Religion Class Fatwas
By Anam Ansari

June 11, 2011

I am taking this awesome course about the Islamic religious studies at school, and during one of my classes we were talking about the translation of the Quran, its meaning, etc and a classmate of mine asked the professor whether there are groups in Islam who do not take the word of the Quran literally (basically, she was asking in a polite manner if there is any group besides the "Jihadists")
My professor responded by saying there are a bunch of people who interpret the Quran in different ways, and my classmate's reply was: Well, as a person looking in, the Islamic community doesn't do a very good job of showing that."

Obviously, there are a ray of moderate Muslim groups and individuals who exist, but their side of the stories and opinions are conveniently absent when looking at "the War on Terror."
My professor, who is an American and a convert to Islam, gave us a prime example of such an event. She said that Thomas Friedman, a world reknown journalist for the New York Times, repeatedly asks for the moderate Muslims to step up and say something about the "fundamentalist Muslims" and questions why the Muslim scholars and academics have not released fatwas against terrorism and the killing of innocent people. Inspired by his call for such fatwas, my professor, an Islamic historian, and many other Islamic scholars got together and released 1300 fatwas against terrorism and sent them to Friedman - that's right, not 130, but 1300 fatwas against terrorism, which they created and sent to Thomas Friedman. My professor then told us that he simply ignored one-thousand-and-three-hundred fatwas, and continues to question where the moderate Islamic community is, and where the fatwas condemning terrorism are. Now, in my eyes, this guy must be truly blind to miss 1300 pieces of paper condemning terrorism. I would like to think he is not as he is a respected international journalist, but respected for what, still beats me. In the words of my university professor, "Thomas Friedman is a liar" - someone who the international community sees as an academic. Ironic, huh.

So I looked him up - this is a link which quotes his questioning about the fatwas against terrorism:
http://baheyeldin.com/terrorism/do-muslims-ever-condemn-terrorist-attacks.html

Our professor was kind enough to share a link with an abundance of fatwas which her scholarly community has gathered and sent to Friedman:
http://www.unc.edu/~kurzman/terror.htm

Just thought that I would share this with you guys, so if you are ever confronted by a person questioning the existence of moderate Islam, you have something to tell them


Back to Article List