Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dual-loyalty watch: US Muslim fatwa against aiding troops

From Al Arabiya:
The Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA) issued a fatwa prohibiting offering aid to foreign troops in Muslim countries whether on the personal or the business levels.

The assembly, made up of jurists and scholars in charge of issuing fatwas for Muslims in the United States and headed by Sheikh Salah al-Sawy, received several inquiries about the stance of Islam on business deals with coalition troops in Iraq or NATO forces in Afghanistan, especially companies that transfer foodstuffs and other supplies to military bases.

The question was posted on AMJA fatwa bank, reads: “Is it permissible to participate in taking food to the American and foreign soldiers working in Muslim lands?” and the answer is, “That would not be permissible, for that would be helping others in sin and transgression.”

The fatwa, number 3062 to be issued by the assembly, stipulated that Muslims are not to help foreigners on personal or business basis as long as their presence in Muslim countries is linked to occupation.
Essentially, the fatwa is saying that it is forbidden for American Muslims to do anything that helps US troops.

Would this be an example of the kind of "dual loyalty" charges that are often hurled at American Jews?

Apparently so, when one looks at the AMJA website.

The website of the AMJA is most interesting in Arabic, as in that language it certainly tells US Muslims that America is not a country to be proud of.

One fatwa says not to celebrate Thanksgiving, but it is allowed to buy holiday turkeys on sale.

Another article says that while it is obligatory for Muslims to participate in the political process in America, this participation should not in any way be considered an endorsement for democracy - in fact, democracy is scorned.

Is this how patriotic citizens talk?

Then comes this, in the Al Arabiya article:
The statement was based on a verse from the Quran that said Muslims should only offer help in noble causes and should not take part in any kind of action that involves violence or damage.
Um, well, it might be OK if that violence or damage is aimed at Israeli Jews. (The website in Arabic definitely says that there is a distinction between terrorism and "resisting aggression." I don't think they are referring to non-violent resistance.)