Reader Challenge: Can Moderates Make Charges That Suicide Bombers Are Infidels Stick?

Reports Christian Caryl at Foreign Policy, Pakistani newspapers recently learned that jihadists have “just added a new target to one of their death lists. His name is Tahir ul-Qadri, and he’s no government official. He’s one of Pakistan’s leading Islamic scholars, an authority on the Quran and Islamic religious law.”

More from Sheikh to Terrorists: Go to Hell:

It’s no wonder the terrorists want to see Qadri dead. Last month he promulgated a 600-page . . . fatwa, that condemns terrorism as un-Islamic. … Many Muslim scholars before Qadri, of course, have denounced terrorism. What makes him significant is the uncompromising rigor of his vision. [Qadri's fatwa] makes the case that terrorist acts run completely counter to Islamic teaching. While quite a few scholars before have condemned terrorism as haram (forbidden), the new fatwa categorically declares it to be no less than kufr (acts of disbelief). “There was a need,” says Qadri [to make Jihadis] “realize that…they’re going to hellfire. …and they’re not going to have 72 virgins in heaven.”

But…

Ahmed Quraishi, a conservative Pakistani commentator based in Islamabad [says] “Suicide is outlawed in Islam…if it means killing the innocent. But it is not if it means attacking invaders or occupiers.”…Yet one of the things that makes Qadri’s fatwa so compelling is precisely that it sweeps aside such logic. The claim that terror is a legitimate or excusable response to oppression is, according to Qadri’s finding, an “awful syllogism” because “evil cannot become good under any circumstances.”

Qadri’s fatwa, writes Christian, is additional evidence

that the so-called “war on terror” pales beside the war within Islam itself, the continuing, subtle, and utterly vital struggle for the soul of the faith. So it will be worth keeping an eye on the impact these 600 pages will have on Islam’s restless minds in the years to come.

Do Focal Point readers think that Qadri’s tome of a fatwa will help stem the tide of young Muslims to terror? Or will they buy into jihadis’ specious “fighting and dying in self-defense” justification of suicide bombing?