ABU DHABI, 15th July, 2018 (WAM) — The chairman of the newly-formed Emirates Fatwa Council has stressed the need to institutionalise the system of Islamic jurisprudence across all Islamic countries and tighten the efforts of combating fatwas that call for murder and bloodshed.
In a statement to the Emirates News Agency, WAM, Abdullah bin Bayyah said, “Unofficial and rogue fatwas are the first gateway to extremist ideologies, and now is the time to demolish the misuse of this platform and end the distortion of fatwas to serve terrorism, murder and destruction, both in Muslim countries and among Muslim minorities in different countries of the world.”
He added that the establishment of the Emirates Fatwa Council reinforces the UAE’s experience in combating extremist and terrorist ideologies, and ending the defamation of religions by fundamentalists, extremists and terrorists. He pointed out that disrupting and neutralising fatwas that encourage terrorism requires a Muslim consensus to achieve united goals, utilising similar tools and practices.
“We, as Muslim societies, must strengthen our tools against those fatwas and steer the fatwa back from its deviated path, which has become the most influential weapon in the hands of decision-makers of terrorist and extremist groups,” he said.
He pointed out that implementation will require a consensus of the doctrine, whereby religious authorities agree to develop a clear and consistent vision regarding rogue fatwas and address them through the release of united fatwas, which condemn and forbid terrorism and bloodshed.
He added that underground terrorist groups have seduced many through their distorted interpretation of Quran and Sunnah texts. They deliberately cut verses and conversations and place them in such a way that serves their corrupt goals.
Bayyah described those efforts to correct the path of slander in the Arab world as “the ideal cure” to deal with extremism by using preventive actions.
He added that raising the merit of fatwas and ending its exploitation by extremists through various platforms will see an end to a culture justifying violence.
“This way, we would have dealt with the root of the problem of intentional misrepresentation and intentional exaggeration,” he said, pointing to the importance of raising the authenticity of fatwas and rectifying misguided information, which may seduce zealots.
With regards to the role of the council, Bayyah explained that it will issue legal fatwas in the country according to various issues, or at the request of government agencies, institutions and individuals. It will also authorise the official practice of fatwas in the country and provide rehabilitation and training to muftis to help them develop their skills, in addition to issuing studies and research. It will also oversee the work of fatwa centres in the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments.