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The Home Secretary Should Ban European Council for Fatwa and Research Clerics

The European Council for Fatwa and Research is a Dublin-based organisation of Muslim Brotherhood clerics. Its website is down at the moment, but its nature, and composition, is explained well at Wikipedia:

A Dublin-based private foundation, founded in London on 29 March – 30 March 1997 on the initiative of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe, the European Council for Fatwa and Research (‘ECFR’) is a largely self-selected body, composed by Islamic clerics and scholars, presided by Yusuf al-Qaradawi, and considered as belonging to the islamist tendency within the Islamic world community, the Ummah.

The ECFR aims “to present to the Muslim World and the Muslim minorities in the West particularly” its interpretation of “the manifestation of Allah’s infinite mercy, knowledge and wisdom”.

Among others, it wants to promote, and control, the local education of native imam’s for the Muslim minorities in European countries. Amongst others, it participates in such initiatives in France (in cooperation with the European Institute for Humanitarian and Islamic Studies and the United Kingdom.

It also strives to become an approved religious authority before local governments and private establishments in all countries where Muslims are a minority.

Islam Online, the Muslim Brotherhood website, has published a fatwa by the ECFR cleric, Sheikh Faysal Mawlawi, the text of which is as follows:

Contemporary Opinions on Killing Civilians

In a fatwa issued by Sheikh Faysal Mawlawi, vice president of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), concerning killing civilians in wars especially from Jews, he said,

Originally, it is prohibited to kill civilians, women, and children, but certain cases are exempted from this:

1. When all individuals on the enemy side participate in war, as then the term “civilian” would not apply to them.

2. When civilians do things to help militants, as then what they do would be regarded as a “military action.”

3. When warriors use civilians, women, and children as a shield and there is no way for Muslim warriors to reach those militants except by killing those civilians.

4. When the enemies kill Muslim civilians, for then their civilians may be treated the same.

5. When a civilian “accepts” usurping a (Muslim) land, he is considered an occupier, and is not a civilian any more.

6. When children themselves are not intended (or targeted) to be killed (deliberately) without doing anything wrong or committing any crime.

It is well known that Israelis, men and women, indulge in war against Palestinians, so they are warriors. They are also usurpers of the (Palestinian) land, because the Jews in Palestine have emigrated from various countries, and they have no right in this land. In Islam, it is obligatory to liberate any Islamic land from occupation. It should also be known that jihad against the Jews is not because they are Jews, but because they are usurpers and warriors.

Sheikh Faysal Mawlawi’s fatwa legitimises and encourages the killing of any and all civilians in Israel.

Here is a list of “unacceptable behaviours” which will lead to the deportation or exclusion of any foreign national who commits them, from the UK.

You will see that Sheikh Faysal Mawlawi qualifies for exclusion under most of these heads.

The British Government has been active in excluding religious and political leaders who seek to provoke others to serious criminal acts and who foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK. That was the basis upon which the unsuccessful challenger for the leadership of Likud, Moshe Feiglin, was banned from the United Kingdom.

Feiglin’s ban was, in my view, quite right and proper. The speeches for which he was banned are reproduced here. Sheikh Faysal Mawlawi’s teachings go well beyond those of Feiglin. Moreover, he is a cleric who – unlike Feiglin – is specifically targeting his rulings at muslims living in Europe. The argument for banning him is very strong indeed.

I think that there is a good case for the banning of all clerics who are members of the European Council of Fatwa and Research. A list of the clerics which are its members is set out here. As senior members of a corporate body which has delivered and disseminated a religious ruling such as this, they should all presumptively be covered by an exclusion order, or deported.

However, the principal and immediate targets of the ban should be those clerics who share this analysis. They are identified as the author of the fatwa, and also the following individuals:

Dr. Ahmad Nawfal, professor of Shari`ah in Jordan;
Dr. Sheikh Hamid Al-`Ali, professor of Islamic culture in the faculty of Elementary Education, Kuwait;
Dr. Nizar `Abd Al-Qadir Rayyan, participant professor of the science of Hadith, Gaza University;
Sheikh Jalal Yusuf Ash-Sharqi, a personal status judge in Bahrain

If you agree, write to the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith MP, asking her to consider making an exclusion order against Sheikh Faysal Mawlawi, and against the other clerics identified as supporting this fatwa. Her contact details are as follows:

Jacqui Smith MP
The Secretary of State for the Home Department
Home Office
Direct Communications Unit
2 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF

The Home Secretary’s TheyWorkForYou page is here.

Please let me know when you receive a response from the Home Secretary.

As a footnote, such a ban should also be applied to any Rabbi, or any other figure in a position of authority, who publishes a religious injunction in comparable terms. There is a suggestion in the article that:

“a group of prominent rabbis issued an unprecedented fatwa allowing the Israeli occupation army to bombard the Palestinian civil gatherings. The fatwa also called upon this army to annihilate and burn the Palestinian civilians.”

It is possible that this is a reference to Dov Lior. However, I can’t be certain, because all reports of this “fatwa” appear on neo-Nazi or Muslim Brotherhood related websites.