reaction from Muslims," he added.
Asked if the edict meant Muslims had to help police try to arrest the world's most wanted man - who is believed to be hiding along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan - Escudero said: "We don't get involved in police affairs but we do feel that all Muslims are obliged to ... keep anyone from doing unjustified damage to other people."
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