Book says Pakistan clerics issue fatwa against ‘un-Islamic’ suicide bombings
More than 1,800 Pakistani Muslim clerics have issued an Islamic directive, or fatwa, forbidding suicide bombings, a book due to be unveiled by the government on Tuesday says.
Suicide attacks are frequently condemned as fanatical and immoral, especially when civilians are killed, but insurgents view the tactic as their most effective weapon.
Seeking to curb “terrorism” that has resulted in tens of thousands of casualties since the early 2000s, the clerics declared suicide bombings to be forbidden, or “haraam”. “This Fatwa provides a strong base for the stability of a moderate Islamic society,” Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain wrote in the book.
“We can seek guidance from this Fatwa for building a national narrative in order to curb extremism in keeping with the golden principles of Islam.”
Foreign and domestic critics of Pakistan’s government and military accuse them of cozying up to radical groups for political and military purposes and say the state has for too long turned a blind eye to hate preachers in mosques.
Similar fatwas appear to have yielded scant results in the Middle East where the practice is used by ISIS and other militant groups.
The Pakistani scholars, who declared that “no individual or group has the authority to declare and wage jihad (holy war)”, said suicide bombings violate key Islamic teachings and were as such forbidden.