The leader of a global Muslim movement Tuesday issued a rare religious edict condemning terrorism and denouncing suicide bombers as “heroes of hellfire” in an effort to help prevent the radicalization of young British Muslims.
The State Department welcomed the 600-page document known as a fatwa, which was released in London with the British government’s support, as a “very important step” in “taking back Islam” from al Qaeda and other extremist groups.
Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, a former Pakistani lawmaker and a leading scholar of Islam, has issued similar, shorter decrees in the past. But the new fatwa makes the most detailed and comprehensive case against Islamic extremism by a Muslim, diplomats and analysts said.
“Terrorism is terrorism, violence is violence, and it has no place in Islamic teaching, and no justification can be provided for it, or any kind of excuses or ifs or buts,” Mr. Tahir-ul-Qadri said at a news conference in London. “Good intentions cannot convert a wrong into good; they cannot convert an evil into good.”
It was not clear how much influence the fatwa will have in the broad Muslim world or even outside the South Asian community whose members are Mr. Tahir-ul-Qadri’s most dedicated followers.
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