The Indian Express carried this story on reaction to the now famous non-fatwa from Darul Uloom calling Terrorism un-Islamic. 

Leading Muslim clerics and scholars have termed the ‘anti-terror non-fatwa’ issued by influential Islamic seminary Darul Uloom as historic and path breaking and which is likely to have a global impact.

The anti-terrorism conference organised by Darul Uloom in Uttar Pradesh’s Deoband town on Monday was attended by over 10,000 participants that included clerics, scholars and religious leaders from across the country including madrassas and representatives of other Islamic schools like Nadwatul Ulema and Sufi orders like Chishtis of Ajmer Sharif, senior dons of the renowned Deoband seminary.

The BJP in its reaction to the non-Fatwa said

“They said Islam does not permit terrorism. If it can be put in practice, it will be most welcome,” BJP spokesman V K Malhotra

The full text of the “Declaration” not “Fatwa” can be found here on the Darul Uloom website titled – “Declaration All India Anti Terrorism Conference”, Organized by: Rabta Madaris Islamiah (Islamic Madrasas Association).

So what exactly did the declaration say on the subject of Terrorism ?

It begins with a blanket condemnation, pretty much along the lines of “Islam is for world peace….”

Islam sternly condemns all kinds of oppression, violence and terrorism. It has regarded oppression, mischief, rioting and murdering among severest sins and crimes

It repeats the blanket condemnation one more time, just in case one missed it

This All India Anti-Terrorism Conference attended by the representatives of all Muslim schools of thought organised by Rabta Madaris Islamiah Arabia (Islamic Madrasas Association), Darul Uloom Deoband condemns all kinds of violence and terrorism in the strongest possible terms

Rather than further dwell on the subject and get specific on what specific acts of Terrorism it is denouncing or which specific Terrorist groups is it deeming un-Islamic the declaration takes a familiar detour. It goes on to equivocate on the subject with these remarks

The Conference expresses its deep concern and agony on the present global and national alarming conditions in which most of the nations are adopting such an attitude against their citizens especially Muslims to appease the tyrant and colonial master of the West, which cannot be justified in any way

If this was a serious debate on Terrorism one would have expected specific Islamic Terrorists Acts in India – Mumbai, Malegaon, Hyderabad Mecca Masjid, Hyderebad multiple blasts, Delhi, Samjhauta Express, Varnasi to be specifically mentioned. Well instead what specific references do we get ?

It is a matter of greater concern that the internal and external policies of our country are getting heavily influenced by these forces. Their aggression, barbarism and state-sponsored terrorism not only in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan but also in Bosnia and various South American countries have surpassed all the records known to human history.

How can one take this declaration seriously with any credibility if it cannot speak against specific acts of Islamic Terror in India but instead goes on to sermonize on “state sponsored terrorism” a.k.a American Foreign Policy across the globe ?

What is worse is that the declaration makes an oblique reference to Naxalism, see Nitin’s post on this subject, to make claims of unfair treatment to Madrassas when compared to Maoists.

So here is why this declaration is a joke for the only specific entity that draws a specific sentence of condemnation is not Al-Qaeda, not Osama Bin Laden, not HUJI, not Lashkar-e-Toiba, not Jaish-e-Mohammad but the Government of India.

this All India Anti-Terrorism Conference strongly condemns this attitude and expresses its deep concern on this partiality of government officials and declares its continuous joint struggles for domination of law, justice and secular system

Thats about the only substantiative remarks the declaration makes. The rest is the usual platitudes.

Offstumped Bottomline: While the mainstream media goes gaga over the so called “Declaration” it is left to the blogs to administer a dose of reality. The “Declaration” had little to do with “Anti-Terrorism” which it disposes of in two blanket sentences. The “Declaration” was more about “State Sponsored Terrorism” and defending “Madrassas”. By failing to get specific in its condemnation of specific acts of Islamic Terror while condemning the Government for cracking down on Madrassas the Declaration does immeasurable damage to its credibility and should not to be taken seriously.

Originally posted here

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