Ramadan, Senior Muslim Scholars respond to Muslims about the Paris Attacks

British Muslim scholars reach out to Muslims by advising, analysing and condemning the attacks:


 

Tariq Ramadan was among many scholars in the UK to speak out against the massacre in Paris.
Tariq Ramadan was among many scholars in the UK to speak out against the massacre in Paris.

Tariq Ramadan: “Betrayal to Islamic Values”

Tariq Ramadan is a Swiss academic and writer of Egyptian origin. He is also a Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies in the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Oxford University.

Contrary to what was apparently said by the killers in the bombings of Charlie Hebdo’s headquarters, it was not the Prophet who was avenged, it is our religion, our values and Islamic principles that have been betrayed and tainted.

My condemnation is absolute and my anger is profound (healthy and a thousand times justified) against this horror!!!

Allow me to express my deep sympathy and sincere condolences to the families of the victims.


 

Dr. Khaled Hanafy: “Condemnation Is Not Sufficient”

Khaled Hanafy is a professor of Economics and International Business at the Arab Academy for Science and Technology.

I was shocked by the brutal, terror attack in Paris that killed 12 people. I categorically condemn this act no matter who is responsible for it and whoever the victims are.

Indeed, condemnation is not sufficient. Muslims, before anybody else, should take swift and practical action because the danger threatening Europe is a threat for Muslims too. Muslims are part and parcel of the European society; they have a role to play in protecting it and in promoting social peace in it.

It is not a valid excuse that this magazine published anti-Prophet cartoons. Insults were directed to the Prophet during his life and after his death; the Qur’an related such defamations and they will never stop. So, the appropriate response is through thought, art and opinion not murder or terror.

I hope that politicians and media will not use this incident to make wrong generalizations against Muslims. The overwhelming majority of Europe Muslims reject such wicked deeds; they did contribute to the building Europe’s civilization.

I call on Muslims to stage demonstrations that denounce this aggression. I urge Muslim Imams and leaders to take all the necessary actions to denounce the incident, to reassure the Europe community, to actively participate in protecting Europe media institutions against any threat and to denounce extremism and terror.


 

Dr. Yasir Qadhi: “All of Us Will Suffer”

Yasir Qadhi is an American Muslim scholar and academic at Rhodes College, Tennessee.

Loving the Prophet (salla Allah alayhi wa sallam) is a necessary requirement of Iman. Defending his honor is a sign of belief. This is done by following his teachings and practice, not by murdering in his name.

Our Prophet was verbally abused and physically harrased multiple times in Makkah. Never ONCE did any of the Companions go and murder those who did such deeds. Do those who kill others in the name of the Prophet believe that they love him more than the companions?

And even for those who believe that the penalty for blasphemy should be death: by unanimous consensus of ALL the scholars of Islam, this must take place after a legitimate trial, by a qualified judge, appointed by a legitimate Islamic state. Under NO circumstances does Islam allow vigilante justice, for to open this door leads to chaos, confusion and bloodshed.

Muslims: get your act together!! Such acts of terror are not only haram and spill innocent blood, they will come back to harm you and your communities in the short and long run.

And as a result, all of us will suffer.


Dr. Wael Shihab: “Perpetrators Should Be Held Accountable”

Wael Shihab has a Ph.D in Islamic studies from Al-Azhar University. He is currently the shari’ah consultant of the shari’ah department of onislam.net.

In fact, Muslim communities all over the world share the pains and sadness with the victims’ families and friends. Our hearts bleed for their loss and pains.

The deadly attack on the Paris office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which led to the killing and injuring of tens of innocents, is a horrible, barbaric crime that its perpetrators should be held accountable for it. Such crimes against humanity are not justified by Islam and all world religions and laws. Those criminals cannot be true believers of any faith.

Charlie Hebdo attacks are totally divorced from the teachings of Islam, its general spirit, and its sublime objectives.  Islam protects people’s lives, properties, and honor. Attacking even a single human is regarded by Islam as grave and heinous as killing all innocent people of the world. The Qur’an reads, {Whosoever kills a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if be had killed all mankind, and whoso saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind.} (Al-Ma’idah 5: 32)

Hopefully, the French authorities will bring the criminals to justice as soon as possible.


