Wednesday, March 29, 2023

By Daled Amos

Following the 9/11 terrorist attack, there were calls for "moderate Muslims" to speak out against radical Islamists. One problem was that it wasn't exactly clear how to define what a moderate Muslim was. Add to that the fear of being labeled an Islamaphobe.

But this month, major criticism has been levied against radical Islamists.

The radical Islamists are Hamas.
The ones criticizing Hamas are The Islamic Fatwa Council.
The criticism is in the form of a fatwa, condemning Hamas's exploitation and oppression of Palestinians.

The ruling is more than just criticism -- it is a fatwa condemning Hamas

The unprecedented religious edict condemned Hamas for being responsible for “its own reign of corruption and terror against Palestinian civilians within Gaza.” It also ruled that it is “prohibited to pray for, join, support, finance or fight on behalf of Hamas." [emphasis added]

And while the fatwa is non-binding, the Council itself is influential. According to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies:

The Islamic Fatwa Council is a judicial body that specializes in Islamic law, represents both Sunnis and Shiites, and is chaired by Grand Ayatollah Shaikh Fadhil al-Budairi. Among several key mission objectives, the council says it strives to “reclaim the Islamic legal system from extremists, Islamists, and supporters of terrorism.” The fatwa is the first against Hamas by an accredited Islamic legal body. [emphasis added]

The English version of the fatwa shows that the Council is neither a fan of Hamas nor of Iran:

The Council also tackles issues the West avoids addressing, such as the Hamas exploitation of child soldiers...

They also condemn the use of children as human shields by Hamas:

On the issue of Israel, The Islamic Fatwa Council says that Hamas lacks popular support for its terrorist attacks:

And with Ramadan coming up, here is what the Council thinks about Hamas defiling Ramadan:

"Satan of Hamas" is a nice touch.

The document also includes source material, some of which indicate both that killing women and children is forbidden -- and that the balloons from Gaza that set fire to Israeli fields are forbidden as well:

Here is a short video of Fatwa Council Spokesman Sheikh Muhammad Ali al-Maqdisi, at the end of which he suggests that Hamas put down their weapons and make peace with their "Palestinian brothers":

As to whether these rulings will have any effect, they may have an impact not only on Hamas -- but could also be problematic for Iran as well:
For Hamas, a Sunni Muslim organization, the ruling by a council led by a Sunni mufti of stature — Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdullah al-Dheeban — could have deep consequences, and the fact the council also includes al-Budairi, a Shiite cleric, is a severe blow to Hamas’ main backer Iran.

Back in 2010, Andy McCarthy, a columnist for National Review and former Assistant United States Attorney who led the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahma, wrote about the problem with moderate Islam:
The most frustrating thing about "moderate Islam" is that no one seems to be able to say what it entails. The so called "radicals" tell us exactly what they believe and (accurately) cite chapter and verse in the scriptures. The moderates never persuasively refute the radicals — they just say the radicals are too "extreme." This doesn't come close to making the case that the radicals have Islam wrong. If your goal is to persuade other Muslims — and everyone seems to agree that only Islam can settle its internal divisions — that's the case that has to be made.
The Islamic Fatwa Council may be taking a major step toward making that case. According to their About page:
The first objective of the Islamic Fatwa Council is to reclaim the Islamic legal system from extremists, Islamists and supporters of terrorism. Religious law is sacred and must not be abused and misused for political power.
Their ruling follows the UAE Fatwa Council and the Council of Senior Scholars of Saudi Arabia who issued similar rulings. Would these rulings have been possible if not for the Abraham Accords?

Now let's see if the Arab world is as opposed to Hamas as the Council claims.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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