Bangladesh clerics sign fatwa against Islamist killings

The fatwa denouncing the clandestine attacks on minorities and secular activists has been endorsed by over 100,000 Muslim scholars and imams.

Dhaka: Over 100,000 clerics in Bangladesh have signed a fatwa against the brutal attacks by Islamists on minorities and secular writers in the Muslim-majority nation, terming them as "un-Islamic".

"The fatwa clearly said what they (Islamists) are doing are anti-Islamic and it will lead them to the path of hell, not divinity...These killings of non-Muslims, minorities and secular activists are forbidden in Islam," Bangladesh Ulema Council chief Maulana Farid Uddin Masuod told PTI describing the essence of the edict.

The fatwa denouncing the clandestine attacks on minorities and secular activists has been endorsed by over 100,000 Muslim scholars and imams.

"The synopsis of the 62-page fatwa is to portray perpetrates of terrorism in the name of Islamic jihad as enemies of Islam, Muslims and humanity," Masuod said.

He said the fatwa titled "the edict of peace for wellbeing of humanity" would be formally issued on June 18.

He said the process to launch the fatwa began in January this year after the attacks on liberal and secular activists and religious minorities including Hindus and Christian by suspected Islamists sparked an international uproar.

Authorities in Bangladesh are under mounting international pressure to halt the violence, which in the past three years has claimed the lives nearly 50 people - Hindus, Christians and secular bloggers - many of them by machete-wielding attackers.


Though most of the attacks were claimed by the Islamic State or its affiliates and other similar extremist groups, the Bangladesh government has repeatedly dismissed the claims and said the attacks were carried out by homegrown outfits linked to the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday told a meeting of her ruling Awami League party that police would stamp out the violence and she vowed to catch "each and every killer".

During the past three days over 11,000 criminal suspects have been arrested as part of an intensified crackdown against extremists in the country.

Masuod aid the anti-militancy security campaign was important but the motivational campaign by Islamic scholars denouncing the terrorism in the name of Islam was more crucial.

"They (militants) believe, their actions will take them to heaven but they are required to be made understand they actually are destined to hell because of their act...The meaning of jihad in Islamic term is entirely different from what they are doing," he said.