 

Sheikh Omar Suleiman: “An Insult to the Prophet”

Omar Suleiman is an American Muslim scholar and instructor at AlMaghrib Institute.

#‎ParisShooting What is more insulting to the Prophet (peace be upon him) than satirical cartoons are those who murder innocent people in his name.

“And We have sent you not (Oh Muhammad) but as a mercy to all the worlds” [Quran 21:107]

 

 

 

Muslims and Evolution in the 21st Century: A Galileo Moment?

Early last month, a conference was held in London, entitled “Have Muslims Misunderstood Evolution?” under the auspices of The Deen Institute, an organization which aims at promoting engagement between the Islamic tradition and modernity. The event sparked off a debate on social media and op-ed columns regarding the place of evolution in the Islamic worldview.

The conference, whose lectures were recently published online, brought together scientists like Prof. Ehab Abouheif and Prof. Fatimah Jackson with theologians like Dr Usama Hasan and the prominent Shaykh Yasir Qadhi. Also invited was Dr. Oktar Babuna, representing the hardcore creationist ideas of Harun Yahya, who is deemed by many Muslim scholars to be a charlatan. Sadly, by the end of the day, Babuna was reduced to such a laughing stock that even Qadhi distanced himself from him.

Some commentators have described this conference as marking a Galileo moment for Muslims. I would argue that this isn’t quite the case, as Islamic religious authority is decentralized, and there is no formal ‘religious establishment’ that has binding authority over Muslims. With even the historic center for Sunni learning, al-Azhar University, and influential scholars like al-Qaradawi accepting that Muslims could believe in evolution–though neither seems to–it doesn’t seem like this is a serious issue in theology. Rather it seems to be so only in the popular Muslim consciousness. As Muslims continue in the path of learning, as encouraged by the Prophet, I hope that a more nuanced attitude to this issue will emerge at a popular level, and then we can focus on more important discussions like that of climate change or alleviating poverty. This conference was an important step in that direction.

Why Yasir Qadhi Wants to Talk About Jihad

To many young Muslims wrestling with conflicts between faith and country, Yasir Qadhi is a rock star. To law-enforcement agents, he is also a figure of interest, given his prominence in a community considered vulnerable to radicalization. Some officials, noting his message of nonviolence, also see him as an ally. Others were wary, recalling a time when Qadhi spouted a much harder, less tolerant line.

Qadhi’s platform is the AlMaghrib Institute, where he serves as academic dean. Founded in 2002 by Muhammad Alshareef, a Canadian cleric then living in Alexandria, Va., AlMaghrib is now an international enterprise, offering seminars in the United States, Canada and Britain. It reported nearly $1.2 million in revenue in 2009 and aspires to become a full-time Islamic seminary, albeit with an air of corporate America.

In the spectrum of the global Salafi movement, Qadhi, who is 36, speaks for the nonmilitant majority. Yet even as he has denounced Islamist violence — too late, some say — a handful of AlMaghrib’s former students have heeded the call. In addition to the underwear-bomb suspect, the 36,000 current and former students of Qadhi’s institute include Daniel Maldonado, a New Hampshire convert who was convicted in 2007 of training with an Al Qaeda-linked militia in Somalia; Tarek Mehanna, a 28-year-old pharmacist arrested for conspiring to attack Americans; and two young Virginia men held in Pakistan in 2009 for seeking to train with militants.

There are several kinds of jihad, which is translated to mean “striving in the path of God.” While progressive Muslims emphasize the spiritual form, Qadhi and other conservatives say that the majority of the Koran’s references to jihad are to military struggle. Qadhi’s interpretation makes him neither a hardline militant nor a pure pacifist. While he unequivocally denounces violence against civilians, he believes Muslims have the right to defend themselves from attack. But he says “offensive jihad”— the spread of the Islamic state by force — is permissible only when ordered by a legitimate caliph, or global Muslim ruler, which is nonexistent in today’s world.